How to Deactivate All WordPress Plugins without using wp-admin area?

Apr 3, 2013

How to deactivate WordPress plugins when admin area is not accessible? Sometimes WordPress¬† prevents users from accessing the admin dashboard or admin menus. For example: wordpress white screen or blank dashboard problem. One of the solutions to such a problem is to deactivate all plugins. Yes, incompatible or broken plugins often causes trouble in WordPress powered blogs or websites. But when you can’t access the wp-admin area, how could you possibly deactivate plugins? Is there are way to deactivate all activate WordPress plugins outside of admin area? Don’t worry! There are two easy ways to deactivate all WordPress plugins without logging in to your wp-admin area.

phpMyAdmin Deactivate Plugins

Deactivate all WordPress plugins by using phpMyAdmin:

  1. Login to your web hosting control panel (cPanel).
  2. Open phpMyAdmin and access the database used for your WordPress install.
  3. Find wp_options (prefix wp may be different) and press Browse link next to it.
  4. Find active_plugins row under the column named option_name. To find the row quickly, sort the column in ascending order (by pressing option_name link).
  5. Press the Edit link in the active_plugins row.
  6. Insert window will appear with option_id, option_name and option_value. Replace everything in option_value box with this: a:0:{}
  7. Press the GO button and exit phpMyAdmin.

That’s it! All your WordPress plugins are now deactivated. You can try to login to your WordPress admin area.

Deactivate WordPress Plugins via FTP or the file manager:

  1. Access your WordPress install folder by using FTP or the file manager provided in cPanel.
  2. Open the wp-content folder and select plugins folder inside.
  3. Rename the plugins folder to something like plugins2 or plugins-old.
  4. That should deactivate all WordPress plugins.

Try to login to wp-admin area. If your problem is gone, you can rename the folder (we said plugins2 or plugins-old) back to plugins. That will provide access to all plugins from the WordPress admin area, but none of them are active. To find the problematic plugin, you can activate them one by one. If something goes wrong, deactivate the plugins again and continue the process. This approach often helps in removing WordPress white screen or blank admin problem caused by plugin(s).

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