How to Delete a Theme from WordPress Completely (Step by Step)

You Know, Delete a theme from WordPress is a simple process, but there is some risk involved. Some themes contain programming code which may have an impact on your website.

This means that you should never delete a theme without having a backup ready in case something goes wrong. The best way to proceed is to make a full copy of your website before deleting a theme.

Removing non-essential themes or plugins from your site is a good idea: it will make it more secure and load faster. 

In this post I’ll show you how to delete a theme in WordPress, so you can do it safely and properly without losing anything from the website.

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Why should you remove a WordPress theme?

It is recommended that if you are not using a WordPress theme, you remove it from your website. Unused WordPress themes should be deleted for a variety of reasons.

Security Problems:

WordPress is a CMS (content management system) open-source platform that enables users to build and maintain websites by using the WordPress web browser interface. However, WordPress has a variety of security vulnerabilities. 

Hackers frequently exploit faulty theme code to inject malware, backdoors, and other nasty things into WordPress sites. The most common example of this is the use of a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack.

Storage Issue:

A theme is just a collection of files, so an unused theme is a bunch of unused files taking up space on your hosting server. 

We can easily see which themes are not active by looking at the list of installed themes. 

If you have an old theme on your site, there’s a good chance it’s not being used and can be deleted to save space. This can be quickly done by going to the WordPress admin screen and clicking.

Unusual Updates:

Even if you are not using those themes, you will continue to receive updates for them.

When should you delete unused themes?

You can delete most WordPress themes without harming your website. If you’ve decided to switch from one WordPress theme to another, you can delete the old theme without hurting your website. 

In this scenario, you’re deleting your old theme in order to make way for the new one. Likewise, if you’ve installed a new WordPress theme, you may want to delete the old one to avoid having two themes on your website at once.

When should you keep unused themes on your site?

While unused themes are usually a waste of space, there are specific situations in which you should maintain a deactivated theme. These are the following:

  • If you’ve ever changed your WordPress theme, you may have noticed that your old theme is still listed in your theme settings. 

Themes that are not active are not immediately deactivated by the WordPress system. Themes that are installed, but not active, are allowed to stay on your site. This is useful if you want to keep an old theme in case you need it later.

  • When it comes to the question about when you should keep unused WordPress themes, it seems that it depends on the type of website you have and what you want to achieve. 

If you want to keep a theme as a backup. For example, having a couple of the default WordPress themes on your site is relatively harmless.

Things to Do Before You Delete a WordPress Theme

You can build a complete WordPress backup if you have customized a WordPress theme and wish to keep those adjustments before uninstalling it.

Alternatively, you can just save the theme folder to your computer as a backup.

Use an FTP program or the File Manager software in your WordPress hosting account dashboard to accomplish this. Go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder and download the inactive theme folder to your computer once you’ve connected.

Copy theme folder and paste to computer files.

As a backup, save the WordPress theme folder to your computer.

After you’ve made a safe backup of your old theme, you can delete it.

How to Delete a Theme from WordPress

There are three ways to delete a theme from WordPress:

  1. Deleting Theme from your WordPress Dashboard
  2. Deleting Theme using FTP
  3. Delete using File Manager
1. Deleting Theme from your WordPress Dashboard

First login to your WordPress admin area.

Then you can see in the left sidebar option Click on Appearance >> then >> themes >> Now you can see all the installed themes.

Choose as theme you want delete from WordPress.

Click on the theme that you want to delete and you can see the delete option right side down.

Delete a theme from WordPress.

Click Theme Details after hovering over the theme you want to remove. It’s important to note that you can’t remove your active theme. If you want to remove your current theme, you must first activate a new one.

Sometimes, You may see the following error notice after completing the steps above: “Deletion failed, the theme requested does not exist.”

The most likely cause of this issue is because WordPress fails to delete the entire contents of the theme file. The theme files can be removed using either the FTP technique or the hosting panel approach, both of which are discussed below.

2. How to Delete Theme using FTP

This is a more advanced solution, but it comes in handy if you don’t have access to the WordPress admin area.

Connect to your web hosting server with your FTP client of choice.

Simply use an FTP client to connect to your WordPress site and navigate to the /wp-content >> themes >> then delete the themes folder that you want.


You must now locate the theme folder that you wish to remove. Select Delete from the context menu when you right-click on the folder name.

Your FTP client will immediately erase the theme you selected.

3. Delete Theme Using File Manager

You can also delete your theme files from your hosting panel if you have access to it.

 First Go to your hosting account and log in.

Now Locate the file manager option on your hosting panel’s dashboard.

File manager

Open the wp-content folder under public_html >> then Navigate to the folder of the theme you wish to remove from the themes folder. Make sure this theme isn’t the one that’s currently active on your site.

Now from here delete a theme from WordPress properly.

Select the delete option from the context menu of the theme folder you want to delete.

The chosen theme will be deleted from your WordPress installation as a result of this action.

What Should You Do If You Delete a WordPress Theme By Accident?

If you delete a WordPress theme by accident, there are a few options for getting it back.

You can start by restoring the theme from a backup. This is made easier by the fact that many WordPress backup plugins allow you to restore your website to a previous state rapidly.

If you didn’t make a backup, you can restore the theme by downloading and installing a fresh copy of it.

The disadvantage of this is that you will lose any theme adjustments you may have made.

What to do After Delete a Theme from WordPress

Here’s what you need to do after deleting a theme from WordPress that you don’t want to use anymore:

  1. First check your website if it is working properly or not.
  2. Check all images, links and structure if it is broken or not.
  3. Go Back to again your file manager >> wp-content >> themes folder check here if every file deleted properly or not.
  4. Remove any unused widgets from the previous theme. Move old widgets to the Inactive Widgets section under Appearance > Widgets, then click Clear Inactive Widgets to erase them.
Last Word:

Keep the backup you made before removing your theme in case you run into an unexpected problem and need to reverse your modifications.

I hope this article will help you know how to delete theme in WordPress. You may also want to read about the best SEO plugin for WordPress.

If you like this article, then please share and subscribe. I will post updated articles about Blogging and SEO.

Rishabh Kolhe
Rishabh Kolhe

I am the founder of WealthyWork, I started my digital marketing journey in 2017. First, I started my career with SEO in Culturelligence, then after some time, I learned more about Digital Marketing. I worked as a Digital Marketer with Agile PeopleOps, a US-based HR organization. Now I am working in WealthyWork, We all specializing in Digital Marketing Services.

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