What do you think about WordPress themes? For sure, these are excellent tools for creating an online presence and keeping your website stand out in the best possible manner.
Don’t you think they help positively impact your visitors to go through all the content? Isn’t that great?
But, most of the time, you make a collection of many designs which you don’t need. And this unused list of themes may prove harmful to your website, plus they can hurt the conditions of your site. Also, such themes use much storage space on your server and increase security risks if you are not updating them.
So, what will you do as a site owner in this situation? Simple, as an owner of the site, you will uninstall a WordPress theme.
This article will discuss how to remove a theme from WordPress? But, before that, we have some other points you must aware of before you remove themes from WordPress, which you can consider. They will help you make your decision to uninstall the theme.
- 1 Why Uninstall a WordPress Theme?
- 2 Security issues
- 3 Storage issues
- 4 Performance
- 5 Database performance
- 6 Deleting vs Uninstalling a Theme
- 7 Things to do before you delete a WordPress theme
- 8 Staging sites
- 9 Backing up
- 10 When should you keep an unused WordPress theme?
- 11 Parent themes
- 12 WordPress multisite
- 13 Testing themes
- 14 How to delete a WordPress theme?
- 15 Deleting a WordPress theme via Admin Dashboard
- 16 Deleting a WordPress theme via FTP/SFTP
- 17 Deleting a WordPress theme using File Manager
- 18 Deleting a theme via WP-CLI
- 19 Deleting theme-related content
- 20 Widgets
- 21 Menus
- 22 Dummy content
- 23 Image
- 24 What to do after deleting WordPress theme
- 25 What to do if you accidentally delete a WordPress theme?
- 26 FAQs
- 27 Is it safe to delete an old WordPress theme?
- 28 How to delete the Astra theme in WordPress?
- 29 How do I uninstall and reinstall a WordPress theme?
- 30 How do I reinstall a WordPress theme without losing data?
- 31 Conclusion
Why Uninstall a WordPress Theme?
Thousands of WordPress themes are available from different sources. Also, there is no doubt that WordPress themes are the most demanding themes. But, a few people will agree that it comes with some exceptions. The following are some of the common reasons for deleting your WordPress theme.
WordPress themes are not specific nowadays. The hackers use the incorrect theme’s codes to put malware, backdoors, and other WordPress sites. There are fewer chances of hacking if you use fewer theme files.
If you don’t upgrade your unused ones into another free or premium theme, this problem will be worse. Suppose you are not using it because of its oldness. It becomes easier for hackers to run because their exposures are logged publicly. In this common situation, people choose to go with the WordPress delete theme without a doubt instead of updating.
Themes are many large files, so unused themes are bundles of unused files that consume space on hosting servers. It boosts your chances of storage issues if you keep your old theme file as it is, and it may further result in extra pay or performance failures.
The extra or unused files are to control when taking backups, moving between hosts, and site scanning for SEO or security reasons.
It may feel that you can sort out a problem by deactivating the same theme, but such theme files stay on the server.
Admin or dashboard, the backend of your WordPress site, is a vital place to impact inactive themes. And, the updates are the main reasons for this. It will ask every installed theme, including an active or inactive theme, for an update. So while it is tiny, 20 inactive themes verifying for updates add more.
In many cases, for the frontend of your site, it should be an amount from the cache and would not be affected by inactive themes.
If you have an inactive theme filled with data when it was active, you will save the data if you activate it again. Also, it will wash out the data if you delete the theme.
The above reasons are enough for the theme removal option. Now, let’s move on to deleting vs. uninstalling a theme.
Deleting vs Uninstalling a Theme
People feel that uninstalling a theme vs. deleting are similar things. But, in reality, the code files are deleted from the server in both cases, including data. If you choose to uninstall a theme, it may save your related content, and we will focus on that later in this guide.
WordPress helps you keep only a single theme as an active theme on your site. However, you can use many themes on your site.
These themes will be inactive but installed on your website, and every time you will get an update notice for these themes.
You have to delete a theme for complete uninstallation of the WordPress theme. In addition, you will have to clear all themes to receive updates for them.
Suppose you have decided to delete a WordPress theme but don’t know what to do before that. So, it would be best to consider the following things before doing that.
Things to do before you delete a WordPress theme
We consider that you have seen that the theme is not in use and is not a parent theme. Also, you want to delete it. Roger that?
So, before moving forward, stop there to complete certain things before you delete a WordPress theme.
The staging sites are known as the reflectors of your website on the same server. You can find some hosting plans for free staging sites, make a copy of your site, and then test it.
