Beginner's Guide for WordPress / Start your WordPress Blog in minutes

How to Disable Gutenberg and Keep the Classic Editor in WordPress

Do you want to disable Gutenberg (block editor) and keep the classic WordPress editor on your site?

Gutenberg is the default block editor in WordPress which has replaced the classic WordPress editor. A lot of users find it hard to adjust to and would prefer to keep the classic editor.

In this article, we will show you how to easily disable Gutenberg and keep the classic editor in WordPress.

Disable Gutenberg and keep classic editor in WordPress

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is the developmental name for the block editor in WordPress. The block editor was created with a goal to modernize the WordPress writing experience.

WordPress block editor with default Twenty Twenty-One theme

It attempts to work like a page builder plugin and allows you to drag and drop items into a post or page. The goal is to offer more flexibility and enable WordPress users to create unique layouts for their content with rich multimedia content.

Since the release of WordPress 5.0, the block editor is now the default editor in WordPress.

Why Disable the Gutenberg Editor in WordPress?

Many users who have been using WordPress for years are more comfortable with the classic editor.

Also, since the block editor is relatively new, some plugins are still not compatible with it.

Thankfully, there’s a plugin by the WordPress core team which allows you to use the classic editor even on WordPress 5.0 or later.

Let’s take a look at how to easily disable Gutenberg and keep using the classic WordPress editor.

Method 1. Disable Gutenberg with the Classic Editor Plugin

For this method, we will be using the Classic Editor plugin which is developed and maintained by the core WordPress contributors.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Classic Editor plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

The plugin works out of the box, and it will disable the Gutenberg editor upon activation.

This plugin also gives you an option to keep both Gutenberg and the Classic editor at the same time. You can configure this in the plugin’s settings.

Simply go to the Settings » Writing page in your WordPress admin area. You will see the option to do this under “Classic editor settings”.

Classic editor settings

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

You will now be able to see a new link under the Posts menu to create new posts using the classic editor.

Switch to classic editor

You will also be able to edit older articles using the classic editor. Simply go to Posts » All Posts page and you’ll see a ‘Edit (Classic)’ link below posts.

Edit classic

Method 2. Use Classic Editor with Disable Gutenberg Plugin

If you want to disable Gutenberg for certain user roles and post types, then this method will help you do that.

First, you need to install and activate the Disable Gutenberg plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Disable Gutenberg page to configure plugin settings.

Disable Gutenberg settings

By default, the plugin will disable Gutenberg everywhere for all users on your website. However, if you want to limit it to certain user roles and post types, then you need to uncheck the ‘Complete Disable’ option.

Unchecking it will display more options to selectively disable Gutenberg for certain user roles, post types, theme templates, or individual posts.

Selectively disable Gutenberg

This option is helpful if you are using a WordPress plugin that’s not compatible with Gutenberg, but you want to use Gutenberg for other areas on your site.

WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder powering more than 43% of all websites on the internet.

It has thousands of plugins and themes and powers all kind of websites from eCommerce stores to membership communities.

Many of these plugins are now compatible with the block editor. For example, WPForms includes a custom contact form block so you can easily insert your forms into any post or page with the block editor.

However, a lot of third-party tools still rely heavily on the classic WordPress editor and may not be fully compatible with the block editor.

If that’s the case, then these settings could be very helpful for you.

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

We hope this article helped you disable Gutenberg and keep the classic editor in WordPress. You may also want to see our list of the must have WordPress plugins for all websites, and our comparison of the best email marketing services for small business.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit – a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

138 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. WOW! Did this article “find me” at the right time! I think this is the best WordPress site on the internet, have been following it a long time and decided put foot in the waters and test a new site with WordPress 6.0.1 (local install). The toggle button popping up and hiding all the dashboard options was driving me crazy every time I tried to create a new page or post! Have been sitting here all day trying to figure out stop the Dashboard menu from dissappearing. Didn’t realize it was Gutenberg vs Classic Editor. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS POST wpbeginner! :-) :-) :-)

  2. Unfortunately I can’t install the plugin as it requires me to have a Business Plan. I know I had plugins on my blogs but can’t install any now. Have been forced into block editor.

