Warning! Deactivate and Delete Themes In WordPress

Deactivate and Delete Themes In WordPress: Must do this before you delete it.

Deleting themes in WordPress is an easy task. However, your gut instinct may urge you to look through more details to make the procedure more secure.

Even I do the same thing when I have to make a decision that can affect my website. It’s good since you’ll discover a lot of new information in the process.

This post will teach you how to delete the current theme in WordPress. And will help you when you want to change the theme of your blog but don’t want to lose all of your content. 

Make sure you have a new theme ready before removing the old one.

Also, remember that if your blog uses any custom plugins or widgets, then it may also get deleted along with the theme. So have a backup of everything beforehand. 

Keep on reading to learn how you can do so.

Install A New Theme Before You Delete A Theme In WordPress

On my website, I’m using the Twenty Twenty One theme. However, because Astra is a lightweight theme, I’d want to modify it.

To begin, we’ll need to install a new Astra theme on our WordPress account.

How to Install a new Theme

Install Themes WordPress
Install Theme
  1. Move your cursor to the topmost section of the page and click on the “Add New” Button.
  2. Type “Astra” in the Search Theme search box present on the right-hand side of your screen.
  3. Now Click on the Install button on Astra.
  4. After installation, you can see the “Activate” button instead of Install.

How to Deactivate Your Current Theme in WordPress

To make it more clear, here is one thing you need to know. There is no “Deactivate” button present for your currently active theme.

Yes, you can see a deactivate button for plugins, but not for themes.

To deactivate a theme, you need to activate your preferred theme.

Like in my case, I chose Astra. Similarly, you can also choose a theme depending upon your niche.

To deactivate your theme:

activate to delete themes on WordPress
  • Place your cursor on the “Activate” button of your preferred theme and click on it.

Now what to do with all the themes which remain useless? You should delete them.

Why should you get rid of unused themes?

  • Unused themes take up a lot of space and might slow down your website’s performance.
  • When you make a backup of your site, the unused themes take up needless space, increasing the size of the backup file. Larger file sizes will take much longer to upload than smaller file sizes.
  • Inactive themes do not receive any update notification. 

This means the theme resting on your account is not the most recent version and may contain bugs.

Any weakness serves as an open invitation to hackers, increasing the risk associated with your website.

As a result, removing those themes from your site is a must.

But don’t forget to keep a backup of the active theme before you deactivate and delete it.

Codefist recommends keeping one of the default themes of WordPress. It will serve as a fallback theme if your current theme fails.

Why is it best to create a backup before you delete it?

Making a backup of your theme or your site ensures that you are as safe as possible.

Even if something goes wrong, you can always return to your prior position.

2 Ways To Create A Backup Of Your Theme

1. Using a plugin

Updraft Plus is a great plugin for backup and restoration. You can use it to create a backup file for your entire site and download the files for further security.

After a backup is created you can see Updraft plus provides separate files for different parts of your site. Such as plugins, themes etc., all will have a separate file. And you can download any specific file you wish to.

2. Through your cPanel

Open your cPanel and follow the following pathway.

Right Click on Theme WordPress
Right Click on Theme
  • Got to File Manager -> public_html -> wp_content -> themes.
  • Click on the particular theme you want to download and right-click on it. 
  • Select “Compress”.
  • Enter a name for the file and choose the file type. For example, zip, tar, tar.gz, tgz. I will suggest you choose zip as the file type. 
  • Press Download.

And you will get the download file as a backup copy of the theme.

After completing all the above steps, move forward to delete your WordPress theme.

3 Simple Ways To Delete Themes In WordPress

1. From Appearance -> Themes section of your WordPress account

Themes WordPress Details
Theme Details
  • Hover on the top of the themes you want to delete. While hovering, the button for “Theme Details” will appear at the centre of it.
  • Click on “Theme Details”. A small tab will appear.
Delete Option to delete themes on WordPress
Delete Option
  • Look at the bottom-right corner of it. You can see the “Delete” button to delete the theme.
  • Press “Delete” to delete the themes in WordPress.

2. From cPanel through File Manager

  • Open your C-panel.
  • Scroll down to the File Manager Option and click on it.
  • Once you enter inside your File Manager, you can see the public_html folder.
  • Double click on public_html, then move ahead towards the wp_content folder.
  • wp_content will lead you to another folder, themes. The themes folder will contain each one of the installed themes in a separate folder.
  • A single click on the theme to select it. Right-click on it. 
  •  Click on the “Delete” option.

And you can successfully delete your themes in WordPress.

Trustiko has mentioned in his blog that you can also follow the above steps if you have a broken theme.

Broken themes will often not provide theme details options from where you can delete your themes. And as an alternative, you can remove the themes from your cPanel.

3. If Your Theme Is A Plugin

If your theme is a plugin that you have installed. Then go to “Plugins” in your WordPress Dashboard.

Select the plugin, then click on deactivate and then on the delete button.


If you’re running a WordPress site on your web hosting service, you probably know that themes are what makes it possible for your pages to look so different from other WordPress sites.

So deactivating and deleting your theme can be a scary topic to play with.

In this article, we explored the deactivation and deletion of themes in WordPress. We hope that you use these tips to make the process easy for you. 

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