Is it possible to remove a broken theme from WordPress using only the WordPress dashboard? i.e, without using cpanel or FTP?

Background: When you are doing customer support, its rare that you have access to the user's FTP or cpanel, but its pretty simple for them to set you up as a temporary user to troubleshoot their site.

  • 1
    Is this a single site or multi site? If single, maybe just delete it from the themes library? As admin you can do this through Appearance menu.
    – Steven
    Nov 25, 2010 at 15:09
  • Ops, I completely forgot you could do that while writing my answer. :) Don't think I ever used admin to delete theme, usually just nuke folder via FTP.
    – Rarst
    Nov 25, 2010 at 16:25
  • In this case, appearance menu just has a message at the bottom that the theme is broken, but does not list the them or thumbnail in the grid of installed themes. WP 3.0.1
    – Scott B
    Nov 26, 2010 at 4:08
  • Does it show up in Editor so my answer applies?
    – Rarst
    Nov 26, 2010 at 6:54
  • @rarst: No. The user has run out of disk space, so this might be an isolated case.
    – Scott B
    Nov 28, 2010 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


You can use Appearance > Editor to kill theme's header in style.css. Won't really remove it, but will prevent it from showing up as available in WP.


When you not have enough rights on the files, then is the editor not possible. You can use a database-tool; i use "Adminer" as plugin inside WordPress, install via automaticly installer and then you can edit inside the database. Search in the table _options, entries "template" and "stylesheet" and kill the values for this two entries. After this you can set a new theme normaly. Alternative you can set a new value for template and stylesheet. alt text See on the example screenshot for the values "greyfoto", this is the value for the theme.

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