How to delete a WordPress theme?

Nadejda Milanova

Nadejda Milanova · 07th October 2021·WordPress

How to delete a WordPress theme?

Do you want to remove a WordPress theme, but are worried that it is not secure? If you've recently changed your WordPress theme, you may want to delete the old one. You may have some other WordPress themes that are pre-installed on your website that you may want to remove.

In this article we will show you why and how to easily remove a WordPress theme without affecting your website.

Why delete a WordPress theme?

If you do not use a WordPress theme, it is recommended that you remove it from your website. There are several reasons to delete unused WordPress themes.

WordPress theme files are written in PHP and can be used to hide malicious code or malware on your website (ie if your website has ever been compromised). Sometimes malicious developers can hide these codes in themes which are not used.

If you keep them installed on your server, you increase your backup size, and your WordPress security plugin takes longer to complete the scan.

You will continue to receive updates on these themes, even if you do not use them at all. Many users now install WordPress themes on their live websites just to test them. This is not the best way to test a WordPress theme.

We recommend that you use a dev site or a local installation of WordPress to do all your tests. In this way, it does not affect your live website and allows you to offer a consistent experience to your users.

What is the difference between uninstalling or removing a WordPress theme?

WordPress allows you to save only one theme as an active theme. However, you can install as many themes as you want on your website.

These themes will not be active, but they are still installed on your site and you will continue to receive updates for them. To completely uninstall a WordPress theme, you must remove it. This will remove all theme files from your website.

delete wp theme

Is it safe to delete old WordPress themes?

Yes, it is safe to delete a WordPress theme that you do not use.

Every WordPress site needs at least one theme to function properly. This is the theme that WordPress will use to display your website.

You can see which WordPress theme you are currently using by visiting the Appearance »Themes page. Your current theme will appear as an "Active" theme.

We also recommend that you keep the default WordPress theme (such as Twenty Twenty or Twenty Nineteen) installed on your website. It acts as an alternate theme in case your current theme doesn't work.

If your current theme is a child theme, you will also need to keep the parent theme installed on your website.

Apart from these themes, you can safely remove all other themes installed on your website.

That said, let's show you how to delete a WordPress theme.

Prepare before removing a WordPress theme

If you customized a WordPress theme and want to save those customizations before deleting it, you can create a complete WordPress archive.

You can also download the themes folder to your computer as a backup.

To do this, you can use an FTP client or the File Manager application on the dashboard to manage your WordPress account. Once connected, go to the / wp-content / themes / folder and download the inactive theme folder to your computer.

After backing up your old theme, you can continue deleting it.

Deleting a WordPress theme

There are several ways to delete a WordPress theme. We will start with the easiest first.

1. Delete a WordPress theme through the admin panel

This is the easiest and most recommended way to delete a WordPress theme.

First, you need to go to Appearance »Themes and click on the theme you want to remove.

WordPress will now open the topic details in a pop-up window. You need to click the Delete button in the lower right corner of the pop-up screen.

You will then be asked to confirm that you want to delete the thene. Just click the OK button to continue and WordPress will remove the theme you selected.

Delete a WordPress theme through the admin panel

2. Delete a WordPress theme via FTP

This method is a bit comlicated, but is useful if you can't access the WordPress admin area.

Just connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client and then go to the / wp-content / themes / folder.

Here you need to find the theme folder you want to delete. Right-click the folder name, and then select Delete.

Your FTP client will now delete the topic you selected.

3. Delete a WordPress theme using File Manager

If you are not comfortable using an FTP client, you can also use the File Manager application in the control panel of your web hosting.

Now, go to File Manager icon on the Advanced tab.

This will open a file manager where you can view the contents of your web server as you would with an FTP client. It should go to the / public_html / wp-content / themes / folder.

Then all you have to do is right-click and delete the theme you want to get rid of, and that's it.

What to do if you accidentally delete a WordPress theme?

If you accidentally delete a WordPress theme, there are several ways to recover it.

First, you can restore the theme from the archive. This is easier because many WordPress backup plugins allow you to quickly restore your website to an earlier stage.

However, if you did not back up, you can restore the theme by downloading and installing a new copy of the same theme.

The disadvantage of the second approach is that you will lose any customization you have made to the theme.

We hope this article has helped you learn how to easily remove a WordPress theme.

Nadejda Milanova
Nadejda Milanova

An experienced Content creator in the field of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and WordPress. A true proffesional with a Master's degree focused on journalism.

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