How to disable the WordPress Flickr widget via PHPMyAdmin

Sometimes, a problematic WordPress plugin prevents a user from logging into WordPress. This may be due to an error in the widget causing a visible output prior to the HTML headers being served to the browser. As a result, the user cannot establish a session while logging in, therefore cannot log into WordPress to disable the widget via the administrative panel.

The workaround, in this case, is to log into cPanel and access the WordPress database directly. This can be accessed via the PHPMyAdmin link once logged into cPanel.

Once logged into PHPMyAdmin, access the appropriate database from the lefthand menu and select the “wp_options” table.

Then navigate for the record with an option_name value of “active_plugins”.

The value for active_plugins is typically a string of variables and values. They are numbered sequentially, i0, i1, i2, i3, and so forth.

A sample active plugin value for a WordPress install with Flickr might look like the following. The bolded text, below, denotes the portion of the string responsible for making Flickr an active widget:

a:5:{i:0;s:33:”addthis/addthis_social_widget.php”;i:1;s:19:”akismet/akismet.php”;i:2;s:31:”flickr-widget/flickr_widget.php”;i:3;s:27:”wp-super-cache/wp-cache.php”;}

To disable Flickr, simply remove the bolded line, and relabel the following item’s i# value so it follows sequentially. Note how the i# for the wp-cache value has been changed from i3 to i2:

a:5:{i:0;s:33:”addthis/addthis_social_widget.php”;i:1;s:19:”akismet/akismet.php”;i:2;s:27:”wp-super-cache/wp-cache.php”;}

Save the field value in PHPMyAdmin and reload your WordPress admin panel to test out this fix.