Many WordPress backup pluginsgallery plugins, and sliders create and store data directly in the wp-content folder. If you do not have a complete backup of your WordPress site, then you should download these files to your computer as backup.

After that you can safely delete these files from your server.

Removing Unused Shortcodes in WordPress

Many WordPress plugins use shortcodes to add things into your posts or pages. Once you deactivate or uninstall a plugin, those shortcodes will become visible in your posts, and they look quite ugly.


You can easily disable shortcodes by adding this code in your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific WordPress plugin.

add_shortcode( 'pluginshortcode', '__return_false' );

This code basically adds the shortcode back and make it display nothing. Don’t forget to replace pluginshortcode with the shortcode tag used by the plugin you want to remove.

It is important to note, that you will need remove this code if you ever decide to use that plugin again.

For more detailed instructions, see our guide on how to find and remove usused shortcodes from WordPress posts.

Cleaning Up WordPress Database

Some WordPress plugins create their own tables in WordPress database. If these tables have too much data in them, then that would increase your WordPress backup size.

You can delete those tables using phpMyadmin. However, we must warn you that you should be very careful about making any changes to the WordPress database. Like always, it is highly recommend that you have complete WordPress backup before you perform any action.

All of our recommended WordPress hosting providers offer cPanel with phpMyAdmin. Login to your cPanel account and scroll down to the database section. There you will find the phpMyAdmin icon.

phpMyAdmin cPanel

Clicking on it will launch phpMyAdmin. You need to click on your database and then select the tables you want to delete. Below the tables list, you will see a drop down labeled ‘with selected’. You need to click on the drop down, and then select ‘Drop’.

Deleting unwanted database tables using phpMyAdmin

You will now see a warning that you are about to delete these tables. You need to click on Yes to confirm the action. Please note that it is irreversible, once deleted you will not be able to restore these tables unless you have a backup.

Confirm you want to delete tables

phpMyAdmin will now drop the tables and will delete all data in those tables.

For more details, you may want to check out our beginner’s guide to WordPress database management with phpMyAdmin.

We hope this article helped you learn how to properly uninstall a WordPress plugin. You may also want to see our guide on how to deactivate all WordPress plugins when not able to access wp-admin.

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