How to Deactivate a WordPress Plugin If You Can’t Login to Dashboard

Updated: February 7, 2022

When your WordPress website is experiencing an error, the very first thing you can do to troubleshoot is by finding the error cause. One of the possible error causes is plugin incompatibility. In such as a case, you can find out which plugin caused the error by temporarily deactivating them one by one. But, what if you can’t login to the WordPress dashboard?

To deactivate a certain WordPress plugin, you usually login to the dashboard and go to the plugin managed screen (Plugins -> Installed Plugins). From here, you can simply click the Deactivate link on the plugin you want to deactivate. There is an alternative way to deactivate a WordPress plugin if you can’t login to the dashboard: by renaming the folder of the plugin.

To be able to rename the folder of the plugin, you need to have access to the file manager on your web hosting service. The methods to access the file manager are varied, depending on the web hosting service you use. If you use a web hosting service that offers cPanel, you can login to cPanel and click the File Manager menu under the Files section.

Click public_html and select a folder associated with your website (if you have multiple websites on your account). Go to wp-content/plugins and find the folder of the plugin you want to deactivate. Right-click and select Rename to rename the folder. You can rename the folder to something like “plugin-disable”.

To reactivate the plugin, you can simply revert the folder name to the original name.

Accessing File Manager on Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting

If you use the managed WordPress hosting service from Bluehost and want to access file manager, first, login to Bluehost with your account and click the Manage site button to manage your site.

Click the Settings tab and scroll down to the Advanced section. Click the View button on File Manager to open file manager.

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