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How to Remove Themes from WordPress the Easiest Way

How to Remove Themes from WordPress the Easiest Way

WordPress themes market is a very competitive one, new themes are constantly showing up. It is hard to resist the temptation to try something new, even when you are perfectly satisfied with your current theme. And there’s actually nothing wrong with wanting to change your WP template – it is a good way to refresh your website. But you should also bear in mind that if you choose to switch completely to a new theme – you should take care of the old one too. Deleting themes that we don’t use is important as it can enhance the speed and security of your website.

In this article, you will find out everything you should know about deleting a theme as well as what to check before and what after deleting it:

Reasons for Deleting Unused WordPress Themes

There are three most common reasons why it may be necessary to change a WordPress theme. The first and the most obvious one is that you have chosen a new theme and don’t need the old one. The second is a scenario that happens fairly often – you tested the theme and didn’t like it. And finally, you may just want to get rid of the default theme because you see no benefit in having it. Whatever your reason, the way to delete a theme is the same, and you should also know that every theme can be deleted.

Benefits of Removing a WordPress Theme

The first benefit of deleting unused themes is improved security. The more templates you have installed on your website, the easier it will be for hackers to infiltrate. Your website performance will also be improved and that is largely due to the fact that deleted themes don’t need updates. As long as the theme is on your website, whether active or inactive it needs to be updated. Imagine the relief in your admin panel when you remove quite a few unused themes. Finally, your database performance will also be enhanced as all the data used and stored in the database while the now inactive theme was active, will be deleted as well.

When You Should Be Careful About Deleting a WordPress Theme

The absolute NO to deleting a theme is if it is a parent theme to the one you are currently using. The reason for this is that removing a parent theme will also cause the child theme to break. But don’t worry WordPress will always notify you in the Themes screen if the current theme is a child theme.

Another valid reason for not removing a theme is if you need it for testing purposes and you are not sure whether you’ll need it in the future or not.

To Delete, Uninstall or Deactivate a WordPress Theme

Although in theory deleting and uninstalling are the same thing, practically that is not the case. The code files will be deleted in both cases. The main difference is that sometimes when you uninstall a theme some of the related content stays on your website.

On the other hand, deactivating a theme is something else completely. Whenever you install and start using a new theme, the old one gets automatically deactivated, unlike the plugins you have to deactivate manually.

How to Remove an Unused WordPress WordPress Theme

Removing unused WP themes is not rocket science. It actually takes just a few clicks. We will show you how to remove a WordPress theme via your WP dashboard.

To start, go to Appearance > Themes. All the themes you have ever installed will be displayed, and the active one will be displayed as the first in the list.

Appearance Theme settings

Take a look at the list, choose the theme you want to delete, and click on the Theme Details button to see all the important info related to the theme.

Theme Details

After you checked this is the theme you want to delete, you will notice a Delete option in the lower right-hand corner.

Delete Theme option

When you click on it, the system will first ask if you are sure you want to delete the theme. If you are sure, simply click the OK button in the popup and the theme will be removed.

Click the OK button

Tips on What to do After Removing a WordPress Theme

  • Always test your website after you remove a theme. Go to your website from a browser after you made sure you cleared the cache.
  • There may be some leftovers from the deleted theme that include widgets, menus, dummy content and images. You should either reassign them to the active theme or remove them too, as they may clutter your website.

In Conclusion

If you had your eye on that flashy, new WordPress theme but you weren’t sure whether that particular theme will work for you – go for it, test it. If it turns out it was the wrong theme you can delete it in four simple steps. Now, all that is left to be done is to go to your WordPress backend and check how many unused themes there are. Choose the ones you are sure you won’t be needing and tell us how removing them affected your website in terms of speed and performance.

We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!


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