White Screen of Death After a Plugin/Theme Update? Don’t Panic!

It happened to all of us, we were checking on our WordPress website, we’ve updated a plugin (a set of plugins even!) or maybe a theme, and instead of our awesome website of awesomeness, there was a just a big white screen laughing at us. This has happened before and it will happen many times more in the future. The most important thing to know in this situation is that it can easily be fixed! Just follow the steps below:

  • Log into the FTP of the site by using an FTP client – I recommend Filezilla which I use on a daily basis
  • Navigate to the wp-content directory of your site and enter the plugins directory (or themes if you updated a theme)
  • Find the plugin/theme folder which you updated and rename it (you can rename it to anything you want – plugins1, 2plugins, myplugins etc.)

This action will deactivate that particular plugin/theme and you will regain control of your website. If you updated a set of plugins and you don’t remember which ones they were, you can rename the whole plugins directory and thus deactivate all the plugins on the site. Afterwards, by logging into the wp-admin area of the site, you can activate them one by one in order to locate the culprit!

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By dakisha

WordPress enthusiast and Customer Happiness addict. Working for Automattic as a Happiness Engineer. Loves chess, tennis, and good food.

2 replies on “White Screen of Death After a Plugin/Theme Update? Don’t Panic!”

I am still waiting for it to get out of beta. I saw the WP Safe Mode introduction at the last WordPress meetup in Belgrade. The whole idea seems great and it seems like an awesome solution for WordPress administration and cases like WSOD. I’ll definitely give WP Safe Mode a shot once the final version is out!

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