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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.

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Reader Interactions

134 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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