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How to deactivate a WordPress theme for troubleshooting

  • Applies to: Grid
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 10
    • Tools Required: phpMyAdmin access, FTP access, or SSH access
  • Applies to: DV
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 10
    • Tools Required: phpMyAdmin access, FTP access, or SSH access
  • Applies to: WordPress Hosting
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 10
    • Tools Required: phpMyAdmin access, FTP access, or SSH access

Overview

One of the most useful aspects of building a site with WordPress are the thousands of third party plugins. There's a plugin for just about everything you might need to do. Unfortunately, this massive ecosystem of plugins also creates a lot of variation across items like versions and security. By far, the most commonly reported WordPress specific issues are plugin related.

  • Some common issues caused by plugins can include:
  • Site showing up as a blank page
  • Site is running slowly
  • Site pages are showing error messages
  • As well as other varying issue

The following article will provide information on how you can disable your theme as a means of troubleshooting WordPress issues.

Please keep in mind that troubleshooting the configuration/functionality of third-party applications is not covered by our statement of support. These resources were provided as a courtesy to assist you to the extent of our abilities. For more information on our statement of support, feel free to click here.

Instructions

wp-admin

  1. Log into your wp-admin dashboard.Log into your wp-admin dashboard.Log into your wp-admin dashboard.
  2. Hover your cursor over Appearance. Then click on Themes.

    wp-1.png

  3. Locate a default WordPress theme (such as TwentyNineteen) then click Activate.

    wp-2.png

  4. The current active theme will be disabled, and your site will now be using TwentyNineteen.
  5. If changing the theme resolved your issue, you may want to try re-installing your theme, updating your theme, using a different theme, or contacting your developer.

phpMyadmin

  1. Log into phpMyAdmin.Log into phpMyAdmin.Log into phpMyAdmin.
  2. Ensure the correct database is selected. Click on wp_options. Then click on Browse.

    php-1.png

  3. Navigate through your tables until you find stylesheet and template. You will notice these are set to the active theme.

    php-2.png

  4. Click on the php-3.png icon next to each table.
  5. Change these to a default WordPress theme (such as TwentyNineteen). Then click Go.

    php-4.png

  6. The current active theme will be disabled and your site will now be using TwentyNineteen.

    php-5.png

  7. If changing the theme resolved your issue, you may want to try re-installing your theme, updating your theme, using a different theme, or contacting your developer.

File Manager

  1. Open your File Manager.Open your File Manager.
  2. Navigate to your websites root folder.Navigate to your websites root folder.
  3. Navigate to the /wp-content/themes/ folder.
  4. Locate the active theme and rename it to something like activetheme.disabled.
    (replacing activetheme with your theme's name)
  5. The active theme will now be disabled.
  6. The front-end of your site may not display content, but you should be able to open wp-admin which can now be accessed to install/activate a theme for the front-end to re-appear.
  7. If changing the theme resolved your issue, you may want to try re-installing your theme, updating your theme, using a different theme, or contacting your developer.

FTP

  1. Connect to your server via FTP.Connect to your server via FTP.Connect to your server via FTP.
    In this example we are using FileZilla.
  2. Navigate to your websites root folder.Navigate to your websites root folder.Navigate to your websites root folder.
  3. Navigate to the /wp-content/themes/ folder.
  4. Locate your active theme and rename it.

    FTP-theme.png

  5. The active theme will be disabled.
  6. The front-end of your site may not display content, but you should be able to open wp-admin which can now be accessed to install/activate a theme for the front-end to re-appear.
  7. If changing the theme resolved your issue, you may want to try re-installing your theme, updating your theme, using a different theme, or contacting your developer

SSH

  1. Connect to your server via SSH.Connect to your server via SSH.Connect to your server via SSH.
  2. Navigate to your websites root folder.Navigate to your websites root folder.Navigate to your websites root folder.
  3. Navigate to the /wp-content/themes folder using the cd command.
    cd wp-content/themes
  4. Rename the /plugin folder using the mv command.
    (Replacing activetheme with your theme's name)
    mv activetheme activetheme.disable
  5. The active theme will now be disabled.
  6. The front-end of your site may not display content, but you should be able to open wp-admin which can now be accessed to install/activate a theme for the front-end to re-appear.
  7. If changing the theme resolved your issue, you may want to try re-installing your theme, updating your theme, using a different theme, or contacting your developer

 

 

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