Disable plugins directly from the database
If your WordPress site is showing a 500 server error due to a faulty plugin, you may need to deactivate the plugin without access to the website backend.
If you find yourself with a faulty plugin causing your WordPress site to render a 500 Server Error, you may need to urgently disable a plugin without access to wp-admin. Fortunately, this is possible through amending a record within the
wp_optionstable of your site database.
wp_optionstable, look for a row with an
active_plugins. This will contain a serialised array of plugins that are enabled on your site. Unserialised, using an online editor for example, this will look something like the following:
Array (  => advanced-custom-fields-pro/acf.php  => vfb-pro/vfb-pro.php  => wordpress-seo/wp-seo.php )
In order to deactivate a plugin without access to wp-admin, simply remove the offending plugin from the list, re-serialise the array and update the
active_pluginsoption. If you wish to simply deactivate all plugins to quickly regain access to wp-admin, you can update the
option_valueto the following serialised version of an empty array.
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