If you’ve installed and activated a plugin that has resulted in you being unable to access your website and the WordPress admin area then you’re probably looking for how to quickly deactivate that plugin. Here is how to de-activate a plugin without accessing your WordPress admin area.
Plugins can be activated/deactivated directly through your database. Typically, you can access your WordPress database by logging into the account of your hosting provider, navigating to the control panel, and clicking on the “PHPMyAdmin” option. This can vary depending to your hosting setup and provider. Once you’re logged into “PHPMyAdmin”:
- Select the WordPress database for your website (the database name would have been set when your WordPress was installed).
- Navigate to the “wp_options” table (please note the prefix (the “wp” part) of your table name may vary depending on your set up).
- Find the row “active_plugins” this should be near the start of the table (in the example I’m using to write this post it was row 33).
- Now we can deactivate a plugin by editing the feild in the “option_value” column of the “active_plugins” row in the “wp_options” table .
Here’s an example of the contents of the “option_value” field.
You can deactivate a plugin by removing the line for a plugin and minusing 1 from the value at the start (just after the “a:”). I’d recommend making a copy of this value, for example in a text file, before making changes in case you need to revert back to it.
I’ve never experienced the plugin “Yoast SEO” breaking a website but for the purposes of this example, If we wanted to deactivate “Yoast SEO” from the above example we would update the “option_value” field to the following.
If you’re unsure of which plugin (or plugins) caused the issue then you could deactivate all plugins through the database and then test reactivating them one at a time making a note of any which break your WordPress or any combinations of plugins which break your WordPress.
I hope this is helpful.