How to uninstall WP Super Cache

Summary: Here's how to uninstall WP Super Cache in order to replace it with the better (the best!) option, W3 Total Cache.

WP Super Cache is an awesome plugin, but W3 Total Cache is better. We don't want (can't have) both, so here's how to uninstall WP Super Cache.

Do this only if you are ready to replace it with W3 Total Cache right away. Caching is essential for blog performance, and you don't want to have the blog running for too long without caching.

Before you begin: BACKUP your blog, including the root .htaccess -file. Uninstalling WP Super Cache is quite simple, but having a backup is smart, in case something does go wrong.

5 Steps to Uninstall WP Super Cache

Notice: You need to run WP Super Cache uninstall.php instead of just deactivating and deleting the plugin to ensure everything that the plugin is removed fully and files are cleaned on the server.

1. Go to WP Super Cache settings. Turn OFF caching in WP Super Cache settings. Clear the expired files. Clear the cache.

2. Go to Dashboard and Plugins. Deactivate the WP Super Cache from Plugins screen. (Do not DELETE yet)

3. Edit the file uninstall.php in your plugins/wp-super-cache/ directory and set
UNINSTALL_WPSUPERCACHE to a non blank value (e.g. '1').


4. Open your browser and load wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/uninstall.php directly. You must be logged in as an admin, and you must confirm the action.

5. Go to Dashboard and Plugins. Find WP Super Cache, click remove and confirm removing all files.

How to Verify that WP Super Cache was Uninstalled Successfully

The above 5 steps will uninstall WP Super Cache and clean all the files on your server. However, just to make sure, you can follow these steps to ensure everything was cleared successfully:

1. Open wp-config.php (in the WordPress install directory) and ensure the line is removed:

define('WP_CACHE', true);

2. Go to /wp-content/ and check that the files advanced-cache.php and wp-cache-config.php are not there (delete them if they are there).

3. Open the .htaccess -file at the root of your domain and make sure the WP Super Cache rules are not there. The WP Super Cache's rules are between commented lines:

# BEGIN WPSuperCache
# END WPSuperCache

Delete the rules between the BEGIN/END WPSuperCache, including the commented lines themselves.

Note that WP Super Cache's rules might already be removed from the .htaccess -file. Also, do not remove the WordPress redirect rules, or any other special rules from the .htaccess.

In case you're wondering, the default WordPress .htaccess rules (also in WordPress Codex) look like this:

# 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]
# END WordPress

Or for blogs installed in subdirectory:

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

WordPress installations need to have at least the above code (either the normal or the subdirectory option) in the root .htaccess file. Without these rules, the WordPress permalinks won't work.

4. Check that the directory wp-content/cache/ has been deleted.

5. Check that the directory wp-super-cache from your plugins directory has been deleted.

6. Open a page in your blog, e.g. the homepage and make sure it loads OK.

References and Further Information

For further information and detailed instructions about WP Super Cache uninstallation, check out:

What Next?

The third step of the WordPress Speed Challenge is to take the W3 Total Cache -plugin into use, and the W3 Total Cache -plugin for WordPress: Installation and Configuration Guide is now available (for free) on Scribd. Read, download and share it here: (and more importantly, take action to take the BEST caching plugin for WordPress into use!)

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Topic: WordPress Optimization
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