Redirect Loops Uninstalling

How to uninstall / deactivate when backend is not accessible

There are situations where you can get locked out of the backend of WordPress. For example, if you do not have a valid SSL certificate, and you forced it anyway, or if you have a redirect to http:// enabled on your site, then activate Really Simple SSL, which adds a redirect to https.

In this case you want to deactivate the plugin, but you can’t access the WordPress plugin overview. The plugin comes with a function to uninstall if that happens. Because the site_url is changed to https just removing or renaming the plugin in FTP won’t work! The deactivation script removes all changes that were made and reverts your site to http.

You don’t need any technical skills, but you do need FTP access to your site.

  1. Open your ftp client, like filezilla for example, and open your website.
  2. Look for the folder wp-content/plugins/really-simple-ssl
  3. Look for the file “force-deactivate.txt”, and rename it to “force-deactivate.php”.
  4. Open your browser, and open the following url: (don’t forget to change in your own domain.
  5. Clear your browser cache, or visit your site with another browser to prevent the browser from redirecting you to https.

Important! Take care to use http://, and not https://. If you don’t have an SSL certificate, the deactivation page won’t load on https!

It is possible a security plugin will block the deactivation url. If that happens, deactivate the security plugins and caching plugins you are running by renaming those folders temporarily.

The plugin is now deactivated, and you should be able to access the admin again.
Did you already delete the plugin? Download it from the wordpress repository, upload it in your plugins directory (unzipped), then follow the previous steps.

If this didn’t work

You can always do a manual uninstall

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  • Evan Emerson

    Thanks for this post and the force-deactivate.php file. Your attention to detail, this support site and the recent updates (as of March 2017) have saved me a lot of time. I develop and host many of my sites and client sites on Siteground and have moved some standalone WP sites to their new SSL feature in the SG Optimizer plugin where they simply add .htaccess rules. But, it doesn’t support WP Multisite, so I’m still pretty reliant on Really Simple SSL for those multisites and others I haven’t migrated. From debugging a WPMS SSL issue tonight, you’ve solved two problems just by having great documentation and a forum. Thank you. I really appreciate your work.

  • Blake

    Hi Rogier,
    first thanks for create such a great plugin . i used it plugin since 2 months. but 3 days ago i fall a issue with my website, when i visit its says “Redirect loop” page not loading. when if i delete thsi
    # BEGIN rlrssslReallySimpleSSL rsssl_version[2.5.11]

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTP:X-Forwarded-Proto} !https
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

    # END rlrssslReallySimpleSSL

    from .htaccess , then page open but cant log in wp-admin.

    please help me man !! 🙁

  • Daniel R.

    Great stuff. I got it to work on my local site. I’m assuming that I need to change the file names back when I’m ready to re migrate the site back to a live site?

    • Mark Wolters

      Hi Daniel,

      if you have renamed the folder or files you need to change those back. Also don’t forget to rename the force-deactivate.php to force-deactivate.txt if you have used it. If it’s .php anyone can disable the plugin by visiting the /force-deactivate.php url.


  • MC

    Hello. Thanks for your clear explanation on how to desactivate the plugin, because to be honest, I lost a heartbeat when I lost access to my backend. But the website was ok, with a correct https redirection.
    The thing is, my SSL certificate is valid, and I cannot find any http redirection (I may have missed it), so I don’t know why I lost my backend access…
    For the moment, the plugin is still desactivated, but the website is still correctly redirected to the https address. I find it quite surprising. So my question is, do I have to reactivate the plugin ?
    And what will happen if I remove it?

    • Rogier Lankhorst

      Can you submit a support request? Then we can take a look at your website.

  • Haresh Kumar

    Thanks Rogier Lankhorst its working for me

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