SGIS updates & advice

Manually disable WordPress plugins

If you’re editing or updating a plugin and something goes wrong it can easily bring the whole WordPress site down. Once WordPress is down you then won’t be able to access the admin area to disable or fix the plugin. Thankfully there are few ways to disable WordPress plugins if the admin area is down.

Please take full site backups before attempting any of these options.

Option 1: rename the plugin directory

This is the easiest option but will result in the plugin being unusable once the site is live again. If you choose this option you’d need to add the plugin again or pick a different plugin.

  1. 1Access the hosting control panel

    As WordPress’s admin backend won’t work you’ll need to access files via your hosting control panel. You can access the hosting control panel via Manage hosting

  2. 2Locate the problem plugin

    You can access the file structure of your site by clicking on File Manager. From here navigate to the WordPress plugin folder public_html/wp-content/wp-plugins/

  3. 3Rename the plugin

    Right click on the problem plugin directory and click “Rename”. Add the word BLOCKED to the end of the directory. Adding a word to the end will stop WordPress from being able to find the plugin and the site should become live again.

  4. 4Replace the plugin

    As this option will remove it from appearing on the WordPress admin area you will then need to either install it again or pick a different plugin.

Option 2: disable the plugin from phpMyAdmin

This option is better as it won’t remove the plugin from WordPress it just de-activates it. You’d then be able to access the files via the admin area to fix any problems, however it is a bit more complicated.

  1. 1Access the hosting control panel

    Again, as WordPress’s admin backend won’t work you’ll need to access files via your hosting control panel. You can access the hosting control panel via Manage hosting

  2. 2Open phpMyAdmin

    Once logged in click on MySQL Database and then click ‘log in’ next to your database.

  3. 3Locate the wp-options table

    From phpMyAdmin click on your database from the left sidebar and then select the wp-options table

  4. 4Locate the active_plugins row

    There’s a row within the wp-options table named active_plugins, a simply way to locate this to simply order the option_name column by clicking on the title heading.

  5. 5Change the active_plugins value

    It is possible to deactivate only certain plugins at this stage, however to keep it simple this guide just covers how to disable ALL plugins. To disable all plugins simply remove the values within the curly brackets so the value of active_plugins will just be:

    a:0:{}
  6. 6Re-active and fix

    This will then allow you to access WordPress and fix the problem plugin – remember you’ll also need to re-activate the non-problem plugins too.

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