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 you can get locked out of the backend.

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. Just removing or renaming the plugin won’t work!

  1. Open your ftp client, like filezilla for example, and open your website.
  2. Look for the folder “wp-content”
  3. It is possible a security plugin will block the deactivation url. To prevent this, deactivate the security plugins and caching plugins you are running by renaming those folders temporarily.
  4. Open wp-content/plugins/really-simple-ssl
  5. Look for the file “force-deactivate.txt”, and rename it to “force-deactivate.php”.
  6. Open your browser, and open the following url: (don’t forget to change in your own domain.

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

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 deinstall

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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.

    • Rogier Lankhorst

      Thanks Evan!

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