If you can control your staging site, it’s good to remove the theme on that site, which may cause zero problems. However, when you swear if it converts to the removed theme, it was the parent theme for the active theme. After that, take a deep breath when you know you haven’t deleted it on your live website.
It is a universal truth that you can get back your deleted data from your backing up system. Therefore, in WordPress, you should take a backup up first before updating.
If you use Kinsta, call yourself lucky because it comes with a one-click option in its hosting plans. Therefore, you can make an easy backup before deleting your theme and restore it if it creates a problem.
You can use the backup plugins to take an easy backup if you don’t have a backup option in your hosting plan.
Moreover, you want to keep an unused WordPress theme, and then you should know when to keep it.
When should you keep an unused WordPress theme?
There is a time when your theme may not be active on your website, but you should keep it because it includes the following.
- The theme is called a Parent theme for the current theme.
- You should keep the unused WordPress theme as it is if your site is on a multisite network and active on another site network.
- You have to keep the new WordPress theme when you keep a theme for testing or reactivation after testing the content theme.
So, let’s understand them one by one from the information below.
Suppose a theme is used as a parent theme that is not active on your site, but the child theme will break down without it. WordPress will help you tell if the active theme is a child theme or not on the “Themes” display.
If you want to know whether your site uses a child theme or not, you can see it by using the WordPress theme detector tool.
Also, you can check the active theme – whether it is using the parent theme before you remove an inactive theme from your website. Don’t delete it if it is as it is in use.
If your site is a WordPress multisite network, you can’t delete themes and only possess administrator benefits. The network administrator is the only person who can control the theme.
You can check an admin bar at the top to know if your site is a part of a network or not. If you find a “My sites” option, this is a network site rather than an independent site.
Using network admin, you can run themes that have been installed on the network, but you can’t install or delete themes.
Suppose you are the network admin and not running a theme on your network site; look out of removing a theme you’re no longer using. However, there might be a possibility of another user who’s activated that theme on their site. You can set up a multisite improvement plugin to see which themes are used on your network, and it will guide you by making a column for the themes and plugins display.
Sometimes you have to set up a theme for testing purposes. And, if you have not found the best way to test a site, we would suggest using WordPress staging. However, you can go with the option of installing a theme for testing purposes if WordPress staging is not your option.
Also, some people work with a hardworking team and plans to delete a theme, so check with your colleagues first. If you test a theme and there is a possibility to reactivate it in the nearer future, keep it as it is.
In above all cases, you should keep your unused WordPress theme as it is. Besides, if none of the cases are related to you, you can go further and delete the theme. We will discuss four methods to delete a WordPress theme one by one. So, let’s talk about how to delete a WordPress theme completely from the following.
How to delete a WordPress theme?
By now, you have an idea about why delete a WordPress theme? Deleting vs. uninstalling WordPress theme, and when to keep your new theme as it is. But, you are going to know why you are here for. It is correct that you will learn four methods on “how to remove theme from WordPress.” So, lock your seat belts and fly with us on this experience.
Deleting a WordPress theme via Admin Dashboard
The best and most straightforward way to delete a WordPress theme is an “Admin Dashboard.” This is the most suggested way if you can run the admin panel. Follow the below steps to delete a theme.
Step 1 – Log into your dashboard in WordPress.
Step 2 – In this panel, go further with Appearance → Themes. Here, you will get all installed themes on your site, and the first listed is your active theme.
Step 3 – Take a theme you want to delete and go with theme details. Remember one thing that you can’t delete your active theme. You have to activate the other theme if you want to remove your active theme.
Step 4 – You will get a window there. Press on the delete button right corner bottom.
Step 5 – You will meet with a “Warning” that asks your permission. Press “OK” to delete a theme.
These simple steps will delete your theme from your WordPress site through an admin dashboard. But, what if it fails to delete the file. This problem may occur because sometimes WordPress fails to delete the contents of the theme. As a result, people delete a WordPress theme via FTP/SFTP method.
Deleting a WordPress theme via FTP/SFTP
If you don’t have the WordPress admin benefits, there is no need to worry about deleting a theme in WordPress. Instead, you can use File Transfer Protocol as per the following simple process steps.
Step 1 – You have to link your web hosting server with an FTP client.
Step 2 – Unlock your theme directory or WP-Content on your site.
Step 3 – Check for a folder you want to delete under the inactive theme folder. Ensure that it is an inactive theme on your website.
Step 4 – Do Right-click on the folder you want to delete, and go further with the delete button.
Step 5 – After this, you may get a Warning from your FTP client for confirmation.
Following that, you will see that the WordPress theme you chose has been deleted. Now, see how to remove theme in WordPress using the file manager.
