Due to a PHP upgrade on my server, one of my installed plugins stopped working and throws a fatal error. As I can't login to admin area of the site as a result of the plugin failure I can't uninstall that plugin. Now can I delete plugin's files directly using FTP? Will this cause any problems?


I've found, the culprit plugin was unnecessary, I've removed the plugin files using ftp, now site is back, no errors. But I dontt know if this is the proper way. If that plugin were necessary, I would reply the files using new available version.

  • Click 'Edit' in your original post to add this extra information.
    – Howdy_McGee
    Mar 20, 2014 at 13:43

3 Answers 3


In almost all cases you can simply delete the plugin and it will be switched off automatically, and in fact that is advice I've given many times to help reel in broken sites. The same is true for themes.

Some plugins are actually more complicated than that and require additional steps. Notably, the caching plugins tend to fall into that category as some add Drop-Ins or create rewrite rules in .htaccess. Look at the docs for the plugin. If there are special unistall instructions you will need to address those. Otherwise, simply deleting it should be fine.

The chance of actually damaging data is pretty small in either case, though data can become inaccessible-- or not easily accessible anyway.

  • I would agree with this, but I would also say that deleting a plugin from your FTP would be considered a bad practice. Unless you know the plugin intimately, you don't really know what exactly the plugin is connected to, be it the database, htaccess, etc.
    – Howdy_McGee
    Mar 20, 2014 at 14:30
  • 1
    If your site is suffering a fatal error due to a plugin this is nearly the only choice. The other option is to hand edit the MySQL database to try to deactivate the plugin, which is in my opinion even more dangerous.
    – s_ha_dum
    Mar 20, 2014 at 14:33

Yes, you can delete plugin file via FTP, WordPress will recognize that file is missed and will show you a message the first time you'll log in and visit plugin page.

The only problem you'll experience is the missing plugin functionality.


As long as you go to the Plugin folder and delete the Plugin file you Do Not want anymore it's fine. Wordpress is not negatively affected by deleting files from the root(As long as they are Themes/Plugins etc. and not Core Files)

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