How to Deactivate All Plugins Using phpMyAdmin

Every time you see an error on your WordPress website, the first troubleshooting step is to deactivate all the activated plugins.

You may be thinking about logging in to the website dashboard and deactivate all plugins, but the problem occurs when you're not able to access the WordPress admin panel.

Whether you get a 500 internal server error or 403 forbidden error, you may need to check if any of plugins is conflicting with others.

Sometimes, when you update a plugin to its latest version, it may not work as expected. You need to deactivate all plugins and make sure; you find the culprit.

You should know, it's possible to deactivate all plugins using cPanel by renaming the plugins folder, available in the wp-content directory of your website.

But, while managing a WordPress website, you must learn all the alternative methods. The database of a site plays a vital role, and you must learn to use it effectively.

In this tutorial, you're going to learn the straightforward method to deactivate all plugins using SQL.

Start Using phpMyAdmin to Deactivate Plugins

If you're a newbie, it's essential to learn the basics while handling a database. First of all, you should back up the database and save it on your computer hard drive or somewhere safe.

If you break the database, your whole website has to pay for your negligence.

Follow these steps.

Step 1:

You have to open your cPanel account and search for the Databases' section.

How to Deactivate All Plugins Using phpMyAdmin

Click on the phpMyAdmin icon, and a new tab appears to you on the browser.

Step 2:

It's important to know the database name for your website. Sometimes, when you run multiple sites on the same server, it can be confusing, and you can't edit any other database.

How to Deactivate All Plugins Using phpMyAdmin

From the vertical navigation menu on the left, you can see the names of databases, in this example, you can see test and WordPress.

Step 3:

- Click on any of these, depending on your website's database name.

You can see many database tables on the main content area of the screen.

Step 4:

You need to search for the wp_options database table. Click to open.

How to Deactivate All Plugins Using phpMyAdmin

Step 5:

You can see tons of tables, from which, you need to find a row having "active_plugins." Most probably, you can't find it one the first page, use the next button to open the second page.

How to Deactivate All Plugins Using phpMyAdmin

As you can see, for my database, it's available in the 35th row. Now, you have to edit its settings, click Edit.

Step 6:

On this new screen, you can see tons of rows with many different settings. To deactivate all plugins, you must change the value for "option_value" row to a:0:{}, instead of anything else.

How to Deactivate All Plugins Using phpMyAdmin

You may see many lines of SQL query, replace them with only one line. Click on Go button to save settings.

Congrats, you have successfully deactivated all plugins at once. If the problem was occurring due to any plugin, your website might be live now.

I remember when I started facing such an issue, and a contact form plugin was conflicting with others. It took so much time to figure out a way to deactivate all plugins without having access to the wp-admin panel.

But now, you know, how to accomplish such a task.

Is phpMyAdmin Method Better than Renaming the Plugins Folder

It's not possible to mention, which way is better, the final result is the same. Everything is dependent on the user. Some WordPress users prefer phpMyAdmin, because of no complications.

But, if you ask anyone else, it's possible, you may get an answer in favor of renaming the plugins folder. It's up to you.

For me, I back up the whole website and then decide to deal with its data and database. You can't take chances.


I am sure; you may also be scared when your website goes down. Sometimes, it's hard to troubleshoot a simple issue.

There are tons of common WordPress errors, and it can be confusing. So, it's essential to learn the first step of troubleshooting, and that's deactivating all plugins.

I hope you can easily accomplish such a task.

Check out these top 3 WordPress hosting services:

Was this article helpful?