Deleting a WordPress theme using File Manager
If you are not using the FTP client, you can use the File Manager app to delete a theme in your hosting control panel. Again, we are using Bluehost’s hosting dashboard for your comfort.
Step 1 – Go with an “Advanced” option after login into your hosting account dashboard. And click on the “File Manager.”
Step 2 – Click on public_html/wp-content/themes/folder.
Step 3 – After that, the remaining thing is that you have to right-click the theme which you want to delete.
The theme will be deleted by following these steps from using file manager.
Deleting a theme via WP-CLI
The last option for deleting a WordPress theme is WP-CLI only if you know the command line to control the website. There are higher chances of deleting the wrong files if you haven’t used WP-CLI before. So, we suggest this option only if you know about it.
Step 1 – Start to access a website through a command line using WP-CLI.
Step 2 – Type the following if you have installed themes – $ wp theme list.
Step 3 – The above step will open a list of your installed themes. You can ask for an inactive theme if you need extra useful information – $ wp theme list –status=inactive
Step 4 – The above step will show you a list of inactive themes. Now you can see which are secure to remove.
Step 5 – Type the given to download the theme – $ wp theme delete twenty-second
Remember that the last word should be the name of the theme’s folder. Soon after that, the theme will delete, and you will receive the confirmation message.
So, there are four methods to deleting a WordPress theme, and we have explained the step-by-step above. After deleting these themes, you may see some themed content on your site. Therefore, now is a time to tell you about deleting theme-related content on your website.
In most common & complex themes, the theme-related content rounds around widgets, menus, dummy content, and images. At this point, you have two options in your hands, either you can delete content or reassign it so it will run on your new theme.
If you want your widget to work, you have to add them to the widget areas. For example, you can find the inactive widgets area of the widget display; suppose widgets you deactivated were available there.
If you don’t need them anymore, you can remove them or pull them on your new theme. If you want to delete only a single widget, you can delete it. But, if you want to delete more than one, you can go with the clear inactive widgets option to remove them.
Every theme comes with at least one place to put up a menu on the right of the below header. And a few come with more menu places like footers or sidebar. After that, your menu, which was made for a previous theme, will open when you run a new theme. But, it is your responsibility to inform WordPress about a menu place you want every menu to come in.
Suppose you were using more than one menu spot on your old theme. Your current default theme does not have more navigation locations; you can rely on a custom menu widget to put a menu at the widget in a sidebar or footer.
You may remove dummy content from your site if you have uploaded it for testing purposes. For example, you can remove posts, and you can delete the pages you join after you detach the theme. Also, you can keep them at a place to use in a fresh theme.
If your older themes are listed as a custom post type, you have to delete them unless your fresh theme gets listed as a similar custom post type or you add a plugin for the same.
Delete a custom post type before removing the previous theme. You will not be allowed to check after the custom post type code is gone.
Many themes have different settings. For example, some people go with featured images, and a few come with extra media sizes to suit a theme layout.
You may have uploaded an image for use in a slider or carousel involved in the theme.
After removing a theme, it’s better to clean your images by following two aspects.
- Resize an image to suit new theme settings.
- Delete unused images.
You may need a plugin for resizing, and we suggest using the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin for the same.
- After installing, visit Tools → Regenerate Thumbnails.
- Go further with Regenerate Thumbnails for all X attachments option. (The X is several images you have)
- After this, the plugin will regenerate your image.
Suppose you upload an image for any feature of an old theme like a slider. In that case, the Regenerate Images plugin will take off the new theme. Still, it won’t remove the original image file.
You have to go to the media library in a WordPress admin and check any images you don’t need before removing them. On the other hand, you should do the same before deactivating the previous theme. But, remember that it depends on how the settings are configured.
So, in this way, you can delete or uninstall a theme in WordPress. After this, what do you think? Only deleting or uninstalling a WordPress theme is enough for you? No, not at all. You may have to face the problems of server space. Therefore, the following information is helpful to avoid these issues.
What to do after deleting WordPress theme
As you know, deleting a theme is easy, but it is not finished yet. You must check your WordPress files for leftovers of themes you have deleted.
There are higher chances of media files and widgets using this space. For the first, you should start searching with images. Next, see your Media Library for images and remaining media files related to your previous theme, and remove them.
After that, remove the leftovers like unused widgets from previous themes. First, go to the Appearance → Widgets. Now, take your “Old Widgets” to the “Inactive Widgets Section” and click on the “Click Inactive Widgets” to remove them.
After deleting them, your site will be safer, smoother, and quicker than before on the back-end. Also, it’s nice to work with proper extra space. Right?
