Deactivate WordPress Plugins (3 Methods)

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Disable Plugins With or Without Access to WP Admin

This guide shows how to deactivate plugins in WordPress with 3 different methods.

You may have activated or updated one of the plugins that causes your site to crash, and now you are unable to open your site through any web browsers.

When your WordPress website cannot be opened through web browsers, you will not be able to access the plugin page of your WP site, or disable the faulty plugin in the WP admin area.

In this case, you may still access the folders and files of your WP plugins through your web hosting account, or FTP login, and deactivate the specific plugin.

Deactivate Plugins WordPress

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Deactivate Plugins in WordPress Admin Area

Go to your WordPress admin/login page. The WP login URL is always in this format:


WP to Plugins Page (Main Navigation LHS)

Click Plugins on the left side main navigation. You will be taken to the Plugins page which shows a list of all the plugins (including activated and/or deactivated).

Deactivate link (of each plugin)

If you only need to disable one WP plugin, click the Deactivate link of the specific plugin.

Disable plugins checking checkbox of each plugin

If you need to disable multiple plugins at a time, check the checkbox of the plugins.

Select Deactivate Multiple

Click to open the drop-down list, and select Deactivate.

Click the Apply button.

Deactivate One Plugin at a Time Without Logging in to WordPress

When you have no access to the WordPress admin area through the normal way, you can still access the WP plugin folder and files, and disable the plugin in this way.

We are using Hostgator as a web hosting example to show you how to deactivate a WordPress plugin or disable all WordPress plugins.

Access File Manager through web hosting account

Login to your Hostgator web hosting account.

File Manager (Hostgator web hosting account)

Navigate to the Files section, and click to open the File Manager.

Once the File Manager is opened, navigate to this folder of your WordPress site:


WP site folder: /wp-content/plugins/

Click to open the Plugins folder.

Specific plugin folder before rename (in web hosting)

Find the plugin that has caused the problem.

In this example, we assume the Askismet plugin has caused your WP website to crash.

Rename the folder of the specific plugin by adding the following:


Specific plugin folder after rename (in web hosting)

Now you should be able to open your WordPress site with the WP login URL through a web browser (such as Google Chrome).

Log in, and go to the Plugins page.

You will see the faulty plugin now is on deactivated status.

The best practice is to delete/remove the faulty plugin through the Plugins page (in the WP admin area). The will prevent the specific plugin from crashing your WP site in the future.

Multiple plugins cause problems

If multiple plugins have been causing problems to crash your website, you may not have successfully opened the login page.

When this happens, you will have to go back to the File Manager page of your web hosting account, and rename the folder name of several other plugins.

FTP to access plugins folder

Alternatively, you may use a FTP software (such as Filezilla) to access the plugins folder of your WordPress site.

Deactivate All Plugins of WordPress Site without Logging in to WordPress

It is possible to disable all the plugins of your WordPress site at the same time, without having to access Plugins page in the WP admin area.

You can do this through the File Manager of your web hosting account.

In File Manager of your Hostgator web hosting account, navigate to this folder:


WP site folder: /wp-content/plugins/

Rename the folder by adding the following to the folder name:


Deactivate all plugins of WP site (in web hosting account)

Now all the plugins in your WordPress site are deactivated.

While still in the File Manager, delete the entire folder of the faulty plugin.

Assume the faulty plugin is Akismet. Delete the entire Akismet folder (with all the files in the folder).

This will remove the entire plugin.

The file path of a plugin is like this:


After the problem has been resolved, you should activate all the plugins again.

To activate all the plugins, you can rename the Plugins folder back to:


Deactivate WordPress Plugins through MySQL Database

You may also disable the plugins through making changes in your WordPress website MySQL database.

If you are not similar with the structure of your WordPress website database, and go on to deactivating the plugins, you may risk making a mistake, and your site will not load properly on web browsers.

The folder renaming method is simpler and saver.

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