How to Uninstall a Plugin in WordPress (Properly)
November 22, 2021

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Hello everyone, welcome to another WordPress tutorial! Today, you’re going to learn how to uninstall plugins in WordPress the proper way and the easiest way!

And as a BONUS, you’re also going to learn how to clean up your database in WordPress! The easy way :O

So, we all know the basics of uninstalling a plugin in WordPress.

We navigate to Plugins in our WordPress dashboard and choose a plugin you want to deactivate – then click Network Deactivate, and click Uninstall.

But hold it right there! We haven’t uninstalled the plugin completely.

Here’s why.

After uninstalling a plugin, the plugin changes the WordPress core databases by creating tables and managing data.

On top of that, the plugin doesn’t remove their perspective database tables and entries because the developers want to maintain the custom settings just in case you reinstall the plugin.

However, some plugins leave bytes of data that can clog up your server, thus affecting your website’s performance and query times!

In addition, the plugin also leaves traces of files in your file system.

So how can we fix this?

Of course, you can access your website via the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and ensure that the plugin’s folder is no longer in the plugins folder.

But not all of us know how to do this.

Instead, we’re going to use a plugin to fix this issue.

With a plugin called Advanced Database Cleaner!

So without wasting any time, let’s install the plugin, properly uninstall unwanted plugins and unclog our website’s database!

Installing and Activating The Plugin

From your WordPress dashboard, click on My Sites.

After clicking on My Sites, navigate to Plugins and click on Add New.

After clicking on Add New, search for Advanced Database Cleaner.

Once you see the plugin, click Install and Activate It.

And there you go, we have the plugin!

Using the Advanced Database Cleaner Plugin

Under the settings tab in your WordPress dashboard, you should see WP DB Cleaner.

After clicking on WP DB Cleaner, you should see this:

BUT WAIT!


Before doing anything to your site’s data, don’t forget to create a backup of your site!

You can do this easily with the UpdraftPlus Plugin.

If you don’t have the plugin, you can read this blog on How to Backup Your WordPress Website!

And to those who already have the plugin and backed up their site can skip this step.

Onto the next step!

General Clean-up Site’s Data

Now, let’s start cleaning up our site’s data by deleting orphaned data.

In General Clean-up, you will see what needs cleaning up.

For revisions, you can set the Keep last for how many days you want, just in case you need to revert a page you’re on if you made any mistakes.

To clean up your site’s data, click on the empty boxes to select the elements to clean.

After selecting what you want to clean, click on Bulk Actions and select Clean.

After selecting Clean, click on Apply.

Now we can move on to plugin-specific data!

Removing Orphaned Tables (Plugin-specific Data)

Navigate to Tables which is next to General Clean-up.

After clicking on Tables, you will see all the names of the plugin tables created by the plugins you’ve installed to WordPress.

The tables act as shelves in the WordPress database, and by default, WordPress comes with 12 tables.

But when we install plugins, it adds extra tables to the database!

Note that most of the plugin tables you’re seeing are from the previously installed plugins that are no longer in WordPress – not all of the tables have data in them, but they exist as data in the database.

And unfortunately, the free version of the database cleaner doesn’t let you see who owns the database tables.

But with the pro version, you’ll be able to scan the tables to find the orphaned tables from the plugins you’ve deleted so you can safely remove them!

However, you can still delete the tables and identify them by looking at their names. If you recognize the name of the tables relating to the plugin you deleted recently or in the past, you can delete them.

Remember to always keep a backup of your site before doing so!

Cleaning Orphaned Options

To clean your orphaned options, click Options.

In the options, you’ll see the options that you need to delete.

With this, I recommend you do this with the pro version of Advanced Database Cleaner so you can scan the options to get all the orphaned options.

WARNING! After scanning the options to find all the orphaned options – do keep in mind that not all options are orphans as they may come from an active plugin in your WordPress site.

Again, before you do anything, please create a backup of your site!

Cleaning Orphaned Crons

Lastly, we’re going to clean our Crons.

Cleaning up your crons works the same way as the other options – select what you want to clean/delete and click Bulk Actions, set it to Delete, and click Apply.

But what are Crons?

Crons are scheduled tasks, sending emails, or cleaning up log files.

These tasks could be running regularly in the background of your website, typically from plugins that are not installed in WordPress anymore.

If you want to clean up your options properly, you’ll need the pro version of Advanced Database Cleaner.

However, even without the pro version, you can still remove some options that don’t look right and options that belong to a plugin that you’ve uninstalled!

But again, always remember to create a backup of your site before doing anything!

Settings & Overview

Lastly, the Settings & Overview!

On the left, you’ll get an overview of your site’s database.

And on the right, you have the settings.

If you want to hide the premium tab, you can click the empty box next to Hide premium tab and click Save Settings.

 

AND YOU’RE DONE!

Finishing Thoughts

Now Advanced Database Cleaner may not be perfect, but it still does a great job cleaning up my WordPress site!

What encouraged me to get the plugin is the customer reviews and that it’s super easy to use – and it didn’t disappoint me at all!

I cleaned up my data in just a few clicks which unclogged my website’s database and sped up my website’s performance!

Although, this is something you can do manually, like accessing your website using a File Transfer Protocol (FTP). But why go through all that trouble?

With a tool like Advanced Database Cleaner, It can do everything from one place and in a few minutes without killing time!

Conclusion

So now that you know how to uninstall a plugin in WordPress and clean up your database – your website will be cleaner and perform faster! I hope this helped, and if it did, please share this with your family and friends!

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