When my plugin is deactivated, I want to get a confirmation from the user whether all plugin options/tables need to be deleted or left as it is. Based on the option selected, I want to proceed further. Is it possible ? If yes, how ?

  • 2
    Yes it is possible but don't confuse deactivation for uninstall. They are two very different things. You actually don't want to delete anything when a plugin is deactivated. When they uninstall is when you want to ask the user if they want to delete settings. Look into the register_uninstall_hook
    – user23654
    Sep 5, 2013 at 13:54
  • There is a discussion here which doesn't directly answer your question but will certainly help with your question: wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/25910/…
    – Matt.C
    Sep 5, 2013 at 13:58
  • @Matt.C Yes, I have gone thru the link but did not serve my purpose. Thanx though :) Sep 5, 2013 at 14:26

2 Answers 2


I have implemented a workaround with JavaScript. I'm loading my own JavaScript file:

wp_enqueue_script('wp-deactivation-message', plugins_url('js/message.js', dirname(__FILE__)), array());

which contains a script that adds following Event Listener - when user clicks on our plugin deactivate button it prevent it from performing this action and display a JavaScript popup asking what you need, if user accepts it will be deactivated, if user press 'cancel' nothing happens:


window.onload = function(){
        document.querySelector('[data-slug="plugin-name-here"] a').addEventListener('click', function(event){
            var urlRedirect = document.querySelector('[data-slug="plugin-name-here"] a').getAttribute('href');
            if (confirm('Are you sure you want to save this thing into the database?')) {
                window.location.href = urlRedirect;
            } else {
                console.log('Ohhh, you are so sweet!')
  • document.querySelector('[data-slug="plugin-name-here"] a') is not perfect, there could be more than one links inside the div with data-slug, like deactivate, delete or more. It should be more like: document.querySelector('[data-slug="plugin-name-here"] .deactivate a')
    – Jamal Khan
    Mar 2, 2020 at 9:46
  • Does this work with an uninstall.php process that deletes options? What I'd really like to see is a choice to 'delete plugin and options' and 'delete plugin/keep options' and 'cancel' when someone hits the Delete on the admin/plugins screen (after deactivating). Jan 25, 2022 at 1:11

I had trouble with the dirname(__FILE__) for some reason, so I changed my code to this, where bkj-functions is my plugin slug.

wp_enqueue_script('wp-deactivation-message', plugins_url('js/message-deactivate.js', __FILE__), array());

with the following contents for js/message-dactivate.js (since I only need an "Alert" and not a "Confirm"):

window.onload = function(){
    document.querySelector('[data-slug="bkj-functions"] .deactivate a').addEventListener('click', function(event){
        alert("Reminder: If you are using the 'class' taxonomy for styling, that may disappear when this plugin has been deactivated.")

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