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How to remove W3 Total Cache completely

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Surely more than one user has installed the W3 Total Cache plugin, but to his surprise the result was not as expected, so it is time to uninstall it. From the WordPress administrator panel we can remove the plugin, but this will not eliminate it at all since it leaves some “traces”. Therefore, I have decided to write this tutorial in which we show how to remove W3 Total Cache completely .


W3 Total Cache has been one of the most famous plugins to speed up our WordPress blog, but the truth is that it can be complex for novice users. To carry out the steps in this tutorial we will need access to WordPress files (either by FTP , SSH , cPanel, etc).

How to remove W3 Total Cache completely.

Before touching anything, it is advisable to make a backup of files and database in case something is not going well.

If we still have the plugin active and working, the first step will be to go to the WordPress administrator panel and delete the cache from the Performance -> Empty All Caches menu.

Finally, we deactivate and eliminate the plugin from the WordPress plugin manager itself.

Up to here would be the obvious steps to uninstall W3 Total cache, but we need to delete certain files from our server so that the uninstallation is complete .

Clean junk files after uninstalling W3 Total Cache.

We must access the files of our server, for example with the cPanel file manager, using FTP or similar. We go to the wp-content folder and delete the files :

  • db.php
  • advanced-cache.php
  • object-cache.php
  • w3-total-cache-config.php

Do not worry if in your case not all the files in the list appear, since each configuration may vary.

In this same wp-content folder, we must locate and delete the folders :

  • cache
  • w3tc
  • w3tc-config

As we said before, nothing happens but all the folders in the list are on your server.

Last checks.

At this point, the W3 Total Cache plugin would already be completely uninstalled from our WordPress, but it is advisable to perform two small checks to make sure it is completely removed.

Check that the .htaccess file does not contain plugin code remnants.

First, we will review the .htaccess file in the root folder of our blog. We will verify that there are no traces of code like the following:

# BEGIN W3TC Browser Cache
… código …
# END W3TC Browser Cache
# BEGIN W3TC Page Cache core
… código …
# END W3TC Page Cache core

Check that the wp-config.php file does not have cache enabled.

Finally, we will check that the wp-config.php file does not contain the line:
define (WP_CACHE', true);

If the previous line is present, we can eliminate it.


Finally, say that W3 Total ache is not a bad option, but it has not been updated for quite some time. After the exit of PHP 7, the plugin gives several errors that have not obtained a solution in months and this fact is what has motivated many users to uninstall it.

As a cache cache alternative to W3 Total cache and with guarantees, I can only recommend WP Super Cache. It is a simpler option with fewer options, but configuring it correctly is practically as effective.

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