  3. Hi, I’ve downloaded the plug in for the classic Editor since I couldn’t figure out how to Indent paragraph in the Block editor. I’m now able to “indent” a paragraph in the Classic Editor. I then save the Classic editor and close it.

    However, as soon as I open the Classic Editor, my “indents” are gone (Even though I had saved my post)? I’m used to the Block Editor, but it’s missing some functionalities (like indents). Not sure what to do? I prefer not to use the Classic Editor too much, only for the missing functionalities. Can we not use both?

    • You would not want to swap between editors as that can cause different issues like the one you are running into. For those situations, you would want to use the Classic block for that styling or stay in the classic editor.

      Admin

  4. Hi,

    installing the classic editor was easy on WP 5.6
    Only thing is that the classic “look” is not there ? It has a different interface ?

    • You would want to ensure you’ve enabled the classic editor in the plugin’s settings for it to be visible.

      Admin

  5. I’m using wordpress.org, but when I go to the writing settings this option isn’t there..? I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong

    • You would want to ensure the plugin is installed and activated for the option to be available.

      Admin

  6. I’m using WordPress COM. On Oct 1, 2020 when I added a post to my blog I was shocked to discover that the familiar Classic interface had been replaced by Gutenberg without my permission.

    Even worse, when I tried to restore the Classic interface I got this message — “To install plugins you need to upgrade to a business plan.”

    • You would need to reach out to WordPress.com’s support for what the current options that they have available are without upgrading to be able to use plugins. Our guides are for WordPress.org sites currently.

      Admin

    • On free plans, you can’t install the plugin, but it’s still possible to use the old editor. Go to the WP Admin page which is located at blogname.wordpress.com/wp-admin. Click Posts->All Posts to get a list of your posts. If you hover over a post title, you can choose Classic Editor below it. Note: This may not work if your WP account is new.

  7. Hi,
    I recently updated my site to WP 5.5.1 – no choice, but Gutenberg. When I install the Classic Editor plugin, the article previews get a 404 error. Any ideas, whether it’s the theme or other plugins interferring?

  8. I happened to do a fresh WP installation last night and noticed that block editing is the default status as now the block editor is built into the WP core. A couple years ago I installed the Gutenberg plugin. Is it possible to uninstall the plugin and retain the block editor or will uninstalling the Gutenberg plugin disable block editing? It would be a disaster to uninstall it and find pages and posts created with the Gutenberg plugin all in a mess.

    • If your site is up to date you should be able to uninstall the Gutenberg plugin safely.

      Admin

  9. Hi. I have been using the Classic Editor plugin, but isn’t there an expiration to that? I thought I remember they will require everyone to move over to Gutenburg by a certain date. Do you know about this?

    I ask because I was going to hire someone to recreate my blog in Gutenburg blocks… because I thought I had to eventually. But I don’t want to do the dust has settled on Gutenburg and all the kinks are worked out.

    Advice?

    • They mention this on the Classic editor plugin page itself. Currently, the plugin will be supported until 2022, or as long as necessary.

      Admin

    • Some people think that which is why the Classic Editor plugin is available, should you not want to use the block editor you can use that plugin. We would recommend trying the block editor when you can as it has improved over time.

      Admin

  10. I’ve read the post above and do not see these options when I look at settings on my 2nd site. When I choose plug-ins, I get the message that I have to upgrade to a paid plan in order to be able to use either the disable gutenberg plugin or the classic editor plugin.

    Is this correct? People with free sites are not allowed to disable the “new block editor”? Thank you.

    • Our tutorials are for WordPress.org sites, not WordPress.com sites. WordPress.com should be able to let you know the options available but they may have an option in the top right of the post editor unless it has been removed

      Admin

  11. In trying to find a way out of Gutenberg I installed Classic Editor, also Classic Editor add-on, and then finally Disable Gutenberg. A third party tool I used to use used to work perfectly for months. Now it does not, even with this plugins. Do I have too many plugins at this point? Suggestions? Thank you.

    • You would only want one plugin for the classic editor active, you may be running into a conflict between the plugins that is preventing the classic editor from displaying.

