How to completely delete broken theme from WordPress blog

Well! Today Morning, when I opened, I found a completely blank white page. I thought I misspelled and retyped only to find the same result! I got really scared. For a fraction of second I thought, we lost everything. All our hard work went into vain! And hurriedly, I tried to login in admin panel and fortunately it was accessible. Though an error message was showing on Dashboard, indicating there are some functions.php errors, which were not letting me to save or modify any of the existingfiles, posts etc. But this time it’s a complete different issue, not like the one which we faced two months back with “white screen of death”, where admin panel itself was not accessible. I didn’t have any clue what to do, so I contacted our web hosting provider. They replied, our web hosting content is affected by several viruses and further suggested to download all the site contents and perform a security audit on each and every file. Finally, we were suggested upload the clean contents to the site. If we’ve any old backup of the site, that could be uploaded after the auditing process.

Finally, I got some relief and knew exactly what I needed to do to restore the functionality. Well, if you are facing any of the below mentioned issues, this piece of tutorial will show you every step in detail to get back what you already had.


Note:- This article is useful for:
  1. Broken website
  2. Infected plug-in that prevents website to perform
  3. How to completely delete broken theme
  4. Incorrect or Distorted theme layout
  5. PHP error or Broken coding on Blog

Now here is a small reminder for the newbie’s to check and verify any free theme properly before uploading. Because they are the one, who unknowingly upload broken theme and when it does not work, they immediately try to upload the correct one. But it’s not possible unless you completely delete the old broken one. (This is one of the prime reasons; I always suggest using premium theme)  Basically, this kind of error message shows:

Destination folder already exists. /home/directory name/public_html/ install failed.


Step one: – Kick everyone out – Make contents Virus and Malware free

Probably, they are the main culprits who dragged you into this situation. Either you can download each and every file to your local computer and perform a malicious code checking with any Antivirus or malware scanner or can directly perform a security check from your Cpanel admin panel. Most of the hosting account has an inbuilt virus scanner. Open the virus scanner and scan Entire Home Directory. Don’t forget to delete infected files after the scanning process completes. This will certainly cause some of the important functional files to disappear resulting in Broken Theme or plug-in.   Virus_scanner-in-control-panel

Now, there might to two situations:

  1. A partial broken theme, which is accessible from WordPress dashboard theme viewer under “Appearance” menu and can be completely removed by few simple steps.
  2. A complete broken theme, which will not show in your WordPress dashboard theme category viewer. An absolute non-functional theme basically can be found right at the bottom in dashboard footer, under the “broken themes” hood


1)  Delete broken theme from dashboard

  1. To start the process, click on Appearance > Themes. You will get to see all the installed themes there. Select the one you want do delete. Do keep in mind active theme cannot be deleted. If you want to delete any theme, first you need to deactivate that by activating any other existing theme.
  2. Next, click on that particular theme and a pop-up window will appear consisting “delete” button. Click on that to completely get rid of the broken theme from your WordPress blog


2)  Delete broken theme completely by using FTP Client

Above mentioned method is quite simple to fix the issue but it is only possible when the broken theme is accessible from WordPress dashboard. But if it’s not visible there, then we have to rely on FTP control panel. The process is quite simple if you are bit familiar with Cpanel. If not, don’t worry, just follow the below mentioned steps as instructed.

a) Log in to your Cpanel (web hosting account).

b) Find and click on “File Manager”and a pop-up window will appear. Select the domain name in which you want to take action (if you have multiple domains).

c) Among the all WordPress files and folders locate “Wp-content” and double click on blue folder icon, which will lead you to a new page where you can see another set of files and folders.


d) Find and double click on “Themes” (blue folder) and you will get to see all the installed themes in your WordPress blog.


e) Finally you have reached to the ultimate step. Under the “themes” hood all the existing themes are listed. Spot and select the culprit one (theme) and gladly click on delete button.


If you have completed the above mentioned steps, the broken theme will be completely deleted and won’t cause you any further problems. If you want to delete any particular “plugins” which is causing issue, then in fourth step select “plugins” instead of themes. After that locate the plugin you want to get rid of and follow the deletion method described above in fifth step.

Final take away :

Now you can easily upload the fresh “theme” or “plug-in” in your WordPress blog. I hope this tutorial will help you to get rid of the above mentioned problems. But still if you are having any issues to delete broken theme or plugin completely , please use the comment section. We will try to sort that out.



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Post By Sujata Das (21 Posts)

Contributor of this blog. If you like what you see here in this blog feel free to connect with me.


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