Are there any special procedures needed to remove a plugin manually?

I have some plugins I need to remove but can't access the /wp-admin area till they are removed.

2 Answers 2


Addition to @PatJ answer:

Keep in mind that an uninstall/deactivation functions won't trigger. So in case the plugin(s) in question leave back a lot of DB entries, you'll have to manually clean up the DB.

Another option would (maybe) be to use WP CLI and try to manually trigger any uninstall functions. This will only work for plugins not properly coded, because if they are, then the functions won't trigger if it isn't a uninstall task or the nonce checks will fail.


You can sign in to your site via FTP or SSH and move the plugin files/directories from the WordPress plugin directory (normally wp-content/plugins). If the files are missing, I believe WordPress will deactivate the plugin automatically.

Edited to add: As @Milo suggests, you can also simply rename the plugin's file/folder. For instance, if you're using a plugin whose folder is named myplugin, changing it to broken.myplugin will cause WordPress to deactivate your plugin.

See Managing Plugins for more details.

  • 2
    or just rename the file/directory and it will be deactivated, no need to move anything.
    – Milo
    Oct 21, 2013 at 16:12

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