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 connect to 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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