Sometimes it might happen that one of the plugins is causing something on the website to stop working, we lose access to our blog or the entire website is down. In this post you are going to learn two ways to disable all WordPress plugins without access to the admin panel / dashboard.

How to disable WordPress plugins through FTP?

  • Login to your server using an FTP client.
  • Go to the main directory where WordPress is installed.
  • Go to the wp-content folder.
  • All plugins installed on your blog are located in the plugins folder.
  • Change the folder name from plugins to plugins_backup.

That’s exactly how to “disable” all plugins when not having access to the dashboard without losing them.

For further diagnosis, you can create a plugins folder and one by one move folders from plugins_backup to plugins and see if everything’s working. That way it’s easy to find the faulty plugin.

If for any reason you can’t or don’t want to disable plugins through FTP, below you’ll find an alternative way.

How to disable WordPress plugins through phpMyAdmin?

  • Login to your Hosting panel and find the link to phpMyAdmin.
  • The phpMyAdmin panel will open in a new tab. Log in.
  • Choose the database with WordPress data in the right panel. By default, WordPress tables have a wp_ prefix, like wp_posts (the prefix may be different if it was changed during installation).
  • Find and click the wp_options table.
  • While inside the wp_options table, find the record where option_name has value of active_plugins and click Edit (or whatever it is called in the language set in phpMyAdmin).
  • While editing, remove the content of option_value and enter a:0:{}

Done. Now save changes and all plugins will be disabled. You can enable them one by one on your dashboard and test which of them causes problems.


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