How to Uninstall W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin

W3 total cache is one of the those plugin, which I always recommend everyone to install for faster loading of the site. Though, at times due to hosting compatibility issues or due to non-compatibility with other plugins, total cache act weird and it’s important to uninstall W3 total cache manually or automatically.

Earlier I have shared How to Install W3 Total Cache plugin which is said to be better cache plugin than Super cache plugin. Though sometime W3 total cache plugin contradicts with any of your current plugin and you might get weird issues like your individual pages will give 404 error or your blog might be redirected to Install.php.

Uninstall W3 Total Cache

Possible solution to this problem is uninstalling W3 total cache plugin and here I’m sharing a quick tutorial on how you can remove W3 total cache plugin manually.

To uninstall W3 total cache plugin, you need to follow following procedure:

  • First delete all cache and deactivate the W3 total cache plugin.
  • Delete W3 total Cache plugin from Wp-content/plugins folder
  • Remove this line from Wp-config file (define(‘WP_CACHE’, true) )
  • Delete advanced-cache.php, db.php, wp-total-cache-config.php and delete entire w3tc folder from wp-content folder.
  • Check .htaccess file and if you see any code added by w3 total cache plugin, do remove it.

I hope this will help to resolve your problem. If you are not comfortable following above steps, get in touch via ShoutMeLoud WordPress Services page.

Do let us know which WordPress cache plugin are you using and which one would you recommend to others?

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Article By
Harsh Agrawal is a blog scientist and a passionate blogger. He is blogging since 2008 & writes about Blogging, SEO, Make money online & tech. His blog, ShoutMeLoud receives 1 million Pageviews/month and have over 700K subscribers.


COMMENTs ( 30 )

  1. Andhi Irawan says

    after you delete folder folder cache and w3tc-config in folder wp-content but you still got error by W3 Total Cache, don’t forget di edit wp-config.php. remove this (line 3) if you using edge mode in W3 Total Cache

    /** Enable W3 Total Cache Edge Mode */
    define(‘W3TC_EDGE_MODE’, true); // Added by W3 Total Cache

  2. Jess says

    Thanks for this. I cannot delete the cache or w3tc-config folders from my ftp though. I delete them and they immediately reappear. There is no code for the plugin in my wp-config or htaccess. I am so confused.

  3. says


    You forgot to mention that the user needs to deactivate the plugin from WordPress Dashboard. Beginners may miss this step and might delete the live plugin, which may cause severe issues.

  4. says

    Yes. The information is very useful. I had problem when uninstalling this plugin. This post gives clear idea on what needs to be removed. Thanks you for sharing good information.

  5. SCA says

    This helped. Thanks. I also had to delete /wordpress/wp-content/cache folder as CSS kept being pulled from there (even with all other steps completed). Once I deleted that, actual CSS loaded.

  6. Vicky says

    Thanks for this! I installed W3 Total Cache yesterday afternoon. The site worked fine all day. Got up at 4am and found that nothing was loading and I couldn’t log into my control panel due to a script error. Somehow, overnight the cache had become corrupt or something. Anyway, for all it gave me a 6% speed increase, I’m not touching it with a bargepole ever again.

    Thanks again!


  7. Mark Peal says

    When I deleted W3 Total Cache using the plugin panel of the dashboard, the site became unavailable (500 error). The key was to go into .htaccess and remove the lines that Total Cache had added.
    Harsh, your fourth bullet held the answer. Thanks!

  8. Srikanth Rao says

    I haven’t deactivated the plugin yet but the line from Wp-config file (define(‘WP_CACHE’, true) ) is not present and i don’t where is .htaccess file in my server. Help plz…

  9. Craig says

    Thnks for this I had real problems with W3 on some of my blogs, however being something of a novice I am not sure how to edit the Wp-config file? If you could put up a short post to cover this it would be great.

  10. Achmad Zacky Rachmatullah says

    @Prashant same with me…
    And I almost giving up…
    I tried to find another way all night until morning…but still didnt change anything

  11. DG says

    Thanks for the help, this article is helped me tons! Thank you very much.

    w3 total cache is really useful for website loading speed, but sometimes bothers me when doing the edit template… :(

  12. Prashant says

    i am also having the same problem after installing this plugin..

    i did all the above steps but then to the problem is not getting solved….

  13. Zack says

    I just wanted to add – the plugin will actually create a table called ‘wp_w3tc_cdn_queue’ in the mySQL database, you might want to delete this as well.

  14. Zack says

    Thanks for this man, I’ve been trying to figure out what else the plugin has done to my files and database.

    I wanted to completely remove the plugin as I don’t find it necessary since my site is just a very small site.

  15. Danuns Numk says

    For a long time I was struggling to remove WP cache plugin in one of my blogs. It was breaking my rss feed. But now with the help of this blog post and few other posts I have removed it successfully.

  16. raybak says

    w3 total cache caused a break on lazyloader plugin as it stoped working. I disabled and installed it but lazylaoder never worked back so I think I have to manually remove it like the way you mentioned.

  17. Sreejesh@TechGyo says

    Harsh, right now while I’m reading this article, I have this issue with my blog! i couldn’t fix with the above though, i contacted the hosting guys, and they fixed it.

  18. Sathish @ TechieMania says

    Haven’t tried to delete the plugin as I am entirely comfortable with it. If I get to know something beats this cache plugin then I will follow your tutorial while deleting the plugin. Thanks for sharing.

  19. ashwin shahapurkar says

    In you last post you had said that W3 Cache plugin is better cache plugin than Super cache plugin. and as you were using it, i too installed this plugin. and i am confused which should i use. let me me know which one you are using Right now.

    • says

      Ashwin at this moment I’m using Super cache on ShoutMeLoud and CallingAllGeeks and on many other blogs like I’m using W3 total cache plugin…

  20. Vivek Parmar says

    as afar as i know W3 total cache is a premium plugin and many new bloggers do not go with it. They still use WP-Super cache plugin

  21. Ankita Roy Chowdhury says

    Really a helpful post . I have found this in many cases. I never knew the second point (define(‘WP_CACHE’, true) ) was to be deleted.