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Remove WordPress Theme Easily – Quick Guide

by Marcin Wieclaw
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how to delete a theme in wordpress

Welcome to our quick guide on removing WordPress themes. In this article, we will discuss the importance of deleting unused themes, why you should consider removing them, when it may be necessary to keep certain themes, and the methods to delete themes in WordPress.

Unused WordPress themes can take up valuable storage space and pose security risks if not properly managed. Keeping them updated can be inconvenient, making it essential to delete them to reduce the risk of security breaches and free up storage. However, there are exceptions when it’s necessary to keep an inactive theme, which we will explore further.

Deleting a WordPress theme is a simple process, and we will guide you through three different methods. You can delete themes through the WordPress dashboard, manually remove the theme folder using FTP/SFTP, or use WP-CLI for advanced users. We will provide step-by-step instructions for each method to ensure a smooth deletion process.

By regularly reviewing and removing unused WordPress themes, you can enhance the security, performance, and efficiency of your website. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into why deleting themes is crucial and how you can easily remove them in our upcoming sections.

Why should you delete WordPress themes?

Unused WordPress themes can pose significant security and storage issues for your website. It’s important to understand the risks associated with retaining unused themes and the benefits of deleting them.

Security issues of unused WordPress themes:

Keeping unused WordPress themes on your website can make it vulnerable to security breaches. Hackers often exploit outdated or faulty code within themes to gain unauthorized access to websites. By removing unused themes, you can reduce the risk of security breaches and protect your website from potential threats.

Storage issues of unused WordPress themes:

Unused themes take up valuable storage space on your server. This can lead to storage limitations and performance issues for your website. By deleting unused themes, you can free up storage space and optimize your website’s overall performance.

Updating unused themes can be cumbersome and time-consuming. In many cases, it is more efficient to delete them altogether, especially if they are no longer needed or supported by the theme developer.

Deleting unused themes not only eliminates security and storage concerns but also helps in better website management and organization. It allows you to focus on active themes and ensures that your website remains secure, efficient, and up-to-date.

To further illustrate the importance of deleting unused themes, refer to the following table:

Security Storage Website Performance
Potential security breaches Consumes server storage space Poor performance due to storage limitations
Reduced risk of security breaches Frees up storage space Improved website performance

By deleting unused WordPress themes, you can ensure a secure and optimized website. In the next section, we will explore the scenarios in which it might be necessary to keep an unused theme.

When should you keep an unused WordPress theme?

While it’s generally recommended to delete unused WordPress themes for better website management and security, there are certain exceptions where keeping an inactive theme is necessary. These exceptions include:

  1. Using a child theme: A child theme inherits the functionality and styling of its parent theme but allows you to make customizations without modifying the parent theme directly. In this case, it’s essential to keep the parent theme as an inactive option for the child theme to work properly.
  2. Keeping a theme as a backup: In case of any issues or conflicts with the current active theme, it’s useful to have a backup option available. By keeping an unused theme as a backup, you can quickly switch to it if needed, ensuring uninterrupted website functionality.
  3. Multiple testing themes: If you frequently test and switch between different themes for design or functionality purposes, it may be convenient to keep the unused themes temporarily. This allows you to easily switch back and forth during the testing phase without having to download or install themes repeatedly.

However, it’s important to note that these exceptions are not applicable to most WordPress users. In the majority of cases, deleting unused themes is recommended to streamline website performance, reduce security risks, and keep the WordPress environment organized.

How to Delete a Theme in WordPress

When it comes to deleting a theme in WordPress, there are three methods you can use: through the WordPress dashboard, via FTP/SFTP, or using WP-CLI. Each method offers a different approach to deleting themes, giving you the flexibility to choose the one that suits your needs and preferences.

Method 1: Deleting a Theme via the WordPress Dashboard

The first method involves using the WordPress dashboard, which provides an easy and straightforward way to delete themes. Follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Login to your WordPress admin dashboard.
  2. Navigate to Appearance > Themes.
  3. Hover over the theme you want to delete and click on the Theme Details button.
  4. In the theme details window, look for the Delete button at the bottom-right corner and click on it.
  5. A confirmation popup will appear. Click on OK to permanently delete the theme.

Method 2: Manually Deleting a Theme via FTP/SFTP

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can manually delete a theme using FTP/SFTP. This method requires access to your web server’s file system. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect to your WordPress site using an FTP/SFTP client (e.g., FileZilla, Cyberduck).
  2. Navigate to the /wp-content/themes/ directory.
  3. Locate the folder corresponding to the theme you want to delete.
  4. Right-click on the folder and select Delete or Remove.

Method 3: Using WP-CLI to Delete a Theme

For advanced users who are comfortable with command-line operations, WP-CLI offers a command specifically designed for deleting themes. Here’s how you can delete a theme using WP-CLI:

wp theme delete theme-name

Replace theme-name with the actual name of the theme you want to delete.


Before deleting a theme, it’s essential to review your selection and make sure you won’t be affecting any active websites. Deleting the wrong theme can potentially cause issues with your website’s appearance and functionality.

Now that you know the different methods to delete a theme in WordPress, choose the one that best aligns with your technical skills and preferences. Regularly deleting unused themes will help you keep your WordPress installation organized, optimized, and secure.

deleting a theme in WordPress

Method Description
WordPress Dashboard Delete themes easily through the WordPress admin dashboard.
FTP/SFTP Manually delete themes by accessing the server’s file system.
WP-CLI Advanced method using command-line operations.


Deleting unused themes in WordPress is crucial for maintaining the security and efficiency of your website. By removing themes that are not in use, you can minimize the risk of security breaches and free up valuable storage space. This, in turn, leads to improved website performance and a better user experience.

Following the proper methods outlined in this guide is essential for a smooth deletion process. Whether you choose to delete themes through the WordPress dashboard, use FTP/SFTP to manually delete the theme folder, or utilize WP-CLI for advanced operations, it’s important to be meticulous and double-check your actions to avoid accidentally deleting important files.

Regularly reviewing and deleting unused themes should be a part of your website management routine. This practice helps keep your WordPress site clean, optimized, and more resilient against potential security vulnerabilities. Remember, keeping an organized website with only the necessary themes not only benefits your users but also contributes to your overall success online.


Why should I delete unused WordPress themes?

Deleting unused WordPress themes is crucial for website health and performance. These themes can consume storage space and pose security risks if not updated regularly. Removing them reduces the risk of security breaches and frees up storage space.

When should I keep an unused WordPress theme?

There are a few instances where it’s necessary to keep an unused theme, such as when using a child theme, keeping a theme as a backup, or multiple testing themes. However, in most cases, it’s recommended to delete unused themes for better website management and security.

How can I delete a WordPress theme?

There are three methods to delete a WordPress theme. The first method is through the WordPress dashboard, which allows for easy deletion of themes. The second method is using FTP/SFTP to manually delete the theme folder. The third method is using WP-CLI for advanced users who prefer command-line operations. Step-by-step instructions for each method can be found in this guide.

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