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How to Disable WordPress Block Widgets and Enable Classic Widgets Again?

Looking to disable WordPress block widgets and enable classic widgets again? After the release of WordPress 5.8, WordPress has replaced the traditional widget area with a new block-based system. Here, you use the Gutenberg blocks to place the widgets in sidebars, footers, or other widgets areas. This is basically an upgrade for the old widget area as you will have full control over the configuration and customization of the widgets. However, some of the users might want to continue using the classic widgets area due to personal preference.

Keeping that in mind, we have prepared this tutorial to show you how easily you can disable the block widgets and restore the classic widget area again. We will show you two WordPress plugins that will easily switch back to the new classic widgets and a code snippet process if you do not want to follow the plugin process.

Different Ways to Disable WordPress Block Widgets and Enable Classic Widgets Again

Installing Classic Widgets Plugin

Classic Widgets is a free WordPress plugin that comes directly from the WordPress contributors team to enable you to disable the block editor on the widget area. It does not have any settings and will automatically switch back to the traditional widget area upon activation. 

So, if you want to use the block widget system again, you just need to deactivate the plugin.

Download Classic Widgets

Installing Disable Gutenberg Plugin

Disable Gutenberg is another free WordPress plugin to disable the block widgets and enable the classic widgets. It has been popular and widely used since WordPress launched the block editor for pages and posts in WordPress version 5.0 as the plugin contains options to entirely disable Gutenberg. 

After installing the plugin go to Settings > Disable Gutenberg. You will be able to see two checkboxes consisting of Complete Disable and Classic Widget disable.

Tick the Complete Disable option to entirely disable the Gutenberg block editor from pages and posts. While ticking the Classic Widgets to disable the block widgets and restore the classic widgets.

Download Disable Gutenberg

Using the use_widgets_block_editor Filter Hook

Another method to disable the WordPress block widgets is by using the use_widget_block_editor filter hook. 

Just add the following one-line code on the function.php file of your current theme and save it.

add_filter( 'use_widgets_block_editor', '__return_false' );

Now go to Appearance > Widgets to check whether the traditional widget area is restored or not.

Using the remove_theme_support

The final step to disable the widget block editor is using the remove_theme_support snippet. 

You can add the following code snippet on the function.php file of your active WordPress theme and save it.

function disable_hash_themes_support() {
    remove_theme_support( 'widgets-block-editor' );
}
add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'disable_hash_themes_support' );

Now go to Appearance > Widgets to check whether the traditional widget area is restored or not.