Today I cleaned up from a sloppy Wordfence un-install

In comparing Security Plug-ins, i tried out WordFence and All-in-one WordPress Security (AIOWPS). In the end I decided to use AIOWPS and uninstall WordFence.

A word of advice. I just de-activated and deleted the Wordfence plug-in. This left behind remnants and did not completely remove the plug-in. The developers did consider this and provide instructions on doing a clean removal – the instructions can be found here:

It would have been nice, if the developers made clear notification of this during installation or de-installation. Which they had not.

The correct way to un-install the WordFence Plugin

If you are reading this and haven’t yet deleted the app, the easiest way to get a complete un-install is to follow there instructions.

If you are removing Wordfence permanently, or if you want to do a fresh reinstall of Wordfence you can enable the option “Delete Wordfence tables and data on deactivation”.

Manual cleanup after deleting WordFence

If you like me, have already deleted the WordFence plugin than enabling the option is not an option. They do provide instructions on how to clean up. They are:

  • Run a backup, before deleting files
  • Remove the wflogs folder located in wp-content
  • Remove wordfence-waf.php located in the root of you WordPress installation
  • Edit .htaccess a remove dozen lines of code that begin and end with WordFence – this should appear near the bottom of the file.
  • Edit .user.ini and remove the lines of code that begin and end with WordFence – most likely all that is contained in the file – no clear indication if I can delete it, if all it contains is WordFence code

Some other notes on doing this cleanup.

  • Wordfence mentions that it uses php.ini, but I found no WordFence code in my php.ini — it is located in my home directory, not the html_public directory
  • When you delete the plug-in using the dashboard, it will delete wordfence plugin folder and all Wordfence related database tables from the database

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