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WordPress Tutorials and Blog Posts

Disable a WordPress Plugin Without Access to Your Admin Area

Normally disabling a WordPress plugin is very simple and straightforward. How easy? You can login to admin area, click the Plugins tab and click Deactivate next to the plugin. You can see an example below with Akismet:

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However, sometimes a plugin can make things more complicated. Some plugins can cause problems with logging into your admin area. That's exactly what happened to one of our members. They changed a setting inside a plugin and suddenly started getting these errors when trying to login:

[faultcode] => CLIENT
[faultactor] =>
[faultstring] => Could not log in.
 [detail]=> The cid was not found or the password was incorrect.

So, what do you do if you can't login to your WordPress admin and disable a a plugin? You have two choices:

Choice 1: Disable the Files

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One choice is to disable the plugin's files.

  1. Login to your site's files using the file manager provided by your webhosting company or using an FTP program such as Filezilla.
  2. Browse to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder.
  3. Find the folder of the plugin you wish to disable.
  4. Rename that folder as in the image below:
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Now you can try to login to your WordPress site. You should get a message telling you that the plugin has been disabled.

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Now you can set up about solving the initial problem with the plugin, either by deleting the plugin entirely or by researching and fixing the initial error.

Choice 2: Disable via the Database

The second option is more complicated and that is to disable the plugin via the database. First, you'll need to access the database for your WordPress site. phpMyAdmin is a popular tool for this that's provided by many hosts and it's the one we'll use in this tutorial.

Once you've logged into the database, look for the wp_options table:

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You're looking for a row with the option called active_plugins as below:

tutuploadsmedia_1301329331439.png

If you want to turn off all the plugins on your site, you can simply delete this entire row by clicking on the red X button beside it. That won't cause any lasting harm except for turning off the plugins.

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If you want to disable just one plugin, click on the pencil icon instead:

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You'll now see a screen like the one below:

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All you need to do here is change one thing. Change the a:1 before your plugin name to a:0. So in this case, the original line is:

tutuploadsmedia_1301329959629.png

and you will change that to:

tutuploadsmedia_1301329987412.png

To save your changes and finish disabling the plugin, click Go in the bottom-right corner.

tutuploadsmedia_1301330079695.png

Now you can set up about solving the initial problem with the plugin, either by deleting the plugin entirely or by researching and fixing the initial error.

 

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