How to Uninstall WordPress Plugin in Proper Way

Uninstalling any plugin may sound like pretty simple task, however there are some factors you will need to consider while uninstalling any plugin. An improperly uninstalled plugin can cause complications in your website. The traces and footprints left behind by any uninstalled plugin can still cause major impacts on your website performance. By installing plugins you are agreeing to add plugin’s extra unidentified code into your site. This can cause a major security threat. Not all the plugin developer’s are experienced. Using a faulty plugin made by a amateur developer can cause serious accidents, if they are not properly disposed. Even if your plugin is uninstalled, you will need to clear out any rewrite rules added by the plugin. You have to remove all the options and settings specific to plugin and any database values. This article shows how to uninstall WordPress plugin in proper way.

As you started any website you might have tried and tested lots of plugins to increase the functionality of your website. Obviously you will not require all the plugins you installed. So it is important that you learn proper techniques to uninstall the plugin. Not all the plugins are safe either.

Deactivating Plugin is Not Equal to Uninstalling it

Simply deactivating a plugin instead of uninstalling it is a blunder. A deactivated plugin’s settings and configurations will still be alive and moreover their suspicious code are still running in your site making it vulnerable. Hackers can use your deactivated plugins to run malicious codes, which can end up being a complete disaster when you don’t have a firewall such as Sucuri. Since you can download and reinstall any plugin again, it is a better idea to uninstall all the inactive plugin instead of deactivating it.

How to Uninstall WordPress Plugin in Proper Way

The traditional and easiest way to uninstall any plugin is from Admin area. You might have uninstalled a plugins many times before but if you are trying to uninstall a plugin for the first time here are the ways:

1. Login in to your Dashboard and navigate to plugins > Installed Plugins

How to Uninstall WordPress Plugin in Proper Way

2. It shows the list of active and inactive plugins. Active plugins do not have option to delete so first deactivate the plugin that you want to uninstall.

How to Uninstall WordPress Plugin in Proper Way

3. Click the Delete link below the deactivated plugins to uninstall it.
4. This gives you the conformation message asking if you really want to delete the plugin. Click on Yes,delete these files.

How to Uninstall WordPress Plugin in Proper Way

Now your plugin is uninstalled or deleted. After you uninstall a plugin you will need to clear out all the traces of it. Here are few measures you can take to completely clean out your plugins. Obviously these techniques are optional and require some professional knowledge.

Removing the extra files created by plugin from the wp_content

Lot of plugins like gallery plugin and slider plugin store data by creating some extra files in wp_content folder in your WordPress files. You need to delete all the files relating to that plugin from that folder. You can get access to wp_content file through your cPanel or from FTP. Before you delete any files from the folder make sure you create a backup. Keeping any files and folder of deleted plugin is useless, so you have to be safe deleting those unnecessary files.

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Get Rid of All Shortcodes

Shortcodes are used by many plugins to perform their action. While using plugins, shortcodes are placed in various places of your website. Even when the plugin is removed the shortcode remains being completely nonfunctional. The nonfunctional shortcode may appear at different locations of your site making your site ugly. To disable shortcode add the following codes in function.php file.

add_shortcode( 'pluginshortcode', '__return_false' );

The code simply neutralizes and disables the shortcode. You have to replace the plugin shortcode in the above code with the shortcode of the specific plugin. If you ever want to use the same plugin again you have to delete the above code in order to run the plugin successfully again.

Cleaning Database

Few plugins have the ability to create their own tables in the database field. The tables are using the extra space. So it is wise to delete the related tables of the uninstalled plugin. To enter into the database, you have to open the phpMyAdmin from the cPanel. This opens all the list of tables of your website. Identify the tables related the specific plugin and delete it. To delete any table you have to select the table and click on the Drop option. It is highly recommended that you create a backup of tables you are about to delete. You can check our guide on Backing Up WordPress Database Using phpMyAdmin to learn about backing up database.

Having problems in your website due to deleted plugins is like being hunted by the ghost. Finally, its time to chase away the ghost. Now you can completely get rid of the dead plugins using these techniques.

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Kantiman Bajracharya

Kantiman Bajracharya

Kantiman Bajracharya is a freelance web developer. He is a computer geek who has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. He has earned lots of satisfied customers while working for numerous successful projects. He is also a WordPress theme creator and web article writer. On free time he likes reading philosophy books, traveling and playing chess.

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