How to Disable the Gutenberg WordPress Editor

How to Disable the Gutenberg WordPress Editor

Many people using WordPress are either not ready for the new Gutenberg Editor or like many people they are using an existing page builder. Many of these page builders are not compatible with Gutenberg at this moment in time so disabling the Gutenberg Editor is essential.

A number of people I have spoken to have held back from upgrading to WordPress 5 (version 5.02 is now available) for fear of breaking their current page builder. This is simply because they do not know how to disable the Gutenberg WordPress Editor.

I do not normally advise this as we like to keep our customers WordPress sites up to date (including plugins) but for now at least, until a security vulnerability is found you are OK. That said we are now in the process of updating our customers sites, and where necessary disabling the Gutenberg Editor.

Disabling the Gutenberg Editor

The Gutenberg WordPress editor is the default editor in WordPress 5 but that doesn’t mean you can’t update to WordPress 5. If you want to disable the Gutenberg Editor here are three ways to achieve that:

  • Option 1 – Install the Classic Editor WordPress Plugin
  • Option 2 – Install the Disable Gutenberg WordPress Plugin
  • Option 3 – Disable Gutenberg Editor with Code (My preference!)

Option 1 Install the Classic Editor WordPress Plugin

This plugin simply restores the old classic WordPress editor. The plugin has been built by WordPress Contributors and is fully endorsed by the WordPress Core team as the way to retain the old editor, the plugin currently has over 1 million active installs.

It can be download from the WordPress plugin repository or search for “classic editor” within your WordPress dashboard under Plugins >> Add New. Simply install and activate the plugin.

Then head to Setting >> Writing in the left hand WordPress menu

Image of the simple WordPress Editor Plugin

The one option I would recommend changing here is the “Allow user to switch editors” option. The last thing you need if you are running a site that has different users is a broken page because a user has chosen to use Gutenberg and your particular page builder is not compatible!

Download the Classic Editor Plugin

Option 2 – Install the Disable Gutenberg WordPress Plugin

Although the Classic Editor is the official way to roll back Gutenberg Editor, the Disable Gutenberg WordPress Plugin does a similar thing but does have a few extra features and is very lightweight (there is nothing worse than a bloated plugin to slow your site down!).

Again, head over to the WordPress dashboard and under Plugins >> Add New search for the Disable Gutenberg and install and activate the it.

Disable Gutenberg Plugin Search

The plugin options can be found under Settings >> Disable Gutenberg in the WordPress menu. There are a few options with this plugin.

Like the Classic Editor Plugin you can choose to hide the annoying “Try Gutenberg” widget on the WordPress dashboard. If you untick “Disable Gutenberg everywhere” you will be given the options to select which user roles will have the Gutenberg Editor disabled but again I would opt to Disable Gutenberg everywhere.

Disable Gutenberg Everywhere.


Option 3 – Disable Gutenberg with Code

This is by far my preferred option as myself and the team tend to keep plugins to a minimum to improve site speed and security.

To disable the Gutenberg Editor with code simply add the following to your themes functions.php file:

add_filter(‘use_block_editor_for_post’, ‘__return_false’);

Of course, you should only do this if you know what you are doing as a mistake here can break your WordPress site. Also, I would always recommend carrying out this operation via SFTP or with direct access to your server. Do not edit the functions.php file through the WordPress editor even if you have access. Making a mistake here will break your site until your developer can access the server directly.


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This post originally appeared on the Forte Web Solutions Blog

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