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_options table of your site database.
Within the wp_options table, look for a row with an option_name of 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:
    [0] => advanced-custom-fields-pro/acf.php
    [1] => vfb-pro/vfb-pro.php
    [2] => 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_plugins option. If you wish to simply deactivate all plugins to quickly regain access to wp-admin, you can update the option_value to the following serialised version of an empty array.

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