WordPress – How To Disable A Plugin Via FTP Step By Step

In my post, I show you how to disable a WordPress plugin using an FTP client, step by step.

If you can’t log in to your WordPress admin page, disabling your plugins is one option to resolve this issue. But how do you turn off WordPress plugins if you can’t access your admin page?

The answer is to use an FTP client to connect to your website.

Disable a WordPress plugin via FTP quick how-to guide.

  1. Download and install an FTP client.
  2. Connect to your website via the FTP.
  3. Open the public_html folder.
  4. Open the wp-content folder.
  5. Rename the plugins folder.
  6. All your plugins are disabled.

Let’s do that step by step.

How To Disable A Plugin Via FTP

Step One – Download An FTP Client

I recommend using Filezilla. You can download Filezilla’s installation file at https://filezilla-project.org.

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

Step Two – Connect To Your Website Via FTP

Launch Filezilla and connect to your website. Your website files are on the right. Your computer files are on the left.

how to disable a WordPress plugin via FTP

Step Three – Open public_html

On the right, double click on the ‘public_html’ folder.

All files and folders for your site appear in the bottom window.

Root directory

Step Four – Open wp-content

Double-click the ‘wp-content’ folder.

Your plugins are in this folder.

Open wp_content

Step Five – Rename The Plugins Folder

To disable all your current WordPress plugins, rename the plugins folder.

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

Rename the plugins directory

Type ‘off’ after ‘plugins’.

Add off or old to the original name

Click anywhere on the screen to complete the task. All your WordPress plugins are now disabled.

Return to your WordPress login page and try to log in again.

If you can successfully log in, the list of your installed plugins will look like this.

All WordPress plugins are disabled

Return to the FTP client and change the plugin folder name to plugins.

Your installed plugins are deactivated. You can re-activate them individually to find the one causing the issues.

Rename the plugin folder
Plugins are deactivated

If you want to disable one of your installed plugins, continue reading.

How To Disable Individual WordPress Plugins

First, double-click the ‘plugins’ folder to disable an individual WordPress plugin. All your installed plugins show in the bottom window.

Right-click on the plugin you want to disable and select Rename. Type ‘off’ after the plugin name to disable.

Click anywhere on the screen to complete the name change.

Disable individual plugins

How To Disable WordPress Plugins Via FTP Video Tutorial


When I was new to blogging, I had an occasion when I could not log in to my WordPress Admin due to a plugin conflict.

I learned to access my plugin folder by using an FTP client.

Once you gain access to the plugin folder, renaming it disables all plugins.

Alternatively, you can rename individual plugins within the folder.

I recommend using Filezilla. It is free to install and use. Filezilla is also an excellent tool to save essential website files to your computer.

For more WordPress tutorials, please check out my YouTube Channel.

Should you have any questions or would like to request a WordPress tutorial. Please leave your questions or requests in the comment box below.

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