I am not referring to removing the theme currently in use on your WordPress site, as each site must have an active theme.
Instead, I am addressing themes that have been installed but are inactive. Of course, you are permitted to keep as many inactive themes as you wish, but in most cases, they serve no purpose other than taking up space on your server, which can have implications for security and storage.
Let me continue…
- TLTR: Steps to Delete a WordPress theme
- Is it safe to delete old WordPress themes?
- Why should you delete WordPress themes?
- Easy Ways To Delete A WordPress Theme
- How to Resolve the Error: “Deletion failed the theme requested does not exist.”
- What to Do After Deleting a WordPress Theme?
- When should you NOT delete a WordPress theme?
Steps to Delete a WordPress theme
To uninstall and delete your WordPress theme, follow the steps:
First, go to Dashboard > Appearance > Themes > Theme Details > Delete > OK.
That’s all. – This is how you delete a WordPress theme. If you are interested in the full tutorial, you can watch our WordPress Dashboard Module from 5:06 of the website building series for beginners:
Is it safe to delete old WordPress themes?
It is safe to delete old WordPress themes that you are no longer using.
In fact, making your WordPress site lighter and faster is a must-do to keep your future customers happy and convert higher!
In the next section, I’ll explain more juicy reasons why you should get rid of your old WordPress themes now!
Why should you delete WordPress themes?
Outdated themes can potentially contain security vulnerabilities, which hackers can exploit to gain unauthorized access to your website.
Removing unused themes can minimize the risk of security attacks. Moreover, having too many themes installed on your website can slow down your website’s performance, negatively affecting the user experience or even crash your WordPress site.
Managing multiple themes can be challenging and time-consuming.
Updating themes and plugins on your website is crucial for maintaining their compatibility with the latest version of WordPress and ensuring optimal website and SEO performance.
In addition, removing unused themes can make managing and maintaining your website more accessible.
Therefore, deleting unused themes on your WordPress site is recommended to keep it secure, fast, and easy to manage.
As a WordPress user, here are the three reasons why you should delete WordPress themes:
Unused WordPress themes can pose a security risk if not regularly updated. Outdated WordPress themes can contain vulnerabilities hackers can exploit to access your website. Removing unused themes reduces the chances of a security breach.
Having fewer themes installed can slow down your website. Each theme adds extra code and functionality, which can increase the loading time of your pages. Removing unused themes can improve the performance of your website and provide a better user experience.
Themes require regular updates to remain compatible with the latest version of WordPress and to fix any bugs or security issues.
Keeping multiple themes updated can be challenging if you have multiple themes installed. Removing unused themes can simplify the maintenance process and make it easier to manage your website.
Easy Ways To Delete A WordPress Theme
Deleting a new or unused WordPress theme can help improve website performance. However, deleting a theme may take time to become apparent to some WordPress users. Several methods are available for deleting a WordPress theme, each with its benefits and drawbacks.
This section will explore three ways to delete a WordPress theme, including using the WordPress dashboard, FTP, and hosting panel.
You will better understand how to delete an unused WordPress theme and which method works best for your website.
Delete Through Admin Dashboard
The easiest way to delete a WordPress theme is through the Admin WP dashboard.
All you need to do is go to WordPress Dashboard, hover to Appearance, click on Themes, and delete the ones you no longer use.
However, you must be an admin of the website where you want to delete the theme. If you need to know how to become an admin, read more on WordPress roles.
Deleting a WordPress Theme via FTP
If you don’t have WordPress admin privileges, you can still delete a theme using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to access your server files. FTP is a technique that enables you to modify files on a remote computer, which in this case, is the server that hosts your WordPress site.
1. Connect to the web hosting server with your FTP client of choice.
2. Locate and open the wp-content folder, then open the themes folder.
3. Inside the themes folder, find the folder of the theme you want to delete. Ensure this theme is different from the currently active theme on your website.
4. Right-click the folder of the theme you want to delete, then click Delete.
5. Your FTP client may warn you about deleting the file. If so, confirm.
How to Resolve the Error: “Deletion failed the theme requested does not exist.”
After completing the steps above, you may encounter the error message: “Deletion failed the theme requested does not exist.”
This error is most likely occurring because WordPress failed to remove all contents of the theme file. The solution is to remove the theme files using the FTP or the hosting panel method described below.
