How to Revert to the Old Classic WordPress Editor and Disable Gutenberg?

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It’s been more than 4 months since WordPress introduced Gutenberg block-based editor along with the release of WordPress 5.0 version.

And people are still facing difficulties in adapting this major update especially –

  1. The sudden removal of classic editor, and
  2. Arrival of Gutenberg editor as WordPress default editor.

And the reason is obvious, it’s not possible to adapt all these changes overnight because classic editor has been there since the beginning and users are habitual of seeing it.

Therefore, WordPress integrated Gutenberg as its default editor and introduced Classic editor as a WordPress plugin which will be maintained until at least 2022.

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And today in this post I am going to tell you, “How to disable Gutenberg and keep classic editor in WordPress?”


But before moving on to this, let’s have a quick recap on what Gutenberg is!

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is a block-based content editor introduced as the default editor in WordPress version 5.0.

It’s goal is to improve editing and publishing experience in WordPress.

With Gutenberg, now it is possible to create complex layouts in WordPress without having any coding experience or any builder.

You can read more in detail here – Gutenberg WordPress Editor.  


But, Why Disable the Gutenberg Editor in WordPress?

Below are the 2 major reasons because of which I believe people might want to disable Gutenberg, even temporarily.

1. Incompatibility with third-party themes and plugins

There are a lot of third-party themes and plugins still rely heavily on the classic WordPress editor.

So, if you’re using a WordPress theme or plugin that is not compatible with Gutenberg!

You definitely should switch back to the classic editor until theme or plugin developer comes with a compatible update.

That’s the reason why WordPress introduced –

Classic Editor Plugin so that developers have enough time to make their product compatible with Gutenberg.


2. Adaptability Issues

Another reason for disabling classic editor is Adaptability.

And that’s obvious.

You cannot ask everyone to start using Gutenberg instantly especially when they are not familiar with it.

Users need time to adapt to the new changes and get used to it.

Until then, it’s best to switch back to the classic editor and adapt Gutenberg whenever you have time to use it and ready for it.


So now that we’re aware of the reasons, let’s move on to the methods of disabling Gutenberg.

There are four methods to disable Gutenberg and enable the old classic editor.

We will go through each of them one-by-one.

1. Disable Gutenberg with the Classic Editor Plugin

What is the Classic Editor Plugin? Classic Editor plugin is the official solution provided by WordPress to disable Gutenberg and enable the classic editor again. It is developed and maintained by the core WordPress contributors.

Classic Editor plugin offers 2 options –

  1. Disables the Gutenberg editor completely and enables Classic editor.
  2. It lets you choose whether you want to keep both Gutenberg and the classic editor active.

How to disable Gutenberg with the Classic Editor Plugin?

All you need to do is to install the Classic Editor plugin and activate it.

You can download it from the WordPress repository by following the below steps –

  1. Go to WordPress Dashboard » Plugins » Add New.
  2. Search “Classic Editor” in the plugins search bar.

Click Install Now and then activate the plugin.

install-and-activate-classic-editor-plugin

The moment you activate the plugin, it will disable the Gutenberg editor and enable classic editor instantly.

And if you wish to change back to Gutenberg, you can simply deactivate the plugin or you can do this by the following steps –

1. Go to Dashboard » Settings » Writing.

You will see the editor options under “Default editor for all users”. You can switch editors anytime from here.

choose-default-editor-in-classic-editor-plugin-settings

Allow Users to Choose Editor

If you want to allow users to edit a post with the editor of their choice, you need to enable the option “Allow users to switch editors”.

Once you enable the option, go to All posts and you will see that you can now edit a post with both the editors.

allow-users-to-switch-editors-in-classic-editor-plugin-setting

2. Use Classic Editor with Disable Gutenberg Plugin

What is Disable Gutenberg Plugin?Disable Gutenberg plugin is similar to Classic Editor plugin and does the same thing, in the exact same way.

So, why choose Disable Gutenberg Plugin if it is similar to the Classic Editor Plugin?

Because, apart from disabling Gutenberg and enabling classic editor, it lets you control when and where you want to replace Gutenberg with Classic Editor.

Ex: If you can want to replace Gutenberg with Classic Editor only for specific post types, user roles, post IDs, theme template, etc, you can do this with Disable Gutenberg plugin.


How to disable Gutenberg with Disable Gutenberg Plugin?

You need to install Disable Gutenberg in order to disable Gutenberg.

Just like classic editor, you can download it from the WordPress repository.  

  1. Go to WordPress Dashboard » Plugins » Add New.
  2. Search “Disable Gutenberg” in the plugins search bar.
  3. Click Install Now and then activate the plugin.
install-and-activate-disable-gutenberg-plugin

It will instantly disable the Gutenberg editor and enable Classic Editor.


Advanced Options of Disable Gutenberg Plugin

In order to access advanced options, you need to –

  1. Go to Dashboard » Settings » Disable Gutenberg

When you uncheck the “Disable Gutenberg” option, it then allows you to choose to disable and enable Gutenberg for specific post types, page templates, post ID’s, and certain user roles.

disable-gutenberg-advanced-options

3. Disable Gutenberg with Code

Third and final method to disable Gutenberg plugin is through code.

All you need to do is to add the following code in your functions.php file.

add_filter('use_block_editor_for_post', '__return_false');

If you don’t know how to add code to functions.php file, you can check this post – How to Safely Add Code Snippets to Functions.Php File in WordPress?. Be careful while editing functions.php, because it might break your website.  


4. Disable Gutenberg with Gutenberg Ramp Plugin

What is Gutenberg Ramp Plugin? Gutenberg Ramp Plugin is a solution provided by the Automattic team to disable Gutenberg editor. It also lets you choose on which post types you want to enable or disable Gutenberg editor.


How to disable Gutenberg with Gutenberg Ramp Plugin?

First, you need to download and install Gutenberg Ramp plugin from WordPress repository.

  1. Go to WordPress Dashboard » Plugins » Add New.
  2. Search “Gutenberg Ramp” in the plugins search bar.
  3. Click Install Now and then activate the plugin.
install-and-activate-gutenberg-ramp-plugin

Upon activation, it will instantly deactivate Gutenberg editor.


Advanced Settings of Gutenberg Ramp

You can access the advanced settings by following below steps –

  1. Go to Dashboard » Settings » Writing.
  2. You will see the options under “Gutenberg Ramp”.
  3. You can enable or disable Gutenberg by checking and unchecking “Enable Gutenberg on” option.
gutenberg-ramp-advanced-options

So, Gutenberg or Classic Editor? What Should You Choose?  

Well, it completely depends on your experience, needs, and requirements.  

If you’re facing difficulties like adaptability and compatibility issues with themes and plugins, then there is no harm in switching back to Classic editor with one of the above methods.

But for the long run, Gutenberg is the new default editor and WordPress will be maintaining the Classic editor plugin till 2022.

Plus, plugin and theme developers will now be developing all the new products with Gutenberg compatibility and not Classic editor.

Therefore, I urge you to use Gutenberg with your own speed. It might take some time to get used to it, but I am sure you will absolutely love it once you’re aware of its power and editing experience.

Let me know if you have any questions related to the article or opinion on the Gutenberg editor, I would love to hear them in the comments below.

Also, if you know any other ways to disable the Gutenberg plugin, let’s hear them out in the comments. 🙂

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