Does the Wordpress theme browser have a name? I looked in its code and don't see something spesific and when I search Google I get other topics.

To disable the theme browser and keep upload theme button active, I would like to add some code like:

add_filter('theme_browser', '__return_false');

Actually I want to disable both the theme browser and the plugin browser. Is there a way to do this but keep the upload theme button active and upload plugin button active?

2 Answers 2


You can block the API.

add_action('themes_api', 'se_block_api');
add_action('plugins_api', 'se_block_api');
function se_block_api(){
  • Good idea. That works partly, but then displays an error and also the javascript would still be running I think; slowing the page. I think a filter would be better, if there was one, then that would stop the javascript from trying to load the theme/plugin browsers, at php level. -- But might use your method for a while. Thanks.
    – Angel Hess
    Commented Feb 24, 2022 at 22:17

Use action to block themes API, and filter to block plugins API.

add_action('themes_api', function() { exit; });
add_filter('plugins_api', function() { return new stdClass(); });

If you don't like seeing the spinner, you can just hide it using CSS:

add_action('admin_head', function() {
    echo '<style>body.theme-install-php .spinner, body.plugin-install-php .spinner { display: none !important; }</style>';

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