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3 Methods to Remove a Theme From WordPress Safely & Efficiently

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I often feel like a kid in the candy store when I shop for a new WordPress theme.

There are so many great options available for WordPress themes that finding the best one takes time and effort.

As a result, most WP users, including myself, install some potential themes on the site to test them.

Of course, this approach always helps to select the perfect theme, but it does increase the website’s weight.  

When you install a theme file, it takes up significant space on your hosting server.

Generally, a theme file takes between 1.5 to 15 MB on your server.  

Having multiple unused theme files on your site can make it bulky and slow.

Thus, deleting unused themes helps the performance of your website.

So, let’s not keep the theme clutter on your website and learn how to remove a theme from WordPress.

What is a Theme in a WordPress Site?

A theme is the design foundation of a WordPress website.

It includes website styling elements like color palettes, backgrounds, typography, etc.

Every WordPress site needs a theme installed and activated to control design elements.

But this doesn’t mean you need to use a theme’s design because you can customize the theme using HTML and CSS in WordPress.

Should I Delete Unused WordPress Themes?

It is advisable to remove unused WordPress themes you no longer need. Deleting unused themes is essential because:

  • Hackers exploit WordPress themes’ poor security to inject backdoors, malware, and other infectious stuff into your site. More unused themes mean hackers get more chances to attack your website.
  • A theme is a collection of hefty files that can consume ample hosting server space. Thus, deactivating a theme isn’t enough; deleting it is essential. Also, remember to clear your cache to free up space on your server.

Can I Undo a Theme Change in WordPress?

It is possible to undo a theme change in WordPress.

In addition, you can use WordPress revision links to undo changes and restore earlier content.

Go to Appearance > Themes > Theme Details > Activate.

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When Not to Remove a Theme in WordPress?

Unused WordPress themes are a hindrance, but in some cases, you need to keep them, such as:

  • When you use a child theme, you need to keep the parent theme of the child theme on your server.
  • WordPress developers must keep a backup of their custom WordPress themes to show website layout design ideas to their clients.
  • When developing a new website, keeping a few theme options can help you analyze which theme your visitors like better.

What is the Difference Between WordPress Theme Deletion and Uninstallation?

WordPress enables you to keep an active theme. In addition, though, you can install multiple themes on your websites.

The themes that are inactive but installed on your website are uninstalled themes.

But, users get updates for these themes.

In simple words, deleting a theme is the opposite of installing a WordPress theme.

It means removing all the theme-related files from your server, so you never receive the theme updates.

Things to Consider Before Removing a Theme in WordPress

Here are a few things to remember before deleting themes from your WordPress site:

  • Take a backup. If you have customized your WP theme, don’t forget to back up the site to prevent your changes. You can use WordPress backup plugins or an FTP client in your hosting account dashboard.
  • Record a theme’s performance metrics. If you are only testing themes, record a theme’s performance metrics before removing it. This lets you select the best responsive WP theme.
  • Clean removal. Ensure to remove all theme-related files and cache to free up space on your host server.

3 Quick Methods to Remove a Theme from WordPress

Themes are the best part of using WordPress.

They allow you to design a visual-rich website without coding hassle.

But unused WordPress themes are simple clutter that you can remove as follows:

Method 1. Remove a Theme from WordPress Using the Admin Dashboard

Your WordPress admin dashboard is the quickest and safest way to delete a theme.

After logging into your WordPress dashboard, follow these steps:

Step 1. Go to Appearance > Themes, and you can see all your installed themes on the screen.

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Step 2. Go to the theme you want to remove and click on Theme Details.

Remember, you can only delete the active one if you first set up another active theme.

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Step 3. On the next window, click on the Delete button.

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Step 4. Click OK on the warning popup message window, and the theme will be removed from your WordPress dashboard and hosting server.

Method 2. Remove a Theme from WordPress Using FTP

You can use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) when you cannot access your WordPress admin dashboard.

It is a file on a remote computer that hosts your WordPress site.

Here’s how to use this method:

  • Step 1. Connect with an FTP client and go to /wp-content/themes/ folder.
  • Step 2. From there, look for the unused theme folder you want to delete.
  • Step 3. Right-click on the folder name, select Delete, and your FTP client will delete your theme.
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Method 3. Remove a Theme from WordPress Using Your Host Account

You can also remove a WordPress theme from your hosting panel. This method can vary from hosting server to server.

Though the general steps to delete a theme from the hosting panel are as follows:

  • Step 1. Log into your web host account and look for the file manager option.
  • Step 2. Go to the wp-content folder and look for the theme folder.
  • Step 3. In the theme folder, right-click on the theme folder you want to delete and select the Delete option.

Other Helpful Tutorials

Bloggingtips have some other WordPress tutorials that can help you remove a theme from your website:

  • How to Delete WordPress: Learn how to delete WordPress from your host account to rebuild your website on another platform.
  • How to Reinstall WordPress: This “how to reinstall WordPress” guide can help you reinstall your site without losing your data.
  • How to Reinstall WordPress Plugins: If you aren’t using a plugin, know how to reinstall WordPress plugins to save space on your server.

Parting Remarks

As you can see, removing a theme from WordPress is easy.

You can use your admin dashboard, an FTP client, or a hosting account.

After removing a theme with your preferred method, ensure that all theme files are removed from your site.

Sometimes leftover files remain on your server despite deleting the theme.

To confirm that, go to your Media Library to check all media files related to the theme are gone.

Next, delete the unused theme’s widget — Appearance > Widgets > Inactive Widgets > Clear Inactive Widgets.

You can also use a WordPress maintenance service if you get stuck somewhere.

That’s it for now! Keep on following Bloggingtips.com for more WordPress guides.

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