How to Deactivate/ Disable WordPress Plugins without Accessing wp-admin?

While troubleshooting any WordPress issues, you are asked to deactivate and then activate all plugins. This is not a complicated task if you have access to the WordPress dashboard. But what if you can’t access wp-admin? 

When you are asked to deactivate all plugins, in most cases, you have been locked out from accessing the WordPress dashboard, so deactivating or disabling the WordPress plugins can become challenging.

Hence in this article, we will guide you through the steps to deactivate all WordPress plugins when you do not have access to the WordPress dashboard.

Deactivate all Plugins using the cPanel File Manager

You can deactivate all WordPress plugins through the cPanel file manager. In both cases, you need to navigate to the/wp-content/ folder and rename it. The steps listed below can be implemented to deactivate the plugins through the cPanel file manager method:

  1. Log in to cPanel.

  2. Under the Files section, go to File Manager.
    If you don’t know how to log in to cPanel, refer to our article on how to log in to cPanel.

  3. Expand the public_html folder, and navigate to the /wp-content/plugins folder.

4. Right-click on the plugins folder and rename it to plugins.old.
This will deactivate all of the plugins at once.

5. Reactivate the plugins folder again by renaming it back to plugins.
This will allow you to access the WordPress Dashboard again.

6. Now, you can activate one plugin at a time until your website breaks again.
When it does, you’ll know which plugin is the cause of this issue.

Deactivate all plugins through phpMyAdmin

You can also deactivate all plugins through phpMyAdmin by following these steps -

  1. Log in to cPanel.

  2. Under the Databases section, locate phpMyAdmin and click on it.

  3. You will be redirected to the phpMyAdmin control panel.

  4. In the phpMyAdmin control panel, select your WordPress database from the left-hand side pane.

  5. From the right-hand side, locate the table wp_options and click on it.

  6. Under the option_name column (field), find the active_plugins row.

  7. Click on the option_value field and change it to a:0:{}

Deactivate All Plugins From phpMyAdmin

Deactivate all plugins through FTP

  1. Connect your WordPress content using FTP.
    (For more information, please refer to How to connect FTP.)

  2. Go to the public_html/wp-content/plugins folder.

  3. Please right-click on the plugins folder and rename it.

You have successfully deactivated the plugins of your WordPress website!

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