What happens when you deactivate a WordPress Plugin

Did you want to know – what happens when you deactivate a Plugin in WordPress?

In this resource, the said subject is under consideration. And, we will also let you become aware of the consequences if you deactivate a WordPress Plugin.

Sometimes, you may entirely remove a Plugin’s Directory through FTP clients, such as File Zilla, or do it from the Hosting cPanel File Manager. In this case, as well, the consequences weigh equal importance.

So, let’s proceed to the subject matter in more detail.

First, let’s talk about deactivating WordPress Plugins for beginners. You can also jump straight to the specific section That contains the answer to the question.

Deactivating a WordPress Plugin

The way you install a Plugin on a WordPress website, you can also remove or deactivate a plugin with point-and-click options.

In this case, the WordPress Plugins page on the left panel helps you quickly manage plugins in WordPress.

As you may know, WordPress Plugins are known for extending WordPress functionality. This is better for those who don’t know how to code.

What happens when you deactivate a WordPress Plugin?

In the following lines, we are going to discuss the consequences or measures that occur when you deactivate a plugin in a WordPress website.


When you deactivate a WordPress plugin, you don’t have the intended functionality any longer. For example, if you have deactivated a plugin That supports shortcodes in pages and posts, you will no longer see inserted shortcodes in content once you have deactivated the plugin.

In simple words, this sometimes can affect how things behave in a WordPress website. In the example of shortcodes above, the content you had included Shortcodes in may appear with raw characters, as you have deactivated the Shortcodes Plugin.


When using Page Builders like Divi Builder, you may get a notice or error upon deactivating a WordPress Plugin. In this case, the WordPress Dashboard will suggest clearing the cache after deactivating a Plugin in WordPress.

It is a normal routine when it comes to using Cache plugins on your WordPress website. In this case, cache plugins re-cache your site’s cache after you have cleared your cache. This helps cache plugins run smoothly after deactivating a WordPress plugin.

Site Errors

Your site may show an error if you deactivate a WordPress plugin That has relations with a third source or plugin. For example, if a WordPress Plugin’s data is displayed on your custom page or application, deactivating the plugin will cause show an error message on your site.

Similarly, deactivating such plugins may even break your site. For example, upon deactivating WordFence, a security plugin for WordPress, you may need to handle accessing controls of your site if you also managed cPanel directories. Or, sometimes, if you directly remove the WordPress files from your cPanel Root directory, the WordFence may cause your site load errors.

Also, if you deactivate a Page Builder, the pages That you have designed with the said plugin will never work until you reactivate the said plugin.

Security Risks

If you deactivate and keep a WordPress plugin, you may get security issues with time. When a plugin is activated, you can see its native messages That an update has come out in the market and That you should update the plugin to keep it secured.

If you deactivate and let a plugin stay on your site, you may invite security risks if not updated according to messages.

Site Speed

Deactivated plugins may also affect your site speed. In this case, you should always remove your deactivated plugins completely if you don’t have plans to re-activate them again.

Page Speed is vital for a website, especially if you striving to gain more popularity on search engine pages. Indeed, page speed is one of the most demanded ranking factors of Google.


Deactivated plugins, sometimes miss backup packages. In this case, if you have deactivated plugins on your website, the system you are using to back up your site may miss keeping them on the backup package.

This can break your expectations when restoring your backups later.

Final Thoughts

So, what happens when you deactivate a WordPress Plugin?

There are many reasons why should take deactivating WordPress Plugins into account.

This highly depends on how you treat your website. For example, one can have multiple plugins on his/her website, and the other person may prefer fewer plugins, as demanded by his/her requirements.

The more plugins, the more you will need to take care of the site management, especially when you install, edit, remove, or deactivate a plugin on your WordPress website.

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