I have inherited a WP multisite without the access to the main site (network admin). I need to install a plugin and have unpacked it via FTP but need to enable it and can't. Any way of doing this via MySQL?

2 Answers 2


There's an option in the wp_sitemeta table with meta_key 'menu_items'

enter image description here

this value is referred to the checkbox "Administration menu" of the page /wp-admin/network/settings.php (accessible only to siteadmins) that allows the activation of plugins on single sites. enter image description here

I've not tested but using the value a:1:{s:7:"plugins";s:1:"1";} and having the plugin uploaded via ftp you should see the plugin page on the site you've access to..

  • @kaperto @andrea I don't have the _sitemeta table? prntscr.com/kd9tln
    – sixli
    Aug 1, 2018 at 9:10
  • quite weird ..(?) codex.wordpress.org/… Aug 1, 2018 at 9:15
  • you're looking into a paginate sidebar of tables? I see wp_14 as prefix in your screenshot Aug 1, 2018 at 9:16
  • looking at some other installs I have from Softaculous, the don't have that table either (basic WP installs, not even multisite)
    – sixli
    Aug 1, 2018 at 9:18
  • _sitemeta is specific for multisite you will not find in a standard installation Aug 1, 2018 at 9:21

If you have SQL acces, you can change your account privileges to become a super-admin.

To do that, got to the table ..._sitemeta and add your username to the option site_admins. It's a serialized array then if you have already a user admin, you will put something like a:2:{i:0;s:5:"admin";i:1;s:5:"sixli";}.

look the manual for https://secure.php.net/serialize

  • of course this answer @Kaperto is much stronger , I would say "resolutive"!! lol, mine is less intrusive Aug 1, 2018 at 9:02
  • thanks @Kaperto - any ideas on why I don't have the _sitemap table?
    – sixli
    Aug 1, 2018 at 9:20

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