Has it happened to you that after installing or updating a selected component of your website you were suddenly cut off from access to it, including the administration panel?

When you noticed the problem, you immediately wanted to get rid of the faulty plugin, but you couldn't get into the command centre of your site. Quite a problem, isn't it?

But rest assured, don't panic. With a very simple method, or even several ways, you can disable any plugin without having to log into the WordPress Admin Panel.

Here are three ways to solve the problem.

Method 1 - Rename directory

Every WordPress plugin, once installed, lands in a folder named "wp-content/plugins/". And so, for example, when install a WooCommerce shop a subfolder will appear in this directory named "woocomerce". If you install another plug-in, you will also easily find it by glancing at the directory names inside wp-content/plugins/".

When you find what you're looking for, just rename the plugin directory to whatever you want. If we took our example with the WooCommerce plugin, we could change the directory name from woocommerce at woocommerce-off or any other. The name does not matter in this case.

You can do this using an FTP client such as FileZilla

change of cat name

Or from the file manager of your hosting account, provided that your hosting provides you with such a tool:

Renaming a directory in the file manager

What happens when you make a change like this? WordPress will try to find the plugin folder, but it will fail because you have renamed it. Consequently, it will automatically deactivate the plugin that disappeared from its sight, and you will be able to breathe, because access to the panel will be open again 🙂

You can also delete the plugin directory completely, and after WordPress allows you to log in you can try installing it again.

Method 2 - Quickly disable all plug-ins in the database

This method is much riskier, as it requires you to tamper with the database, and here careless action can cause even greater problems. Choose this method only when you have no other option and absolutely before making any changes to the database back it up.

To do this, find the tool in your hosting account phpMyAdmin.


Once started, open the table whose name ends with _optionsand will usually be preceded by some prefix generated during WordPress installation e.g: wp_options, xt2yh_options etc...

phpmyadmin editing table

Find the record that in the field option_name will have the value active_plugins. Then click on the edit link.


You can now delete the data of the selected plugin or disable all plugins in bulk. To deactivate all plug-ins the record value in the field option_value set at a:0:{}


Save your changes and return to the WordPress Admin Panel. All plugins should now be disabled. So you can activate the ones you want, and you can delete the ones that are generating the problem.

Method 3 - Tools on WordPress hosting

If you use WordPress hosting this whole task is even simpler. You don't have to install the FTP client, you don't have to modify the database with a trembling hand. You just need to use the tools the account offers.

Log into your hosting account dashboard and go to the WordPress tab:


Then click on the Plugins tab and disable the one you want to get rid of:

Disabling the hosting plug-in

That's all. You can now log into your WordPress Panel and work with your site in peace.

As you can see, the subject is not complicated and there are more than one ways to get out of trouble. Regardless of which way you choose (not necessarily all of them will be available in your home), you will solve the problem in a short time. Just remember to be very careful when you decide to operate on the "open heart", that is, to modify the database. As I wrote earlier, make a copy of it before you change anything, so that you can restore it in case of a problem.

These types of actions can be applied not only when there is no possibility to log into WP Panel, which is usually the result of a problem with plugin X or Y. Renaming the directory, changing the database or using the tools in your hosting account will result in the problematic plugin being disabled each time you perform the procedures described above.


See also

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