WordPress is a complex content management system that needs to keep things up to date. You need to update theme, plugins and core WordPress frequently to safely run your site and protect from hackers. However, many times plugin developers do not keep the code up to date that will cause trouble for you. After updating your plugin, you may face fatal errors if the plugins is incompatible with core WordPress, PHP version or your theme. The solution is to revert back plugin to old version and we will explain how to do this in this article.

Find the Plugin Causing Error

If the problem is caused by an auto-update, you may not aware the plugin causing the problem. Open your site, in most cases, PHP fatal errors will show you the plugin that causing the issue. From the error message you can understand the name of the plugin creating the problem.

On other hand, if you have updated a plugin manually from WordPress admin panel, you should know which plugin you have updated.

Revert Back Plugin to Old Version

There are two ways you can revert back the plugin to old version in WordPress. It depends on whether you are able to access the admin dashboard or not.

  • Able to access admin dashboard – use a plugin to revert back any other plugin
  • Not able to access admin dashboard – download earlier version and replace the newer version of the plugin using FTP

Revert Back from Admin Panel

If you are still able to access the admin panel, then the solution is super simple.

  • Login to your admin dashboard and go to “Plugins > Add New” and search for “rollback”.
  • Install and activate WP Rollback plugin in your site.
Install WP Rollback Plugin
Install WP Rollback Plugin
  • Go to “Plugins” section and click “Rollback” link below the plugin you want to downgrade to earlier version.
Click Rollback
Click Rollback
  • You will see the complete list of all available versions of the plugin from WordPress plugin repository.
  • Select any old version and click on “Rollback” button. You can also view the changelog if required.
Select Version to Rollback
Select Version to Rollback
  • Click “Rollback” again on the pop-up to confirm your action.
Confirm Rollback
Confirm Rollback
  • It will take some time and the earlier version of the selected plugin will be installed safely on your site. click on “Activate Plugin” link to activate the plugin or go to plugins page and check the details.
Old Plugin Version Installed Successfully
Old Plugin Version Installed Successfully

After downgrading the plugin, you should be able to use the site like before. However, as the WP Rollback plugin warns, make sure to take a complete backup before you use the plugin.

Manually Reverting Back Plugin to Old Version

There are two problems with the above method – one as mentioned, you should be able to access the dashboard. And the second is that it will work only for the free plugins that is available in WordPress repository. Since premium plugins are not available in WordPress plugins repository, you can’t revert back them using WP Rollback plugin. Therefore, you have to manually downgrade the plugin to access your dashboard.

If the premium plugin caused the problem, go to the developer’s site from where you have purchased and download the earlier version of the plugin. Follow the below instructions to get earlier plugin version for free plugins:

  • Go to WordPress.org site and search for the plugin that you want to get the earlier version.
  • When you are in the plugin page, click on “Advanced View” link on the sidebar.
Advanced Plugin View
Advanced Plugin View
  • Scroll down and select the previous version that you want to download from the dropdown.
Download Old Version
Download Old Version
  • You will get a zip file that you can use for installing on your site. Whether you have a problem with premium or free plugin, after getting the ZIP file, unarchive it and keep the folder ready.
  • Login to your hosting account and find File Manager app. Navigate to “/wp-content/plugins/” section and rename the plugin that caused you trouble. For example, you can change the name to new_version_plugin_name so that it will be deactivated instantly.
  • Now, upload the unarchived plugin’s folder that you have downloaded above. This will keep the plugin in inactive status.
  • Login to your WordPress admin dashboard and activate the older plugin version. You will see a message that the newer version of the plugin is deactivated as you have changed the name to new_version_plugin_name.

Instead of File Manage, you can also use FTP to rename the new plugin version and upload the old version.

Final Words

If you get struck with plugin update, do not worry anymore. Use WP Rollback or manually downgrade the plugin to old version as explained above. After completing the work, if you do not need to keep the new version, simply delete it from the plugin list. Similarly, you can deactivate and delete WP Rollback plugin.