How to get a list and Backup (Save Enabled Plugins) / Restore Enabled (Active) plugins in WordPress site with SQL query


Getting a snapshot of all active plugins and keeping it for future in case if you install some broken plugin and you have to renable all enabled plugins from scratch is precious thing in WordPress.

… It is really annoying when you decide to try to enable few new plugins and out of a sudden your WordPress site / blog starts hanging (when accessed in browser)…

To fix it you have to Disable All Plugins and Re-enable all that used to work. However if you don't keep a copy of the plugins which were previously working and you're like me and have 109 plugins installed of which only 50 are in (Active) state / used. It could take you a day or two until you come up with a similar list to the ones you previously used … Thanksfully there is some prevention you can take by dumping a list of all plugins that are currently active and in later time only enable those in the list.


# mysql -u root -p
Enter password:

mysql> USE blog_db;

Here is the output I get in the moment:

mysql> DESCRIBE wp_options;
| Field        | Type                | Null | Key | Default | Extra          |
| option_id    | bigint(20) unsigned | NO   | PRI | NULL    | auto_increment |
| option_name  | varchar(64)         | NO   | UNI |         |                |
| option_value | longtext            | NO   |     | NULL    |                |
| autoload     | varchar(20)         | NO   |     | yes     |                |


mysql> SELECT * FROM wp_options WHERE option_name = 'active_plugins';

|        38 | active_plugins | a:50:{i:0;s:45:"add-to-any-subscribe/add-to-any-subscribe.php";i:1;s:19:"akismet/akismet.php";i:2;s:43:"all-in-one-seo-pack/all_in_one_seo_pack.php";i:3;s:66:"ambrosite-nextprevious-post-link-plus/ambrosite-post-link-plus.php";i:4;s:49:"automatic-tag-selector/automatic-tag-selector.php";i:5;s:27:"autoptimize/autoptimize.php";i:6;s:35:"bm-custom-login/bm-custom-login.php";i:7;s:45:"ckeditor-for-wordpress/ckeditor_wordpress.php";i:8;s:47:"comment-info-detector/comment-info-detector.php";i:9;s:27:"comments-statistics/dcs.php";i:10;s:31:"cyr2lat-slugs/cyr2lat-slugs.php";i:11;s:49:"delete-duplicate-posts/delete-duplicate-posts.php";i:12;s:45:"ewww-image-optimizer/ewww-image-optimizer.php";i:13;s:34:"feedburner-plugin/fdfeedburner.php";i:14;s:39:"feedburner-widget/widget-feedburner.php";i:15;s:63:"feedburner_feedsmith_plugin_2.3/FeedBurner_FeedSmith_Plugin.php";i:16;s:21:"feedlist/feedlist.php";i:17;s:39:"force-publish-schedule/forcepublish.php";i:18;s:50:"google-analytics-for-wordpress/googleanalytics.php";i:19;s:81:"google-sitemap-generator-ultimate-tag-warrior-tags-addon/UTWgoogleSitemaps2_1.php";i:20;s:36:"google-sitemap-generator/sitemap.php";i:21;s:24:"headspace2/headspace.php";i:22;s:29:"my-link-order/mylinkorder.php";i:23;s:27:"php-code-widget/execphp.php";i:24;s:43:"post-plugin-library/post-plugin-library.php";i:25;s:35:"post-to-twitter/post-to-twitter.php";i:26;s:28:"profile-pics/profile-pic.php";i:27;s:27:"redirection/redirection.php";i:28;s:42:"scripts-to-footerphp/scripts-to-footer.php";i:29;s:29:"sem-dofollow/sem-dofollow.php";i:30;s:33:"seo-automatic-links/seo-links.php";i:31;s:23:"seo-slugs/seo-slugs.php";i:32;s:41:"seo-super-comments/seo-super-comments.php";i:33;s:31:"similar-posts/similar-posts.php";i:34;s:21:"sociable/sociable.php";i:35;s:44:"strictly-autotags/strictlyautotags.class.php";i:36;s:16:"text-control.php";i:37;s:19:"tidy-up/tidy_up.php";i:38;s:37:"tinymce-advanced/tinymce-advanced.php";i:39;s:33:"tweet-old-post/tweet-old-post.php";i:40;s:33:"w3-total-cache/w3-total-cache.php";i:41;s:44:"widget-settings-importexport/widget-data.php";i:42;s:54:"wordpress-23-related-posts-plugin/wp_related_posts.php";i:43;s:23:"wp-minify/wp-minify.php";i:44;s:27:"wp-optimize/wp-optimize.php";i:45;s:33:"wp-post-to-pdf/wp-post-to-pdf.php";i:46;s:29:"wp-postviews/wp-postviews.php";i:47;s:55:"wp-simple-paypal-donation/wp-simple-paypal-donation.php";i:48;s:46:"wp-social-seo-booster/wpsocial-seo-booster.php";i:49;s:31:"wptouch-pro-3/wptouch-pro-3.php";} | yes      |

Copy and paste this CVS format data to a text file or a Word document for later reference ..

To restore back to normal only active WordPress plugins, first launch following SQL query to disable all enabled wordpress plugins:

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = 'a:0:{}' WHERE option_name = 'active_plugins';

To restore above "backupped" list of active WP plugins you have to copy paste the saved content and paste it into above UPDATE query substituting option_value=' ' with the backupped string.

P.S. – This query should work on WordPress 3.x on older wordpress ver 2.x use instead:

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = ' ' WHERE option_name = 'active_plugins';

Because pasting the backupped Active plugins list CSV is a messy and unreadable from command line it is recommended for clarity to use PHPMyAdmin frontend (whenever it is available) on server. This little hint is a real time-saver and saves a lot of headaches. Before proceeding to any Db UPDATE SQL queries always backup your Blog database, with time structure of WordPress data changes!, so in future releases this method might not be working, however if it helped you and works on your version please drop a comment with WordPress version on which this helped you.

Enjoy! 🙂


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One Response to “How to get a list and Backup (Save Enabled Plugins) / Restore Enabled (Active) plugins in WordPress site with SQL query”

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