      Admin

    • If neither of these plugins was able to revert you to the classic editor, you may want to disable your other plugins to ensure this isn’t a plugin conflict.

      Admin

  12. Thank you, I don’t like Gutenberg at all, and was able to get my website, which I’m still working on, back to normal.

    • Glad our guide can help, as Gutenberg evolves the editing experience should improve for the future :)

      Admin

  13. You cannot install ANY plugins on WordPress if you don’t “upgrade to the business plan” as is what happens when you go to the plugin page. For the zillions of us who have blogs on there and are forced into the block editor, what do we do?

  14. Gutenberg is very annoying. Add the below code to your theme function file

    add_filter(‘use_block_editor_for_post’, ‘__return_false’);

    Save and have fun.

    • That is one method, we recommended the plugins as those are easier for beginners to disable if they would like to use the editor in the future

      Admin

  15. I’ve been using the Classic Editor for awhile now and it works great. Some of my editing features are missing though. There is no longer an option to change the color or font size and underline is missing too. Is there a way to fix that?

    • Those were likely added by the tinyMCE Advanced plugin if you were using that previously

      Admin

  16. Thanks! Your post about the classic editor plugin solved my issue with new default editor of WordPress immediately!

  17. Just started panicking when first saw this update! But now I’m back on track! Thank you so much!

    • Glad our recommendation worked, it is continuing to be developed so as it is worked on the editing experience should improve :)

      Admin

  18. I gave myself two weeks to adjust to this and reinstalled the old editor months ago on my personal site. Now I’m having to work with it again for a client and man do I hate this editor.

    • There is a learning curve but this editor should hopefully reduce the barrier to entry for new users to WordPress

      Admin

  19. I used your method and it worked instantly… after hours of despair!
    Super Mega Thank you!!!

    Would you have any estimated idea of when wordpress developer intend to force everyone to use the Gutenberg editor?

    Where best to leave them feedback?

    It messes up my whole website structure and all of a sudden pictures disappeared from post without me being able to access.

    • The classic editor plugin plans to be officially supported until December 2021 at the moment. If you visit the Gutenberg plugin page they have information on how to leave feedback :)

      Admin

  20. THank you for the article. I have searched for hours trying to get my drafts saved and my posts published with no success. I even played the permissions in the files sections of my cPanel. Nothing worked until after many searches through WordPress forums and after reading 10’s of Google suggestions on “How to get my posts saved” or “Posts won’t save in WordPress” I finally found your article and I didn’t know that was so simple to solve that problem. I simply installed the plugin Classic Editor and it worked right away! Thanks again!

  21. Thank you for the informative article. The new editor is the most time consuming and complicated editor ever, (this thing is unresponsive and lugs continuously) which they shoved it to our throats. forcing us to run yet another plugin, for something that didn’t need a plugin in the first place.
    Thank you again for the article.

    • There are certainly parts that are works in progress, as it improves it should hopefully help new users to WordPress :)

      Admin

  22. Thank you so much for sharing this information I have been off my blog for long.

    Today I was trying to post something and I got stuck with this.

    But after a very long search, I have finally managed to get the results that I wanted and finally on the read again.

    Keep on sharing this great information all the time you are such a great help.

  23. Excellent information!! Thank you. As of 20180321 a couple of the menu items listed above have been removed but other than that this was a life saver for editing previous content. Outstanding!

  24. Thank you so much for showing me the way out of my Gutenberg Nightmare. What on earth are the WP development team thinking?!?!?

    • It can certainly be confusing if you’re accustomed to the classic editor but it is the current attempt to make creating a post on WordPress more beginner friendly.

      Admin

  25. Was having so much trouble with Gutenberg I wasn’t blogging anymore. The work around you showed wasn’t appearing on my “writing” page. There was no option for Classic Editor on there. I had to reinstall Classic Editor. YAY!!! Back up and off to work I go!

  26. Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOO much for this!!! The new editor ought to be called Clunky Anxiety Producer. Your article just gave me my blogging life back!

    thanks you! :-) <3

  27. Ive been experiencing issues with the editors today. We had the Classic editor installed on a few sites but two of them will now not change to text tab view from visual tab in the editor screen. Both have Bakery visual builder plugin installed which i thought might be the issue but even when disabling that plugin i still have same issue. Ive tried both suggested plugins and get the same results. Im now looking for any other option as really dont want to use Guttenburg. Any ideas would be gratefully received. Thanks.

