When you install WordPress, it comes with default themes like twenty-nineteen and twenty-twenty. In addition to these themes you may also install many themes to check and preview how your site look. Though you deactivate, all installed and default themes will be permanently available on your site. In this article, we will explain how to delete WordPress theme from your site.
Why to Delete Inactive Themes?
There are multiple reasons to delete all inactive themes from your site. First, those inactive themes will occupy storage space. Many hosting companies like Bluehost restrict the number of files you can store and have file count limit. Each theme will consist of many files and leaving many inactive themes in your WordPress installation will result in increased file count. You can see the number of files under the file count or similar server option available in your hosting account.
Other reason for deleting inactive themes is that the site health feature in WordPress will warn you about that. Since, inactive themes can cause potential security threat to your site, it makes sense to delete them before any damage happens.
Last, you have to update the inactive themes though you are using them on live site.
How to View Inactive Themes?
Login to your WordPress admin panel. You can view all the themes in your WordPress admin area by navigating to “Themes” option available under “Appearance” menu. WordPress highlights the active theme with a label “Active” and all other themes are inactive themes.
How to Delete Inactive WordPress Themes?
You can delete those inactive themes from your WordPress site in the following three ways.
- Deleting from WordPress admin panel
- Use FTP and delete
- Use File Manager app from hosting account
1. Deleting from WordPress Admin Panel
- Login to your WordPress site as an administrator.
- Navigate to “Themes” option available under “Appearance” menu.
- Move your mouse over the theme you want to delete.
- You will see a “Theme Details” button and click on it.
- After clicking on the “Theme Details”, look down at the bottom of the screen.
- You will see “Activate”, “Live Preview” and then “Delete” option.
- The delete option was moved away from other options to avoid you accidentally deleting a theme.
- Click on the delete button and then confirm the theme deletion.
- This will permanently delete the theme from you WordPress site.
2. Using FTP and Remotely Delete a Theme
All installed themes will be available under your WordPress installation. You can find them under “/wp-content/themes/” directory. You can delete these theme folders using FTP software like FileZilla.
- Launch your FTP client and login with your server details
- Navigate to “/wp-content/themes/” folder and locate the theme folder you want to delete.
- Right click and select “Delete” option to remove the folder from your server.
3. Using File Manager App from Hosting Account
Instead of using FTP, you can also delete a theme from your hosting account using File Manager app. The process remains exactly same like using FTP. You can login to hosting account, open File Manager app and delete a theme folder under “/wp-content/themes/” folder.
Caution Before Deleting a Theme
Remember the followings before you try to delete a theme.
- We recommend to delete a theme from admin panel. You will not see a delete option for the active theme in your admin panel. This will help you to avoid accidentally deleting the active theme. However, you can delete the active theme using FTP or File Manager.
- When you wrongly deleted an active theme, WordPress will try to use any other default themes available. If no themes are found, you will see errors when accessing your site.
- Make sure you have a backup taken before deleting a theme. You can use the backup to restore your site if f you have wrongly deleted a theme. It will also help you to retain all customizations you have done on your theme.
- Many themes offer import/export option for downloading all theme options. You can use this as a backup to restore theme options if you want to use the same theme. This is useful when you have messed up with a demo import and wanted to start afresh.