How To Disable WordPress Plugins In phpMyAdmin Successfully

Last Updated on March 29, 2021 by Fabrizio Van Marciano

In this short tutorial I'll share with you a simple method to disable plugins in phpMyAdmin for your WordPress website, should you ever need to.

Please note: This post has been archived and is no longer being updated. If you choose to follow the advice or guidance in this post, please do so at your own risk.

A few days ago I ran into a little bit of pickle when I decided to delete my web browser history.

All was well until I tried to access my WordPress website's login page to get into my dashboard.

Guess what?

I couldn't log in because I couldn't actually remember the login URL itself.

It was no longer in my history, remember.

I know what you're thinking, the WordPress login URL is an easy one to remember, right?

Nope, because I'm currently using the Rename wp-login.php plugin.

So, the only way I could log into my site was if I disabled the rename plugin entirely. Except for one small problem.

I couldn't disable the plugin in the back end of WordPress because I couldn't remember the login URL to get into my site in the first place.

What I had to do instead was disable the plugin via phpMyAdmin, which is why I decided to write this short little tutorial to share with you the simple process, should you ever need to do it too.

Why would you ever want to disable plugins in phpMyAdmin?

Sometimes things happen that are beyond our normal control.

This method is ideal if for some reason you can't access your WordPress website or the user dashboard to disable a broken or faulty plugin.

Maybe a plugin has brought down your entire site, if so, this tutorial should help.

Let's get to it.

Step One: Log into your cPanel

First thing you'll need to do is log into your website's web hosting cPanel.

I host my site with SiteGround, but as far as I know, most web hosting cPanel's look pretty much the same.

If you are using SiteGround as your host provider by any chance, then great.

Once logged in, head over to Go to cPanel from your My Account page. See image below.

disable plugins in phpMyAdmin
  • Save

Step Two: Access phpMyAdmin

Next, scroll down the cPanel page until you see Databases. Click on the application phpMyAdmin. See image below.

disable plugin 2
  • Save

Step Three: Access database name for your website

Now identify and access the name of the database for your website.

You can usually tell which website your database belongs to by clicking on wp_options, and by the side of the option_name 'siteurl' you'll see your domain name. See image below.

disable plugin 5
  • Save

OK, so now if you select page 2 (See blue circle below) from the wp_options page, you should find the option_name 'active_plugins' somewhere. See images below.

disable plugin 33
  • Save

Step Four: Disable all plugins or a single plugin

Now double-click on the option_value for active_plugins to open up the editor box. See image below.

Simply select all of the content inside the editor box and delete it. This will disable all of the plugins on your WordPress website.

disable plugin 44
  • Save

If you want to disable just one culprit plugin, however, you'll need to take a closer and harder look at the values to identify the plugin name.

The line for each plugin usually starts with a value like this: s:02 and ends with something like this: i:18;

So for example: s:02:"name-of-the-plugin";i:18;

That being said, it is much easier to disable all of the plugins, you can always reactivate them when you are able to log into your WP dashboard the conventional way.

One you're done simply hit anywhere outside of the editor box and your database should automatically update itself with the new changes.

That's it, how simple was that?

Don't forget to log back into your WP site the normal way to reactivate the plugins again if you need to.

I hope it helps.

Recommended tutorials

  1. How to create a custom 404-page for your Genesis WordPress website
  2. How to disable wp-cron in WordPress and enable it server side
  3. How to set up AMP in your WordPress website (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

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