Really Simple SSL

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 and 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. To regain access in such situations, 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 will not 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 (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 to 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 will not load on https!

It is possible that a security plugin blocks the deactivation URL. If that happens, deactivate the security plugins and caching plugins by renaming those folders temporarily.

The plugin is now deactivated, and you should be able to access the admin area 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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21 Responses

  1. Rogier,
    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.

  2. 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 !! 🙁

  3. 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?

    1. 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.


  4. 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?

  5. Hi.

    my website not working, after instaling plugins for SSL, getting some error & also can’t go to my WordPress logging page, so I read your article then, uninstalling through cpanel “force-deactivate.php”.
    now my website home page, not opening but (/shop) & another page are working so what to do for run my home page & also WordPress logging page,

    Im also using Cloudflare

    how can i change this??
    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!

    plz help me

        1. The front-end of your site is in a redirect loop, this can be caused by your Cloudflare SSL settings, can you switch the Cloudflare SSL settings from ‘Full’ to ‘Flexible’ or vice versa? That might solve the redirect loop. If that doesn’t help, there might be another cause of the redirect loop. A redirect loop is caused when there is a redirect to http:// and https:// active at the same time. For more information and other possible causes see

          1. The site still tries to load a lot of resources over http:// while the page is on SSL. This is fixed by the Really Simple SSL mixed content fixer. If it doesn’t work right away, try to clear all caches the website uses (including the Cloudflare cache). That will resolve the mixed content issues most of the time. Have you checked the redirect loop article for the other possible causes? Perhaps there’s a redirect to http:// in your .htaccess file for example, which can also cause a redirect loop. To completely remove it, please follow the steps in the redirect loop article.

  6. Thank you, sir
    finally, my website run because of you,
    I really appreciate it & also recommended your plugin to my friends,

    Sry my English is not good bt really thanks 🙂

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