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Disable a WordPress plugin with FTP

Sometimes you need to deactivate a plugin while troubleshooting an issue on your WordPress website. If you're unable to log in to WordPress, you can disable plugins with FTP. You can use any FTP app, but these steps describe disabling plugins with FileZilla.

  1. Connect to your hosting with FTP.
  2. In the Remote site section, locate the folder with your WordPress website.
  3. Navigate to the /wp-content/plugins folder.
  4. Select and hold (or right-click) the folder with the plugin you want to disable, and select Rename.
  5. Add the suffix .renamed to the folder name. For example, if you use the Akismet plugin, rename the akismet folder to akismet.renamed. This deactivates the Akismet plugin.

    Note: If you are investigating an error, continue with steps 6 and 7. If you just want to deactivate a particular plugin, skip to step 9.

  6. Visit or reload your site in a browser in a private browsing mode.
  7. If you still see the error, repeat steps 4,5 and 6 with the next plugin until the site loads correctly. The last plugin you renamed was the one causing the error.
  8. Rename all plugin folders back to their original names except for the one with the faulty plugin.
    Warning: If you sign in to your WordPress dashboard while some plugins are still renamed, do not visit the plugins page within the dashboard. Visiting that page will disable all renamed plugins in the database, so they won't be enabled automatically after you rename them to their original name. You'll have to activate the plugins from the WordPress dashboard.
  9. Optional: If you want to deactivate the plugin in the database, leave its folder renamed until you sign in to your WordPress dashboard and visit the plugins page. After that, rename the plugin's folder to the original name in the FTP app.

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