Plugins are an integral part of WordPress website development allowing users to easily extend the functionality of their interfaces. People can easily find a plugin- whether for free or at a price for every conceivable functionality. Many users search job boards featuring WordPress developers for hire to look for professionals who can build a custom plugin for them. In this article, we are presenting a simple method to disable WordPress plugins through database. Most of the time, plugins can be managed simply by accessing the admin dashboard. One of the biggest reasons for the popularity of the open-source CMS is its intuitive dashboard but there can arise a scenario where a user is unable to access the panel. This method will come in handy in such a case. Let’s take a look at the step by step procedure to conduct the process.
Step 1: Accessing The WordPress Database In PhpMyAdmin
In order to disable a plugin through the database, we need to access phpMyAdmin. For this, we will first log on to the cPanel Of the website on which the plugin is installed. The cPanel is the control utility provided by website hosting service providers to users for managing their interfaces. Use your username and password to log on to the cPanel. On successfully entering the control panel, you will come across a section named “Databases”. In the various options listed under it, you can easily spot phpMyAdmin.
Click on the phpMyAdmin icon to open the program. The page that opens now will contain a navigation menu at the top and different options in the middle. When you look to the left, you will find a list of the databases. The list will contain only one entry for a database if the account is being used to host a single website. In case, more than one interfaces are being hosted, then you will see multiple databases in the list. Locate the database of the website from which the plugin needs to be disabled and click on it.
Step 2: Locating The Plugin In The Database
Once the database has been located and opened successfully, all the tables of the website will be visible. It will be difficult for an amateur to locate the table for plugins as there is no separate dedicated table for them. The other data tables like wp_posts or wp_users can be easily identified by their names. The information related to plugins is stored in the wp_options table.
Many hosting services change the default “wp_” prefix of WordPress databases because of security considerations. Customized database names will make it even more difficult for technically deficient users to find the correct table.
However, once you locate the wp_options and click it, a new page will open containing numerous rows. Find a row called active_plugins in the list under the option_name column. It can be hard to locate for beginners who have no previous experience of handling phpMyAdmin. There are multiple rows and it can be a time-consuming process for most people. Refer to the image given above to see how the row looks in the table.
Step 3: Disabling The Plugin
This is the final step of our easy method to disable WordPress plugins through database. After locating the active_plugins click the “Edit” button in the beginning at the left of the row. You will be directed to the next page where you will see all the values contained in the row. This field has a string which contains all the active plugins. Copy the string and save it so that it can be used to restore the changes if something goes wrong during the process.
Delete all the contents of the field and in their place insert the following string:
This small line of code tells your WordPress installation that there are no active plugins on the website. The value “0” communicates the information that there are zero plugins active on the interface. The original value of the string tells the number of plugins that were active on the website. After making the change, click on the “Go” tab located at the bottom of the page to save the changes. Go back to your website and you will see that all plugins have been disabled.
This simple method to disable WordPress plugins through database will be helpful for users who want to resolve a plugin-related issue but are unable to do so as they cannot access the admin dashboard of their website.
Brandon Graves is a WordPress website developer. He has a great passion for providing easy tips to solve WordPress errors, and perform the migrate website to wordpress services. To get frequent updates from him, follow him on Google Plus.