    • We would recommend first reaching out to the support for the classic editor plugin to see if this is a known issue or if they have a recommended solution.

      Admin

  28. Gutenberg was a nightmare to me, so many issues with it. Thanks for your article it really helped!

  29. Thank God for Classic Editor!!!!! Hahahaha. The new WP was a culture shock for me when I went back to blogging.

  30. Oh, Thank you very much! It works like charm! I love you! You save me from so much stress. You’re a lifesaver. It works like charm.

  31. Thank you for the instructions! We went with option 1 and it put us back on the classic editor. Worked like a charm!

    Thank you!

  32. I have tried all of the instructions offered above and unfortunately for me, any page that i open to edit with classic editor contains nothing but red wavy lines. I do not have time to try more failed suggestions, so please tell me how to revert back to a previous word press version that worked as advertised.
    Thank you.

  33. Hi, I’m currently taking way longer than intended whenever I’m writing a new post. My editing tool bar doesn’t have the tools i need it to have and is very limited, as it seems to be not compatible with the puglin I downloaded for it to adjust to my needs. As I was half through a post when I decided to install the new version of WordPress, it wasn’t as hard to use because i had little work left to do. So my question here is: if I download the classic editor, will my published post (that used images blocks) remain the way it is right now? Or will it be altered when i switch back to classic one?

    Thank you,

  34. Gutenberg is a disaster and it seriously inhibits my workflow. Thanks for your great advice.

  35. Installing the “Classic Editor” plugin worked like a charm. Automatically disabled gutenberg editor.

  36. Am I screwed? I have a free version blog using WordPress (wordpress.com). Am I correct in saying that I don’t have an option for the Classic Editor plugin, unless I upgrade to the business plan? The free version doesn’t allow for plug ins :-(

    • On WordPress.com when editing your post, in the top right under the verticle ellipses you should have more options and under there should be the option to swap to the classic editor for now.

      Admin

      • Same here with the free account. However, when I switch back to the classic editor the scroll bar is no longer existent. So I can’t scroll through my post. How do I get the scroll bar back in classic editor because the new editor leaves much to be desired. Thanks

        • You would sadly need to reach out to WordPress.com’s support for that. We do not have control over anything that WordPress.com is offering and our recommended solutions are for WordPress.org sites.

    • Thanks for the advice on where to find the Classic Editor option.
      I have a free WordPress.com account too, and my workaround was to start in Gutenberg for the title, then save, jump back to All Posts and then reopen in Classic. Tedious? Time consuming? Sure. But I felt like a blind man with a Rubik’s cube when I tried to use Gutenberg.

  37. Hello I installed the classic editor plugin ant it works fine but when I create a new post, the editor is by default on “text editor” and not “visual editor”

    IS there a way to enter a new post in visual editor by default ?

    • Hi Yves,

      After switching to the visual editor, WordPress remembers your preference when you click on the save or publish button. Then the next time you edit a post it will open the Visual editor.

      Admin

  38. Hello Team,

    I’ve never been able to use Gutenberg plugin.
    Every time, I try to save a post I get an error message: “updating failed”.
    First of all, I got WordPress updated to version 5.0.
    But before the update, I had already installed Gutenberg.
    After the update, I tried to use it.
    The issue persists.

    I hope you can provide some advice.
    Thanks.
    Regards,

    MJ

      • Hello,

        I did the following actions:
        a. clicked on settings and set the classic editor as default.
        b. I installed WordPress 5.0
        c. Uninstalled Gutenberg plugin as it is integrated already with WordPress 5.0

        But, the result was the same. Issue persists: “updating failed”.
        Do you have another suggestion?

        Gutenberg appearance looks great and I would love learning how to use it.

        Thanks in advance for your support.
        Kind Regards,

        MJ

  39. did I miss something? How do you disable Gutenberg if you only have a wordpress.com blog if you can’t install plug-ins? I have two wordpress.com blogs and I really want to keep the classic editor for both.

Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.