3 Ways to Disable a Joomla Plugin

3 Ways to Disable a Joomla Plugin

Some of the most common errors we see on Joomla sites involve plugins.

A normal Joomla site will have dozens of plugins, so they are a common source of errors.

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to disable a troublesome plugin, using three different techniques.

The first technique is the normal way to disable a plugin. The second and third techniques can be used if the plugin has locked you out of Joomla's administrator area.

Option #1. Disable via the Joomla Admin

  • Login to your Joomla admin area.
  • Go to Extensions > Plugins.
The Joomla 3 Plugin Manager
  • Click on the green check mark next to the plugin you want to disable.
  • The icon should turn to a red X. The plugin is now disabled.
The plugin area in the Joomla admin

Option #2. Disable via the file system

It is also possible to disable a plugin via your site's file system.

  • Login to your FTP account, or perhaps use cPanel's File Manager.
  • Access the root of your Joomla files.
  • Look for a folder called /plugins/
The Joomla file system

The next step is the trickiest because Joomla plugins are split into different folders.

If you aren't experienced with Joomla, it might take a little searching to find the plugin files. However, if your plugin is causing real problems on your site it's highly likely to be in one of these three folders:

  • /authentication/
  • /content/
  • /system/
The Joomla plugin directory

Each plugin has at least two key files: pluginname.php and pluginame.xml. 

To disable the plugin all you need to do is remove or rename the PHP file. If I wanted to disable the Gmail plugin, I could rename gmail.php to gmail.php-off:

Joomla plugin files, with Gmail as an example

Option #3. Disable via the database

Finally, it is also possible to disable plugins via your database. All of the plugin data is stored in the _extensions table.

Notice the "enabled" column. To disable a plugin (or any extension), change the 1 (published) to a 0 (unpublished):

tep top">
The Joomla extensions database table

About the author

Steve is the CEO of Joomlashack. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve has been involved with Joomla since 2006.