Delete a WordPress Theme in Your Hosting Panel
1. Log into your hosting account.
2. From your hosting panel dashboard, find the file manager option.
3. Locate and open the wp-content folder, then open the themes folder.
4. Inside the themes folder, find the folder of the theme you want to delete. Ensure this theme is different from the currently active theme on your website.
5. Right-click the folder of the theme you want to delete, then choose the delete option.
This will delete the chosen theme from your WordPress installation.
What to Do After Deleting a WordPress Theme?
Getting rid of an old WordPress theme means you still need to finish the job. First, make sure you also delete any media files associated with that theme.
To address the key areas, focus on media files and widgets. Begin by reviewing your Media Library, located under the Media section in the left-side panel, to identify images and other media files linked to your previous theme. Then, delete any of these media files that are no longer required.
Here are more tasks after deleting a WordPress theme:
Verify your website’s Appearance:
Make sure it looks how you intended it to after deleting the theme. Deleting a theme might cause the website’s Appearance to change, primarily if the theme provided unique functionality.
Check website functionality:
Test all the functionality of your website to ensure that everything is working correctly after deleting the theme. This includes checking links, forms, menus, and other features the theme provides.
Backup your website:
It’s always a good practice to create a backup of your website before making any significant changes. This way, you can restore your website to its previous state if anything goes wrong.
Update your website:
Ensure that your website is up-to-date with the latest version of WordPress and all plugins and themes you use. This will help ensure that your website remains secure and performs optimally.
Consider using a different theme:
If you deleted it because you were not using it or didn’t like it, consider replacing it with a different theme that better meets your needs. There are many free and premium themes available that you can choose from.
Deleting a WordPress theme may seem straightforward, but it can raise questions for new users or those who have never deleted a theme.
To help answer some of the most common questions about deleting a WordPress theme, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
In this section, we will address questions such as “Why should I delete a WordPress theme?”, “What happens if I delete a WordPress theme?” and “How do I choose which theme to delete?”
After this section and the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of deleting unused themes and how to do so safely and effectively.
Should I delete unused WordPress themes?
Yes, you should delete unused WordPress themes to keep your website running faster and smoother.
However, installing unused themes on your WordPress site can create issues such as security vulnerabilities, slower website performance, and maintenance difficulties.
So, we advise you to keep only one WordPress theme on your website, and if you have not chosen one yet, you can browse through our WordPress theme reviews.
What happens if I delete a WordPress theme?
Although deactivating a theme may appear to resolve these issues, the theme files remain present on your server.
Deleting the themes from your WordPress setup eliminates them permanently from your server.
What’s the difference between uninstalling vs. deleting a WordPress theme?
In WordPress, you can only have one theme active at a time, but you can install numerous themes on your website without activating them.
These inactive themes remain installed on your site and will continue to receive updates.
To altogether remove a WordPress theme, you must delete it, eliminating all of the theme’s files from your website.
What to Do If You Accidentally Delete a WordPress Theme?
To recover an accidentally deleted WordPress theme:
● First, check if your website is still functional.
● Then, restore from the backup, if available.
● Reinstall the theme from the official WordPress repository or theme developer’s website.
● Use a default WordPress theme if the deleted theme cannot be restored or reinstalled.
● Consider seeking professional help if you need further assistance.
When should you NOT delete a WordPress theme?
Keeping unused themes can create unwanted clutter on your website. But, there are situations where you should keep a deactivated theme, like when you’re using a child theme as your active theme.
In this case, the parent theme of the active child theme must be installed (and deactivated) on your site.
Or, if you want to keep a theme as a backup, having a couple of the default WordPress themes (Twenty Twenty One or Twenty Twenty, etc.) on your site is relatively harmless.
Also, if you’re testing multiple themes, it’s better to do it on a WordPress staging site to avoid disrupting visitors to your live website.
Finally, if you need help with these, delete a theme.
When you decide to delete a WordPress theme that you no longer use, that can help improve website security, performance, and maintenance.
However, outdated themes can potentially contain security vulnerabilities, compromising your website’s security.
Too many themes installed on your website can also slow down its performance and make it challenging to manage and maintain.
On the other hand, deleting unused themes can simplify the management process and make it easier to keep your website up-to-date with the latest version of WordPress and other plugins.
Therefore, it is recommended to regularly remove any themes that are no longer in use on your WordPress site.