At last, we would like to advise you that you should keep the backup you made before uninstalling your theme. It will help you with unexpected issues. Is that a quiet relief for you? But, what if you accidentally delete or remove the WordPress theme.
What to do if you accidentally delete a WordPress theme?
If you have deleted your WordPress theme, what will you do? Or how to restore it and get it back? So, the following ways you should consider.
First, you should restore the theme from the backup section. It becomes more accessible with many WordPress backup plugins that help restore your site to an earlier stage.
Still, a few people forget to make a backup, so what to do is the primary concern of such persons. So, they have the option of downloading and installing a new copy of their deleted theme, and it may help to get your previous back.
In the second option, you may lose your customizations or changes you’ve made to the previous theme. But, the best thing is that you will get your previous theme back.
So, before moving to the end of this article’s journey, we assume that you have learned more about how to uninstall theme in WordPress by now.
Is it safe to delete an old WordPress theme?
When the time changes, you will see yourself changing a new WordPress theme on your site and removing the old one. Sometimes, people think twice before deleting a WordPress theme. Is it safe?
We suggest that it is safe to delete an old WordPress theme if you make your decision that you won’t be changing back to it.
If you delete WordPress themes, they will not be active anymore but will be installed on your site. Also, you will receive a message to make an update on it. Thus, it would help if you considered this after deleting a WordPress theme.
How to delete the Astra theme in WordPress?
If you want to delete an Astra theme in WordPress, you have to follow the below steps to do the same.
- Go to your WordPress dashboard and visit Plugins.
- Go further with “Installed Plugins.”
- Now, you will get a box on the left of “Astra Security Suite.” Next, you have to press on “Deactivate.”
- After this, click on the “Delete Button.”
You can uninstall or delete your Astra theme from WordPress simply. Likewise, you can follow the below steps to uninstall Astra from WordPress manually.
- Using FTP, login to your server, open the File Manager in cPanel and go with your website root directory.
- Remove the “Astra” folder from it.
- Now, take your WordPress plugin folder at wp-content/plugins/ and remove the “getastra” or “astra_wp” folder.
These simple steps will delete the Astra theme from your WordPress site.
How do I uninstall and reinstall a WordPress theme?
People use the update of reinstalling a theme if an issue runs into a theme. You can sort it out from your WordPress admin using the following easy steps.
- First, you should download a fresh copy of a theme.
- Visit Appearance → Themes.
- Now, you must run a default theme in WordPress.
- Go further with the thumbnail for the theme you are reinstalling and hit the Delete link.
- After this, you can reinstall a WordPress theme.
How do I reinstall a WordPress theme without losing data?
First, you should create a backup of your running theme. So, it will help you to save from losing data. We follow the manual reinstalling process, which saves your data and does not need an admin panel. But you can also go with your admin panel and follow the above steps (FAQ Q.3) to reinstall a theme without losing data.
- It would help if you linked your server through FTP. Then, you could browse to site root through the control panel File Manager.
- Unlock the themes folder under wp-content on your server.
- Now, you have two options remaining for the job done. Either delete the theme or rename the theme folder you want to reinstall.
- Now you can reinstall and activate a new theme.
- After that, check whether the new copy is running in good condition or not.
Removing a WordPress theme is not easy to open a themes folder and delete it. It is more than that because it involves the extra steps like taking a backup, testing on your staging site, and much more. Therefore, we came up with this article that includes the correct information on “How to uninstall a WordPress theme?”
Along with that, you will get the following essential points in this entire blog.
- After the introduction, you will meet with a few reasons for “Why delete a WordPress theme?” There are four reasons for the same: security issues, storage issues, performance, and database performance.
- To give you more information on deleting and uninstalling a theme, we have the “Deleting vs. Uninstalling a theme” section.
- People do a few preparations before deleting a theme in WordPress. Therefore, to make this article more meaningful to you, we have the “Things to do before you delete a WordPress Theme” part. It will guide you on a few necessary preparations with staging sites and backing up.
- Suppose you want to keep your new theme, then the suggestion from “When should you keep an unused WordPress theme” will help you.
- The four “How to delete a WordPress theme” methods will help you when you are all set to delete your theme.
- Even after deleting the theme, it will show the content you have posted on the deleted theme in the fresh theme. So, to delete these themed content, you can depend upon the “Deleting theme-related content.”
- At last, you should see what to do after deleting a WordPress theme to be safer than before.
- Don’t worry if your theme is deleted accidentally; follow the section “What to do if you accidentally delete a WordPress theme” in this article.
And at last, you will meet with a few necessary questions from our side in this article. So, we hope this entire article will prove helpful to you, and you will learn about how to uninstall a WordPress theme.