With over 50,000 plugins in its repository, it is clear that WordPress plugins are an essential element of any WordPress site. Chances are, you’ve tested and tried many of them to solve problems or complete tasks. If you decide that you no longer want to use it or it doesn’t work as expected, you deactivate it and then uninstall it from your WP dashboard.
However, this does not remove all traces of the WP plugin and leaves behind rows and tables in your WP database.
The plugins that are most likely to store data include form, caching, security, and SEO plugins Before proceeding, be sure to back up your site in case something goes wrong.
Over time, traces of these plugins will take up disk space and affect the performance of your site. This article shows you how to uninstall WP plugin along with all associated files.
- Log into your WP dashboard and navigate to the Installed Plugins section.
- Click Deactivate under the plugin.
Remove WordPress Plugin from Control Panel
- Log in to WP dashboard and navigate to Installed Plugins .
- Click Deactivate below the plug-in.
- Then click Remove.
- Plugins can also be removed via FTP. Connect to an FTP client like FileZilla, WinSCP, or Free FTP. Go to the / wp-content / folder.
Delete FTP Plugin
- Plugins can also be uninstalled via FTP. Connect to an FTP client like FileZilla, WinSCP, or Free FTP. Go to / wp-content / folder .
- Find the plugin you want to remove and remove it from your server by deleting its folder.
Use FTP to remove residual files
WP stores related plugin files in unique folders. You can delete these files using an FTP client like FileZilla
- Log in via FTP and navigate to the plugins folder at the following path: public_html> wp-contents> plugins to see the folders for each plugin.
- If you don’t recognize the name of the plugin in the directory, go back to the plugins tab of your WP dashboard to make sure you’re uninstalling the correct plugin.
- Right click on the plugin name and click “Remove”.
Remove orphan tables from your database
Many WP plugins create their own tables and add this information to your database. Some or all of these tables are often left behind after plugin removal and are said to be lost.
These tables can be deleted in two ways. The easiest is to use a plugin.
WP-Optimize will clean up and remove unused data from your database.
- Start by installing and activating the plugin.
- Find and open the WP-Optimize tab in your WP dashboard.
- Click the Optimize Database Tables option.
- To run all optimizations at the same time, select the checkbox to the left of the Optimization option to select all, and then click the blue Run All Selected Optimizations button.
- Or you can choose to run each separately. It will take less time to complete all at once. When the process is complete, you will see the Optimization completed message.
Remove orphaned tables manually
Do not try this method unless you have experience and knowledge of database editing. You don’t want to delete tables that are not related to the plugin you are removing.
- To manually remove orphaned tables, use a tool like phpMyAdmin Most hosting control panels give you access to this tool.
- In phpMyAdmin, use the search function at the top to find the database you want to clear.
- Find post names that include the plugin name. For example, if you want to remove Yoast SEO, the plugin documentation states that you must enter wpseo in the search tab to find all plugin-related entries.
- Select all tables that appear in the search and click Next.
Use WP Plugins to remove files associated with the plugin
Some free and paid WP plugins will clean up your database with minimal effort. Below are some of them.
Garbage collector plugins
The Garbage Collector plugins will scan and check your WP database to show tables that you don’t see in the WP dashboard.
- Install and activate the plugin.
- Find its settings on the Tools tab.
- Select the Look in non-WP tables option and click Scan.
- The entries highlighted in red in the screenshot above are for plugins that have been deactivated or removed. Check these tables and delete them.
WP-Optimize has over 600,000 active installations and is one of the most popular WP database optimization plugins.
Click Run Optimization to clear the options you want. See tables and their sizes on the table information tab. You can also schedule optimization in the Settings tab.
WP-Sweep is another WP plugin that will clean up unneeded data in your database, including lost plugin data and tables.
After installing and activating the plugin, enter the settings by selecting Tools> Clean. The plugin interface shows unnecessary data in your database.
There are sections for comments, users, conditions, messages, options, and optimization tables. To optimize the database, click Clean next to the entry.
WP-Sweep uses WP’s uninstall features to clean up your database. This ensures that lost data is not left behind.
Remove unused shortcodes
WP has many plugins that use shortcodes that you insert into pages and posts. When you deactivate the plugin, the shortcode remains and is displayed as text in brackets for viewers.
One option is to manually remove the shortcut from every instance on your site. However, this can take a long time. Other more time efficient and practical options are described below.
To hide the rest of the shortcode from the removed plugin, add the following to your functions.php file:
// Remove the shortcode
add_shortcode (â€˜name_of_shortcodeâ€™, â€˜__return_falseâ€™);
Use the WP plugin to remove unnecessary shortcodes
If you are not comfortable editing WP files, use the Remove Orphan Shortcodes plugin.
This plugin automatically hides unnecessary (inactive) shortcodes from your content that were previously used with plugins and themes.
Removing plugins from WP dashboard is simple and easy. However, as you now know, deactivating and removing plugins does not always delete all files and their associated WordPress databases
Next time you want to uninstall the WP plugin, follow the steps above to rid your database of unwanted files and keep your WP site fast and clean.