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Important: This article does not apply to Secure WordPress.

An out-of-date or faulty theme can be the cause of issues with your WordPress® website. Resetting your website to the default WordPress twenty eleven theme is the only way to determine if your theme is the issue.

If the issue is preventing you from using the WordPress Administrator panel, you will have to to complete this process using either FTP or phpMyAdmin.

Method 1: Applying the Default Theme Using FTP

To complete these steps, you will need to connect to your website with either an FTP program or the File Manager. For more information, please see the following articles:

Follow these instructions to apply the default theme using FTP:

  1. 1. Connect to your WordPress website using the FTP program, then open the website folder that contains your WordPress website. This folder is usually named wordpress1.
  2. For more information, please see FTP FAQs and Troubleshooting.
  3. 2. Open the /wp-content folder.
  4. 3. Find the theme folder, then rename it to theme.deactivate.
  5. 4. Once renamed, log in to the WordPress Administrator panel. For more information on how to access the WordPress Administrator panel, please see How Do I Update My WordPress Plugins and Themes Using the WordPress Administrator Panel?
  6. When you log in to the WordPress Administrator panel, the website will reset to the default twenty eleven theme.
  7. You have reset your WordPress theme to the default twenty eleven theme.

Method 2: Applying the Default Theme Using phpMyAdmin

To complete these steps, you will need to use phpMyAdmin. For more information, please see How Do I Access phpMyAdmin?

Note: Only users with knowledge of how to navigate and make changes to a database using phpMyAdmin should use this method.

  1. 1. Log in to the phpMyAdmin that is tied to your WordPress database.
  2. 2. In the WordPress database, locate the wp_options table.
  3. 3. Select the template option, then change the value to twentyeleven.
  4. 4. Select the stylesheet option, then change the value to twentyeleven.
  5. 5. Select the current_theme option, then change the value to twentyeleven.
  6. You have reset your WordPress theme to the default twenty eleven theme.

What's Next?

If you are using the default WordPress twenty eleven theme fixes the issue with your website, then the problem was most likely caused by an issue with the code in your previous theme.

WordPress theme coding usually contains a file named functions.php. Fixing the problematic theme could be as simple as removing any extra or trailing spaces from the file that follows the code.

Other times, there is a more complicated coding issue. If this is the case, we recommend that you use a different theme until that code can be corrected.