| Joomla

How to Disable a Joomla Plugin via phpMyAdmin

It happens. One day you visit your website, and there’s this weird error across the top of the screen throwing off your layout and making your site look horrible.

We can help you with that!

A client came to me last week with this exact issue. The error across the page was:

/plugins/system/rokupdater/lib/local/RokUpdater/Container.php" at line 214

plugin error

The error was throwing off the layout of the entire page.

I went to the backend where I was greeted with the same error. Logged in and was given another error instructing me to return to the dashboard where it promptly logged me back out. I knew what I had to do. And you will to.


Getting to phpMyAdmin

To access phpMyAdmin, you’ll need access to the hosting account. If you don’t have access, you’ll need to get it or have someone with access do a screen share with you. Some hosts block phpMyAdmin and if this is the case for you, you’ll need to contact them to assist you.

Once you’re logged into your hosting account:

  • Go to phpMyAdmin 

Some hosting accounts may call it Databases. The example below is using cPanel.

  • Click phpMyAdmin

cPanel phpmyadmin

You’ll be greeted with this screen.

03 phpmyadmin home screen

If you only have one database on the account, you’ll only see one database listed on the left-hand sidebar. If you have multiple databases, you’ll need to know which one to access. See 2 Reasons to access configuration.php  if you need to know how to determine which database is being used by your site.

In our case, we’ll be accessing the j3xx9 database.

  • Click the database name

04 databases

We need to get to the plugins table – the error tells us this. The plugins table is in the _extensions table.

  • Type extensions into the search bar

06 extensions table

  • Click on the _extensions table

You’ll then see a list in the main content area with all the tables in the _extensions area.

Use the filters to have more than 25 rows display, or simply sort through each page until you find the plugins. Continue until you find the plugin name you are seeking.

With the error we had, we were looking for the RokUpdater plugin. I have already fixed the RokUpdater issue for my client, so I’ll be using a content plugin called sigplus as an example instead.

  • Click Edit next to the appropriate plugin entry

07 edit entry

  • Change the 1 to 0 in the Enabled field

0 = disabled
1 = enabled

08 change to 0 to disable plugin

  • Scroll to the bottom of the entry
  • Click Go

09 Go

At this point, visit the frontend of your website. The error should be gone. If you had more than one error, you’ll need to repeat these steps for each extension.

10 no more error

Then, login to the backend of your site. You’ll need to sort out if the plugin (or any extension) needs an update or to be uninstalled. If there is an update, run a backup and install the update. Test it. If the extension is no longer supported or needed, uninstall the extension.

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About the author

Jenn has worked with Joomla since 2006 and for clients since 2010. She co-organised the JUG Bay Area for many years and volunteers for the Joomla! Project regularly. Originally from Santa Cruz, CA, she now lives near Austin, TX.