How to Delete A Theme From WordPress [Updated 2020]

How many themes are installed on your WordPress website? Do you want to delete the extra theme you have on your WordPress website? Then there are two different ways you can do so. Also read when any why you should delete them for your advantage. Hope this helps.

Why You Should Delete Inactive or Unused Themes from Your WordPress Site

There are several reasons for removing a theme from your WordPress site and knowing how to delete them can be an advantage for you. Here is a lit of reason why you may need to delete them.

Save space: WordPress Themes takes some amount of space on your web server and sometimes a large theme can take much more space than a regular one. So removing them can save you some space. And Use that space for something useful. There is no need for keeping something that can waste webspace for any good reason.

WordPress updates almost every month but old unmaintained themes may not update them as soon as WordPress updates itself. So If themes are not updated properly there is a chance that your theme opens some kind of security vulnerability point on your website.

Old PHP Code can open a security risk in your WordPress site. So in case if you are not using a theme then it is better to remove that WordPress theme from your website.

And why Keeping it there when you can install it again anytime you want from WordPress theme repository or from when you downloaded this.

You will also get better database performance Less Theme maintenance task to do and it will help you to make your website more secure.

When You should not remove a WordPress Theme

If you are using a child theme and not using the parent theme then you should not remove the theme because the child theme depends on the parent theme and without the parent theme, the child theme will not work anymore.

If you are using that theme in a multisite network and deleting that will cause problems in some user blogs. So If you are running a multisite then you need to be very careful about what theme and plugin you remove from your main install.

In case you are a theme developer or theme tester and reviewing these themes in a separate non-important environment, then You can always keep your unused themes in your website.

Deactivating vs deleting a WordPress theme

Deactivating a theme will just disable the theme to load in the frontend but it will stay in the database and WordPress files. So to get rid of that theme you need to delete it from WordPress.

You should please note that you should always create a backup of your current version of the website before shifting to another theme. So if something goes wrong with the change of theme, you can still go back to the previous version, with little or no risks.

There is also no Delete button for the Parent theme in the event of a Child Theme. This way, you’ll be sure you can refer back to the Parent theme if something is damaged. There’s an easy method of removing a WordPress theme, we’ll show you how to do this in just a few easy steps:

Deleting a Theme Using WordPress DashBoard

You need an admin account to delete themes from your WordPress website.

First, log in to your WordPress dashboard using your admin username and password. You can log in by visiting this URL. (replace your site using your domain).

Now visit Dashboard>Appearance>themes from your left side panel Please check the included screenshot.

Now you need to check which theme is active. You can see how an active theme looks like in this next screenshot. Generally, WordPress put the active theme in the first place and labels it as active them.
Check if there is any other theme with the same name as your active theme. If there is one then you should not delete that theme because it is your parent theme.

Now click on the theme you would like to delete and click on Theme Details. Now you can see theme details and in the footer section, you can see a Delete button in the bottom right corner.

Click on delete to remove the theme and you will see a confirmation window to and a final chance to cancel this operation. Select Ok. Now your theme should be removed without any problem leaving other themes.

Now please repeat these steps to delete other unused themes from your WordPress site.

Deleting a Theme Using an FTP/sFTP Client

If you don’t have access to Your WordPress Dashboard and If you think it will be easier for you to use an FTP client then follow this step to remove your WordPress theme.

First, you need to download and install an FTP client in your pc or mac. Here is a list of the most popular FTP clients available.

You will need your website’s FTP Server information. Most Webhosting companies provide this in the welcome email. If you don’t have the welcome email then please ask your WebHost to provide them.

Now here is the list of information you need to log in using FTP client.

  • Host Name
  • Port
  • Username
  • Password

After logging In Please visit your WordPress install then move to wp-content> themes folder
Now here you can see all the themes available in your WordPress. Right-click on the theme folder and hit delete to remove the theme. Make sure you take aback up of your theme before doing this. You can see a confirmation message in your FTP client to be sure about that.

What Happens When Something Goes Wrong

When deleting a theme there is a little chance that something goes wrong. It can happen if you have a damaged wp Installation or a theme compatibility issue.

What Happens when you get “Deletion failed, the theme requested does not exist”. So, in this case, there may be some theme file that is still not removed properly. So here you need to delete the theme files manually from your website. Use the FTP method presented here in this article.

Most web hosts use Linux for their operating system and if you failed to remove the files using the following methods then you may have some problem with your Linux system permission. Make sure you have correct user permission using a file manager.

If you have access to your WP dashboard then it is always easier to delete them from the dashboard. I hope you found this article useful and let us know if you face any problem removing a WordPress theme.

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