How to Uninstall W3 Total Cache Manually

I'll walk you through how to delete W3 Total Cache Manually and delete any erroneous files and settings.

If W3 Total Cache is causing issues, or throwing error messages, you may need to delete it manually. I’ll show you how to delete W3 Total Cache manually and ensure that any other erroneous files are deleted too, enabling you to install a fresh working copy of W3 Total Cache or any other caching plugin.

If you need help installing W3 Total Cache properly, I highly recommend my detailed guide that configures W3 Total Cache to work with CloudFlare for ultimate performance..

How to Uninstall W3 Total Cache Manually

How to Uninstall W3 Total Cache Manually
  1. Turn off all Caching under General Settings

    In the General Settings turn off all the following settings:

    • Preview mode - Disable
    • Page Cache - Disable
    • Minify - Disable
    • Database Cache - Disable
    • Object Cache - Disable
    • Browser Cache - Disable
    • CDN - Disable

    Make sure you click “Save all settings” once you are done.

    At the top of the General Settings page you will now see a message confirming that “The plugin is currently disabled.”

    Turn off all Caching under General Settings
  2. Deactivate and Delete W3 Total Cache
    • Go to the Plugins Menu in the WordPress admin sidebar
    • Click “Deactive” under the W3 Total Cache Plugin
    • Click “Delete”
    Deactivate and Delete W3 Total Cache
  3. Check the following files are deleted and if not delete manually

    There are some core files that are used by most Caching Plugins and sometimes by other plugins not related to caching. These files are located in the “wp-content” directory:

    • db.php
    • advanced-cache.php
    • wp-cache-config.php (not needed by W3TC, but should be deleted)
    • object-cache.php
    • The entire “wp-content/cache” Directory

    To delete the files you will need to log in to your server via SSH, FTP, or via your Control Panel File Manager.

  4. Remove entries in your .htacess file created by W3 Total Cache

    W3TC makes extensive use of the .htacess file. As such you will need to verify all of the entries made by W3TC have been deleted. If you disabled all the Caching functionality before you removed the plugin everything should be ok. It is worth checking, though.

    If you are unsure which entries were created by W3 Total Cache, then you can delete everything in the .htacess file and replace it with the following if you have a basic installation of WordPress:

    # BEGIN WordPress
    <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
    </IfModule>
    # END WordPress

    If you have a multisite installation, or still use WordPresss 3.4 or below then you can find the default .htaccess settings here.

Jonathan Griffin. Editor @ The Webmaster

About the author

Editor, Hosting Expert, SEO Developer, & SEO Consultant.

Jonathan is currently the Editor & CEO at The Webmaster. He is also an SEO Developer offering consultancy services, primarily to other web development companies. He specializes in the technical side of SEO, including site audits, development of SEO related features, and site structure & strategy.

In his spare time, Jonathan has a passion for learning. He regularly undertakes professional courses on subjects ranging from python, web development, digital marketing, and Advanced Google Analytics.

Read more about Jonathan Griffin on our About Page.