To test why a few plugins where not working I had created a new folder and moved 95% of my plugins into that folder named: plugins-null. Well after I visited my site admin and figured out it wasn't any of my other plugins effecting the issues I went in and used the new folder named plugins-null and just changed its name to plugins and deleted the old plugin folder. Well when I visited my admin area again all of my plugins were there but none were activated. I have a multisite with 89 plugins I would hate to have to reactivate them all.

Am I missing something? Any ideas where I went wrong?

  • WordPress probably auto deactivated the plugins when you renamed and visited the site
    – kero
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


Typically when you visit the actual plugins page in admin with the folder renamed it will detect this and deactivate missing plugins by updating the active_plugins option... otherwise it will leave the option intact and unchanged. At least on single site, I am not fully sure on multisite if anything else triggers this update.

However if you have a backup of your database, you should be able to retrieve the active_plugins option and reapply it through say phpMyAdmin. Again this may be different for multisite (though I don't think it is, just doing it for the correct table should be all you need.)

  • 1
    Just to add, for the network activated plugins, they are stored in the wp_sitemeta database table in a row with meta_key called active_sitewide_plugins. And for the plugins activated on each site, they are stored in each wp_X_options table in a row with option_name called active_plugins. The table names might have a different prefix and the X is the site ID.
    – Nikolay
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 14:24
  • Thank you both I am already reviewing our DB backup from yesterday and updating the correct values.
    – Denoteone
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 15:17

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