Tutorials: How to delete plugin folder via FTP or cPanel

If you remove a plugin using the WordPress dashboard and try to reinstall it but aren’t able to activate it because of an error you will need to delete the plugin folder before you can install it again. 

If you can’t remove the plugin in the dashboard, then make sure the plugin is disabled so that WordPress doesn’t throw up errors after you remove the folder.

Table of contents:
Remove using FTP
  Using Cyberduck
  Using FileZilla
Remove using cPanel

Remove Using FTP

You will need the following before doing this:

  • Your website FTP login (which you can find in your hosting company dashboard)
  • An FTP client (we suggest Cyberduck which is free and available for Windows and Mac, there is also a guide for using FileZilla after the Cyberduck guide)

Using Cyberduck

Once you have all of that, and have opened Cyberduck which will look blank when you open it for the first time.

Next you want to open connection (which is the top left) then enter your FTP details. 

If your hosting company provides SFTP or FTP-SSL you can also enter those, you should make sure you select the right option.

Ignore the other options in that list as Cyberduck has a ton more features then you need right now.

Enter the server, port, username and password as your hosting company tells you to. We would encourage you to keep save password selected, so you don’t have to go back to your hosting company for it.

Then click connect, if you get an error message take look to make sure you enter the correct information (it’s best to copy and paste from your hosting company and not to include any extra spaces either at the beginning or end).

If you use SFTP then you will get a pop-up that tells you about an unknown fingerprint. This is to ensure you are connecting to the right server. Your hosting company may tell you the fingerprint details, you should check and to select no if they aren’t correct. For a majority of people they will be correct, so you can click yes and you will see a list of folders.

Every hosting company will have their folders different so you may need to go into the help documents of the hosting company to find out how to get to your plugin folder, or ask them.

In this particular case we need to go to public_html, which you can get to by either double clicking on the folder, or clicking on the arrow on the left-hand side, we would suggest double clicking. Then go to wp-content, then plugins. You will then see a list of all the plugins the site has installed. In this example, the site only has Groundhogg installed.

If you aren’t sure what folder goes with what plugin, you can go into each folder to see what it has. Or go to your WordPress dashboard to figure it out. Don’t delete a folder if you aren’t sure about it.

To delete a plugin, single click on the folder, and push delete on your keyboard or right click on the folder then delete. 

It’s now deleted and you can close Cyberduck.

Using FileZilla

When FileZilla starts up you will see a window similar to:

In this guide we are going to be using the Quickconnect bar at the top. If your hosting company tells you to use sftp, then enter sftp:// at the beginning of the host, then the server, port, username and password as your hosting company tells you to. If you are to use, enter ftp:// at the beginning of the host (then the server, port, username, and password that your hosting company gives you).

If your hosting company doesn’t give you a port then continue without a port, and as long as you have entered sftp or ftp at the beginning of host then you will be able to connect. Click Quickconnect and you will be given a pop-up asking you if you want to save FileZilla to remember passwords. This is useful so we encourage you to save passwords.

If you are using sftp, you will get another pop-up saying unknown host key. If your hosting company gives you the fingerprints then compare them to make sure they are correct, otherwise click ok.

In this particular case we need to go to public_html, which you can get to by double clicking on the folder in the right-hand window. Then go to wp-content, then plugins. You will then see a list of all the plugins the site has installed.

If you want to delete a plugin then find the plugin by name in the right-hand list. If you don’t know what the name is then don’t delete it. If you do know, then find the folder name and right-click on it and delete. 

You can then close FileZilla since you have deleted the plugin folder you want.

Remove using cPanel

You will need the following before doing this:

Nothing, you can use what you are reading this on to do this

Go to the dashboard of where your website is hosted, and you should see a link to cPanel, or sometimes called the control panel. If you can’t find it, contact your hosting company.

Click to cPanel and you will see tons of options, what you want is the file manager. This is usually under files but may be located elsewhere. 

When in there, on the left-hand side, single click on public_html, then in the folders that appear in the main section, double click on wp-content, then plugins

Find the plugin you are looking to delete, single click on it, then right click on it, then select delete. You may need to confirm you want to delete it, click ok. It will then be deleted.

If you need any help with this we would suggest contacting your hosting company, as they can provide specific guidance or do it for you.

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