How to Fix a Critical Error in the WordPress Admin Panel

Even the most stable and reliable software can encounter unexpected issues. One such unpleasant situation is a critical error caused by a malfunction in one of the installed WordPress plugins. When this happens, you might see the following message:

“There has been a critical error on this website. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.”

But don’t panic! In this article, we’ll go through how to fix this issue and regain access to the WordPress admin panel.

Deactivating All Plugins Using phpMyAdmin

If you cannot access the WordPress admin screens to deactivate all plugins, you have two methods to solve this problem. One of them is using phpMyAdmin.


  1. Log in to phpMyAdmin through your hosting control panel.
  2. Find the wp_options table.
  3. In the option_name column, find the active_plugins row.
  4. Change the value in the option_value column to: a:0:{}.

This will deactivate all plugins on your site.

Resetting the Plugins Folder via FTP or Your Host’s File Manager

Another method is using FTP or your host’s file manager. This method preserves plugin settings but requires manual reactivation of the plugins.


  1. Access your site via an FTP client or your host’s file manager. Popular file managers include cPanel, DirectAdmin, and Plesk.
  2. Navigate to the wp-content folder.
  3. Rename the plugins folder to plugins.hold.
  4. Log in to the WordPress admin panel (URL: /wp-admin/plugins.php). This will disable any plugin that is “missing.”
  5. Rename the plugins.hold folder back to plugins.

A Bit About FTP and SFTP

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) are two ways to upload and modify files on your site.

  • FTP has been widely used for over thirty years but transmits your information in the clear, which can be a security risk.
  • SFTP is a more secure way to transfer files because it uses an encrypted connection.

Using phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin is an administrative tool that allows you to interact with your MySQL database. WordPress stores all its information in a MySQL database and interacts with it to generate information on your site.

phpMyAdmin is handy for performing maintenance operations on tables, backing up information, and editing data directly when WordPress is not working.


When your WordPress site encounters a critical error due to plugins, don’t panic. Using the methods described in this article, you can quickly and effectively restore access to the admin panel and get your site back up and running. If you have any questions or need further advice, feel free to contact us at

We hope this article was helpful! Good luck restoring your site and happy WordPress management.

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