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How to properly uninstall a WordPress plugin

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After you've installed WordPress, usually one of the first things you do is install plugins. Many WordPress beginners often install different plugins to test these out. As your website evolves, you quickly realize that some plugins are no longer suitable for you. Well, it is important to deactivate and remove these plugins.

Have you already installed a WordPress plugin? if not discover How to install (add) a plugin on WordPress

In this tutorial, we will show you how to properly uninstall a WordPress plugin and explain why it is important to do so.

But before we start, if you have never installed WordPress, find out How to Install a WordPress Blog in 7 Steps et How to search, install and activate a WordPress theme on your blog 

Then back to what concerns us.

Why do you have to uninstall a WordPress plugin?

There are thousands of WordPress plugins available, and you can easily install a WordPress Plugin on your website. However, it is also important to uninstall any WordPress plugins that you no longer want to use.

WordPress plugins are like apps that you can run on your website. This gives them enormous control over your website. While plugin authors do their best to keep your websites and plugins safe, history shows us that errors, bugs and flaws are a part of everyday life.

That means all the plugins you do not use on your website may be a potential risk.

Keeping unnecessary files on your website also increases the backup size of your blog. So, it will take longer to download or restore the backup.

Yes, you can certainly install as many WordPress plugins as you need. All the time after a long use, it is important to know how to uninstall a plugin completely.

But before we continue, let's discover real and tested measures ready to help you protect a blog 

The difference between disabling and uninstalling a WordPress plugin

Many users fall into the habit of just deactivating plugins that don't want to use.

Disabling a plugin without permanently removing it is very useful for debugging and bug fixing, because your settings are preserved and you can use them after reactivating the plugin. However, users end up finding a different solution and forget that they have a similar plugin already installed.

List of WordPress plugins

A disabled WordPress plugin can still leave your website vulnerable, as it can still be used to execute malicious code on your blog. Most beginners do not take proper safety measures such as adding a firewall as Sucuri, the deactivation of the execution of PHP, etc ...

Although you have notifications of updates for disabled plugins that are hosted in the WordPress plugins directory, it's not always available to them premium plugins.

That's why we recommend to always disable a plugin if it's a temporary measure. Otherwise we invite you to uninstall the plugin. By properly uninstalling the plugin, you free your database from “useless data”That plugins often leave behind.

How to uninstall a WordPress plugin

WordPress makes it easy to uninstall plugins on the dashboard. Just sign in and access the plugins or extensions page. You will see the list of plugins installed on your website. Active plugins are highlighted with blue as the background color with a link to disable them.

List of active WordPress plugins

Inactive plugins have links to be activated, modified or deleted. You can click the delete link to uninstall the plugin.

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WordPress will ask you to confirm your action.

Removing WordPress plugins

You must click on "Yes, delete these files ". WordPress will safely remove the plugin from your WordPress blog. That's all you need to do to uninstall a plugin. In most cases, this method is enough to really uninstall a plugin.

There are some other steps you can take to remove all traces of the plugin. However, these steps are optional and not recommended for beginners.

What if your WordPress blog is hacked? Read this article.

Deleting additional files added by a WordPress plugin

In most cases, just remove a WordPress plugin to uninstall it completely. However, there are some plugins that store files outside the plugins folder. These files will not be deleted when you uninstall the plugin.

You can check and delete the files stored by the plugin using an FTP client. Log in to your website, then go to the directory " wp-content ».

FTP WordPress wp-content directory

A lot of WordPress backup plugins or gallery et Sliders, create and store data directly in the "wp-content" folder. If you don't have a full backup of your WordPress website, then you should download these files to your computer as a backup.

After that, you will be able to safely delete these files from your server.

Go further by discovering How to understand the structure of WordPress files

How to remove unused shortcodes on WordPress

Many WordPress plugins use shortcodes to add content to your articles or pages. Once you disable or uninstall a plugin, these shortcodes will still be visible in your articles / pages, and they are rather disturbing.


You can easily disable shortcodes by adding this code in your functions.php file your Thème or in your Plugin.

Add_shortcode ('pluginshortcode', '__return_false');

This code will hide the shortcode simply. Do not forget to replace " pluginshortcode With the label of the shortcode in question that you want to hide.

It is important to note that you will need to remove this code if you decide to use this plugin again.

How to clean the database

Some WordPress plugins create their own tables in the WordPress database. If these tables have too much data, then the backup size of your database will also be large.

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You can drop these tables using phpMyAdmin. However, we must warn you that you should be very careful when it comes to making certain operations on your database. As usual, it is strongly recommended to make a full backup of your blog before any major operation.

If you've never done it, find out How to backup and recover your blog with Snapshot Pro

PhpMyAdmin WordPress Hosting

By clicking phpMyAdmin, on the next screen, you will need to select your database, then select the tables you want to delete. You can select multiple tables at once.

maintenance of tables

You will see a warning that will ask you to confirm the deletion. You must click on " Yes To confirm the action. This action is irreversible, so be careful.

Here is ! Now you can successfully uninstall a WordPress plugin.

Discover also some premium WordPress plugins  

You can use other WordPress plugins to give a modern appearance and to optimize the handling or operation of your blog or website.

Here are some premium WordPress plugins that we recommend. 

1. Ultimate Membership Pro

Ultimate Membership Pro is an excellent WordPress subscription and content restriction plugin. It can manage users according to their package (free or premium) by creating exclusive access levels.

Ultimate membership pro wordpress membership plugin

It will therefore be possible to protect all the content of your website, or just part of it. It will be for example a course, a lesson, a page, a product, a category, an image, etc ...

Its main functionalities are among others: content protection, multiple access levels, support for multiple Payment gateways - PayPal,, Stripe, 2CheckOut, Bank Transfer-, partial content protection, and much more ...

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2. Easy Digital Downloads - Dropbox

Easy Digital Downloads - Dropbox gives you the power and ease of use of your downloadable products through the Dropbox infrastructure. Easily choose a file from your Dropbox account using the “Choose in Dropbox”And the plugin will do the rest.

Easy digital downloads dropbox

Its other features include: easy installation, intuitive customization, full integration with Dropbox, clean and modern user interface, multilingual support, extensive documentation and highly responsive customer support.

Download | Demo | Web hosting

3. FileBird

You have thousands of files in your WordPress Media Library, and you have trouble managing them, the FileBird WordPress plugin helps you take the management of your WordPress library to higher levels. 

Filebird media categories folders file manager for wordpress

With this tool, you will be able to manage and organize thousands of images, audios, videos and other files in your media library. one of its outstanding features and its hierarchical view which allows you to quickly find specific files.

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As features, it offers among others: a friendly user interface, an excellent context menu, full control over the toolbar, the possibility of creating unlimited numbers of folders and subfolders, support for several types of files, compatibility with others popular WordPress plugins and themes, the multilingual support and many others.

Download | Demo | Web hosting

Recommended Resources

Find out about other recommended resources to help you build and manage your website.


Here is ! That's all you need to know about uninstalling WordPress plugin. Do not hesitate to contact us if you do not understand a point.

However, you will also be able to consult our resources, if you need more elements to carry out your projects of creation of Internet sites, by consulting our guide on the WordPress blog creation.

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This article features 2 comments

  1. Hello,
    I wish I could have used this tutorial, but when I click on “Extensions”, I don't see the window you are showing at all, but a list of extensions, some with a green inscription, “installed”, but no possibility (no box, no field) to deactivate or uninstall. I will continue my research.
    Anyway, thanks.

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