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How to Deactivate WordPress Plugins through PHPMyAdmin

Sometimes after you migrate a wordpress site from one hosting provider to another hosting provider, errors pop up complaining about some files in some plugins. In some cases it goes totally blank.

While there can be many reasons for this, the main issue seems to be different PHP versions on different hosting providers. Some wordpress functions are no longer supported in newer versions of PHP – usually version 7.0 – and it breaks the site.

In some cases you will be able to login to dashboard which makes it easy to debug. Usually the debugging process in such cases consists of deactivating all the plugins and then reactivating them one by one to detect which one is causing issues.

But in cases where the entire site goes blank and/or you can not even login to the dashboard, it makes sense to deactivate the plugins directly on database through a tool like PhpMyAdmin.

Note that there are other database management tools like PhpMyAdmin which you can use for the same result.

Here are the steps

  1. Login to your sites’s database management screen through PhpMyAdmin.
  2. Look for wp_options table in your wordpress database.
  3. Navigate to the row where option_name is active_plugins
  4. Edit – copy the entire value to notepad and then delete the value
  5. Save the table

Now you should be able to login to your dashboard. Then reactivate the plugins one by one and find out which one was creating problems.

The reason you should keep the copy of the active_plugins value somewhere is that, after you debug and fix the plugin causing problem, you can paste the values back to the table row and get back all the previously active plugins before the issue started.

Do you have any other methods to achieve the same thing? Share in the comments below.