I attemped to edit .PHP files associated with a plugin through the Editor in Dashboard while the plugin was active - all .PHP files associated with that plugin have now been marked 'inactive' and the changes are not being reflected on the site.

The changes I have made to these documents are reflected in the actual .PHP files when I look at them directly through cPanel's File Manager, and for the life of me I cannot find where the cached .PHP documents are.

Other material on the Internet indicates that if WP detects an error caused by such an edit, it will automatically mark the .PHP files 'inactive' and operate the site using cached versions of those files. Uninstalling and reinstalling the plugin has been suggested as a solution, but this has not worked for me.

Most of the material I have found is several years old - is anyone aware of a fix that has been discovered recently?

1 Answer 1


If you edit plugin files and cause the plugin to trigger an error, it will deactivate the plugin. It doesn't do any sort of caching of plugin files, not sure where you're getting that info.

To reactivate the plugin, you just have to go back to the plugins page and reactivate the plugin. Of course, if you don't fix the error you created, it's not going to successfully reactivate the plugin. The other option is to replace the plugin files with the original versions, then activate the plugin.

As far as files being marked inactive is concerned, the only plugin file where that info is meaningful is the main plugin file. Any other files within the plugin will always say inactive, whether the plugin they belong to is activated or not. There's an old Trac ticket about this, it's a known issue that may one day be fixed.

The lesson here- never use the editor. It causes more problems than it solves.

  • Here's the puzzling part: the plugin has remained active the whole time - it's simply not reflecting my changes. Nonetheless, I'll steer clear of the editor in future. Thanks for the assistance
    – eirikur
    Feb 21, 2015 at 10:28

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