Steps to Completely Uninstall a WordPress Plugin

Installation of plugins is the first step you undertake after installing WordPress. Plugins are a great way to enhance functioning of WordPress. However, there are many that become unnecessary and even cause problem by taking a lot of space. The best solution is to deactivate and delete unnecessary plugins.

Here’s how you can uninstall a WordPress plugin:

How to Uninstall a WordPress Plugin

This is an easier process:

Step 1: Login to WordPress dashboard.

Step 2: Now go to the Plugins page.

Step 3: This will display a complete list of presently installed plugins on website. All active plugins are highlighted in blue background color. These also possess a link below to deactivate them.

Inactive plugins possess links underneath for:

  • Activating
  • Editing
  • Deleting

You simply need to click on delete link under plugin you wish to uninstall. Now WordPress will notify you to confirm if you wish to delete the plugin.

Delete and Uninstall

Another way is to delete a WordPress plugin for uninstalling it.

Step 1: Click on button that reads ‘Yes, delete these files’. This will prompt WordPress to remove plugin very safely from web server.

Step 2: You have uninstalled the desired plugin successfully from WordPress site.

Remove Extra Files

In most cases, merely deleting a plugin will uninstall it fully. However, some plugins may store files outside the plugins folder. These files do not get deleted on uninstalling the plugin. So you need to check and delete files through FTP client. The process involves connecting to preferred website through FTP and visiting the folder – /wp-content/.

How to Delete Extra Plugin Files

You can do this via using FTP. Many of the following elements of WordPress tend to create and store data directly in the wp-content folder:

  • Backup plugins
  • Gallery plugins
  • Sliders

It is important to download these files to PC as backup if you do not have full backup of WordPress site. Later on, you can safely delete the files from server.

Eliminating Unused Shortcodes

Shortcodes are used by WordPress plugins for adding things into pages or posts. After uninstalling or deactivating plugin, the shortcodes will be visible in posts. These are unsightly.

It is easy to disable shortcodes via adding code in functions.php file of theme or a plugin (site-specific).

Adding the code stated below will add the shortcode back and display nothing. You need to replace pluginshortcode with the shortcode tag that’s used by plugin you wish to remove.

add_shortcode( ‘pluginshortcode’, ‘__return_false’ );

This code must be removed whenever you decide to use that specific plugin again.

WordPress Database – The Art of Cleaning Up

There are a number of plugins that create tables in the database of WordPress. In case, these tables hold excess data within, these might increase the backup size of WordPress. So it is better to delete them. Use of phpMyadmin will delete the tables.

When making changes to database of WordPress, you must be extremely careful. Experts recommend complete backup of WordPress prior to performing an action. Most providers of WordPress hosting and WordPress Maintenance Services propose cPanel with phpMyAdmin. Thereafter, follow these steps:

Step 1: Login to the cPanel account.

Step 2: Scroll down to database section to reach phpMyAdmin icon.

Step 3: Click on the icon to launch phpMyAdmin.

Step 4: Click on database and choose the tables you wish to delete. A drop down is seen under the tables list. This is labeled as ‘with selected’.

Step 5: Make sure you click on this drop down. Now select ‘Drop’.

Step 6: A warning stating that you are deleting the tables will be received.

Step 7: Click ‘Yes’ to confirm the action. This action is irreversible. Restoration of these tables is not possible without a backup.

Step 8: Now confirm you wish to delete tables. This step will prompt phpMyAdmin to drop the tables and delete all data in those tables.