I have a rather silly situation.

I tried this query

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = 'a:0:{}' WHERE option_name = 'active_plugins';

which disabled all my plugins. I was testing some issues on my site and this was the only solution to disable them. I had no wp admin access.

The problem is that after I add the old code back in "active_plugins" and disabled or enabled any (random) plugins, the site crashes and the "active_plugins" entry becomes blank.

At the moment, the only solution that I see is to overwrite the wp_options table. Using a backup for the whole database is not a good solution due to the fact that the site is an active WooCommerce based site with daily orders.

My question: Is there something important in wp_options that might get lost if I put an older version of it in the database?


The wp_options table holds a lot of information, whether you deem it important or not really depends on what plugins and information you have set up on your website and how important your website is to you.

For example as you've noticed it can hold the information for your active plugins, if you activate an important plugin and then rollback to a database from a week prior, you'll not have that plugin active and that could cause issues - think security plugins, or user enhancement plugins, they're important to you and your users. Even with 500 rows displayed per page in PHPMyAdmin I have 7 pages of data in wp_options I'd say for myself that it's all important for my website - it's security settings for the most part.

The table also holds some crutial information like your site url, home url etc. If you don't have these set up in your wp-config.php file then removing them may cause you some issues too. Also if you've changed the admin email through wp_options and rollback to an older database copy without this change well, it's not the end of the world you can edit it again but if you have plugins that utilise it then they may play up too. It's just unnecessary hassle I think to have to re-edit these things, not a disaster though.

It's better to always back up your database just prior to making changes, that way you can always rollback to a version that's same day to your editing.


Options store all relevant options of your website, including from plugins and themes.

A good way to debug plugins, is using FTP and renaming 'plugins' folder or renaming the folder of the plugin which is throwing the error (checking the PHP Error Log should be helpful to detect which one is)

  • This doesn't currently actually answer their question. – Aravona Oct 27 '15 at 15:11
  • Well it's pretty obvious, if it's store all relevant options of the website, if he overwrite with a backup from a week ago, he will have the same options as a week ago ;) – Bruno Cantuaria Oct 27 '15 at 15:14
  • Whilst that is true, and you've given a better way to debug - you still didn't answer if there was anything specifically important in the options table. – Aravona Oct 27 '15 at 15:15
  • I thought I had a problem with a plugin on the site, but was caused by something else. There's no need for me to debug which plugin works or not at the moment. They all work well. The problem is somewhere else. – Punct Ulica Oct 27 '15 at 15:17
  • Maybe with the theme? It also can interact with the options table. Remember that individually plugin and themes may work well, but may conflict when used at same time. – Bruno Cantuaria Oct 27 '15 at 16:05

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