309: How to Disable WordPress Plugins

When troubleshooting a WordPress issue, it may be necessary to disable the plugins. You can easily disable (deactivate) plugins from the WordPress Dashboard, but this can be an arduous task if you have a large amount of plugins, or do not have access to your Admin Dashboard . The quickest method for disabling all your plugins is to rename the entire folder plugins folder. In this tutorial we will show you how to disable your WordPress plugins from the dashboard, and also by renaming the plugins folder in cPanel.

Disabling Plugins in the Dashboard

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Click Plugins in the navigation menu.
    Viewing Plugins

  3. Find the plugin you want to disable, and click the Deactivate link.
    Disabling WordPress Plugins

    You will then see a message stating “Plugin deactivated” and your plugin is now disabled.

Disabling Plugins in cPanel

  1. Login to your cPanel.
  2. Click the File Manager in the Files section.
    File Manager

  3. Navigate to your WordPress installation folder, and open the wp-content folder.
    Open WP-Content folder

  4. Right-click the plugins folder, then select Rename.
    Renaming a folder

  5. Rename the plugins folder, for example “plugins.old” then click the Rename File button.
    Disabling Plugins

    All of your WordPress plugins are now disabled.

Congratulations, now you know how to disable (deactivate) your WordPress plugins from the Dashboard, and cPanel!

Thoughts on “309: How to Disable WordPress Plugins

  • I have a fatal error occuring when I tried to update plug in and wordpress new OS version.  Error states:

    Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 67108864 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 88 bytes) in /home/heidishangups/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 300


    I’m not a tech person so step by step instructions would be ideal.

    Thank you


    • If the error is triggered by that particular plugin then the best thing to do is contact the plugin developer for suggestions and leave the plugin disabled in the meantime.

    • Hello Simon,

      If you disabled them by renaming the folder, you’ll have re-name the folder BACK to what it was before. Then you need to login to the WordPress Admin and go to the plugins section. Then you can activate each plugin that was previously disabled.

      If you have any further questions, please let us know.

      Kindest regards,
      Arnel C.

      • Hi Amel,
        I turned off the plugins but still can’t login into the wp-admin, because one of them is redirecting my whole site to its site. Any suggestions on how to solve?


      • Hi Dan – sorry to hear that you’re still having problems logging into the WordPress Administrator. I know this is a headache. Make sure that your browser cache has been cleared, as it can cause problems to repeat if it’s got old site information cached. You can also find the official WordPress.org’s troubleshooting list here: https://wordpress.org/support/article/login-trouble/. I was going to recommend that you reset your theme to a default one as well. There are unfortunately many possible causes to the WordPress admin login issue. If you were using a security plugin, make sure to check the documentation as it may have changed your login URL as well. I hope this helps!

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