Do Inactive Plugins Slow Down Your WordPress Website

Inactive Plugins Slow Down Your WordPress Website

People read that it’s not recommended to keep the inactive plugins in their WordPress plugins’ list. But what’s the reason? Do inactive plugins slow down your WordPress website?

Just a few days ago, someone asked me what’s the demerit of keeping the deactivated plugins and why everyone is worried about those.

Have you ever thought about it? I am sure, you may have read many articles that WordPress plugins are the saviors as well as the culprits.

WordPress plugins are the reasons people are shifting to this platform.

It’s so easy to handle a website using plugins. Many people also seek as if how do so many WordPress plugins slow down a website.

The answer to the question “Do inactive plugins slow down your WordPress website?” is available in this plugin.

What are these Inactive Plugins

First of all, you should know about which plugins we’re talking about.

I hope you know how to install a WordPress plugin. Just go to Plugins>>Add New and search the name of the plugins and WordPress will automatically fetch from its directory.

In the list of plugins, you will see all the activated and deactivated plugins.

All the active plugins will have an option below themย to deactivate whereas deactivated plugins will have an option to activate and to delete the plugin.

If you can’t see the link to activate, the red link for deleting is the key.

Inactive plugins

Those are the inactive plugins about which we’re talking today. Most of the WordPress users install those plugins for testing and deactivate once tested.

They don’t bother to delete any and the question arises as if what would happen if they keep those plugins downloaded.

Can Deactivated Plugins Impact the page Loading Time

The answer is NO. It’s because WordPress doesn’t load the inactive plugins while loading any page.

When you upload and activate any plugins, its script, CSS file, and the main data file get added. You can easily check by analyzing the source code of a website.

People have one of the biggest misconceptions that all the inactive plugins will also get loaded every time WordPress starts a page loading process.

Either you see those plugins in the wp-content folder in the cPanel or in the plugins’ section.

No other place is there which can be affected by the deactivated plugins. Then why do WordPress professional keep saying that inactive plugins can be dangerous?

There is a solid reason behind it.

Why You Should Delete the Inactive Plugins

A WordPress website can have many vulnerabilities which can be exploited by the hackers. And keeping the deactivated plugins isn’t a good idea.

Suppose you see a new update of an inactive plugin then most probably you wouldn’t update it because you don’t use that plugin.

Well, that can be a problem.

The main reason is that keeping your WordPress website updated is what everyone recommends. It is directly related to the security of your website.

Maybe someone can exploit the inactive plugins and inject any malicious code in any file.

Let me ask you a simple question. Why would you want to keep those deactivated plugins if there is no use?

It’s common sense to get rid of the things which are extra. And if you need them again, it takes only a few seconds to install.

You should also read this WordPress security guide. Website security is one of the major concerns these days.

Do inactive plugins slow down your WordPress website? Did you get an answer to this question? If you still have any doubt, feel free to clear it.

You can also connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

by Ravi Chahar

A WordPress Professional and the LinkedIn Influencer. A coder by passion and a blogger by choice. WordPress theme development is his forte. He is your WordPress guy who will teach you how to solve WordPress errors, WordPress security issues, design issues and what not.

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  1. Hello Ravi,

    Useful tip over here ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yeah this question arises every day in my thoughts, are the inactive plugins lowering down my wordpress web site.

    Glad to know that they do not affect the loading time of our website.

    I would be deleting the inactive plugins, so that they would not be causing any threat level to me in the future.

    Thanks for the share.


  2. Hi Ravi,
    I have always thought that the inactive WordPress plugins slow down the speed but this for clarifying it.
    But does they occupy Webspace? I mean if we have limited web space.
    Thanks for the great share.
    Keep it up.

    1. Hey Robin,

      The size of a plugin isn’t that much as you think. Even after extracting it, most probably it won’t be greater than 2MB. Though if you think this is what you want to save then delete the plugin.
      Have a great day.

  3. Hi Ravi,

    Informative post ๐Ÿ™‚

    While I did know that not updating a plugin, even if it is inactive, can be problemsome, I did think that the inactive plugins slow down the site.

    I too recommend everybody to delete the inactive plugins but I know many people who love to keep them onboard. I guess one reason they do that is because they feel they might need to activate these plugins again and they either feel lazy to reinstall them or think they will save on time doing so.

    Well, I think after reading your post, even if people keep the inactive plugins on their WordPress site, they’d at least update them regularly.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Ravi, so the safer bet is to remove them if one is not using a plugin. They are easy to install again anyway so can’t see it as an issue. Thanks for clarifying.

    I agree with you that Plugins are great and one of the reasons that people love WordPress. Cheers.

  5. Hi Ravi.

    Security could be one issue with keep inactive plugins. Another potential issue is with the number of files. The more files you have on your server the longer it takes to find and load a particular file. Every image you upload, every plugin you install add to the number of files in your WordPress installation. If you keep your blog for several years you could eventually build up enough files to start slowing your server down. Getting rid of unused plugins will help prevent that problem down the road.

    You also wrote a post a while back about how to limit the number of additional image files WordPress creates when you upload one.

  6. It’s really an eye opener for me..but I do have a question..will the themes which we used earlier and not currently affest the site loading time? I see updates regarding old themes. Can I delete those old themes

    1. Hi Lathiya

      Since every theme and plugin have its footprint in your WordPress database,Most of the themes and plugin are not designed in this way that when you uninstall them they do not delete there footprints in your database. The more themes and plugins you try on your live site the more footprint these themes and plugins will have.

      Its always better to check your theme and plugin inside your localhost and then install on your live site.

      If you are not using any theme and plugin then delete them immediately from your website.

  7. Hi Ravi

    I do understand that inactive plugins do not slow-down you website if they are not in a very large number as they have very small footprint in your database, Since the information of the plugin is stored in the database and every time WordPress generate a new page, looks in the database, So according to me if you are not using any plugin then all the traces of that plugin must not appear on your system. If they are there then it should slow-down the website.

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