How to disable a WordPress plugin via FTP

In my post, I am going to show you how to disable WordPress plugins via FTP, step by step. If you are unable to get access to your WordPress admin, you may have a plugin conflict and need to disable your plugins.

Let’s do that step by step.

Step one – Download an FTP client.

I recommend using Filezilla it is free to download and install to your computer. You can download Filezilla’s installation file at

I have a full tutorial on downloading, installing and setting up Filezilla at ‘How to download, install, and connect Filezilla to your website.’

Step two – Connect to your website via FTP.

Launch Filezilla and connect to your website. Your website files appear in the two windows on the right. Your computer files appear in the two windows on the left.

how to disable a WordPress plugin via FTP

If you are having problems connecting to your site, check out my tutorial on connecting to your site via Filezilla post.

Step three – Go to the root directory of your website.

In the window on the top right, scroll down and double click on ‘public_html’. Now you are in the root directory of your website.

All the folders and files in the website root directory are in the bottom window.

Root directory

Step four – Open the ‘WP-content’ file.

In your website root directory, double-click on ‘wp-content.’

Open wp_content

Now all the folders and files contained in your wp_content directory are displayed in the bottom window.

Step five – Rename the plugins directory.

To disable all your WordPress plugins, rename the plugins directory by adding add ‘off’ to the current name.

Right-click on ‘plugins’ and select ‘Rename’ from the menu.

Rename the plugins directory

Don’t delete the name, add something like ‘Old’ or ‘Off’ to the end. When you want to reactivate your WordPress plugins, you won’t have to worry about remembering the original name.

Add off or old to the original name

Click anywhere on the screen to complete the task. Now all your WordPress plugins are disabled.

All WordPress plugins are disabled

Now you can rename your plugins folder back to the original name. Renaming the folder brings back your installed plugins. They are all deactivated.

Rename the plugin folder
Plugins are deactivated

If you have a plugin issue, reactivate your plugins one by one to find the plugin that is causing your problem.

How to disable individual plugins

To disable an individual plugin, open the ‘Plugins’ directory and rename the plugin folder. As before, add ‘Old’ or ‘Off’ to the end so that you don’t have to remember the original name when you change it back.

Disable individual plugins

How to disable a WordPress plugin via FTP video tutorial

How to disable a WordPress plugin via Filezilla
Watch this video on YouTube.


If you can’t log into your WordPress admin because of a plugin issue, then using an FTP client is an excellent tool to deactivate problem plugins.

Once you connect to your website with your FTP client, find the ‘plugin’ folder in the ‘wp-content’ directory and rename it. Renaming disables all your installed plugins.

Filezilla is free to download, install, and use. I use it all the time and recommend it. If you have any issue, feel free to contact me with a comment below. I will do my best to help you.

If you would like to learn how to upload a WordPress theme using Filezilla, check out my ‘How to upload a WordPress theme using Filezilla‘ post or watch my YouTube tutorial.

Before you leave to download Filezilla, would you kindly spare one minute to leave me a comment? Did my post help you? Would you like me to do another tutorial? I appreciate your feedback.

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