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How To Disable WordPress Plugins From The Database

Say you just installed a plugin you thought would be really helpful for your site and right after activating it, your site is now dark, broken, and sad. You can’t log in to your /wp-admin to disable the plugin and you’re seemingly stuck. You need to disable the plugin but how?

Did you know you can disable the plugin from the database itself? Yep, sure can! In this knowledgebase article, I’ll show you how!

How To Disable WordPress Plugins From The Database

Pro Tip:

Disabling the plugin via the database is not the only way you can recover your site should a plugin take it down. There are several ways and it’s all about personal preference!

Step 1: Login to your cPanel. There’s a lot of ways to do this, but the sure fire easiest way is to login to your Client Area, then open your cPanel.

Step 2: Once your cPanel is open, scroll down to the Database section and click the phpMyAdmin app to open the utility.

Step 3: Once phpMyAdmin is open, look for your database on the left side and click the + to expand the list of tables within the database.

Step 4: The table in which plugin data is stored is always in _options. Click the table name to open it in phpMyAdmin on the right side.

Step 5: Use the pagination feature to go to page 2 of your database where you should see the option_name is active_plugins.

Step 6: Click the option_value, which in this case looks like this:

Note the portion in the orange box, this is the option_value. To open this text and see it fully, double click it.

Keep in mind, yours will look different than what you see above because you will no doubt have different plugins installed than I do. 🙂

Step 7: To disable your plugins, delete the text in this box. The plugins won’t be uninstalled, simply set to deactivated status.

To save your changes, click anywhere in the table view outside of the box where you deleted the text.

You will see a message appear ever so briefly which states 1 row affected.

Step 8: Now return to your website and try to access your /wp-admin and you should be able to!

And that’s how you use phpMyAdmin to disable the plugins you’ve installed in your WordPress site!

If you still encounter issues, be sure to contact our Happiness Engineers 24×7!

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Updated on March 18, 2022

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