Difference Between Deactivate And Inactivate

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Managing a website often involves dealing with different settings and features, including deactivating or inactivating certain elements. However, not everyone understands the difference between deactivating and inactivating. In this article, we will explain the difference between these two terms and when to use them appropriately.

Deactivate Definition

Deactivating a feature or element means disabling it or turning it off. When you deactivate a feature, you are telling the system that you no longer want it to function. Deactivating a feature is usually a temporary action that allows you to turn it back on when you want to use it again.

For example, if you have a plugin on your website that is causing problems, you may choose to deactivate the plugin until you can resolve the issue. Or if you have an employee who is on vacation, you may want to deactivate their user account until they return.

How to Deactivate

To deactivate a feature or element on your website, you will typically need access to the settings or management tool that controls it. For example, to deactivate a plugin in WordPress, you would go to the Plugins page in the dashboard, find the plugin you want to deactivate, and click the Deactivate button.

Inactivate Definition

Inactivating a feature or element is different from deactivating it in that it is a permanent action. When you inactivate a feature, you are removing it from your website entirely. Inactivated features cannot be restored or reactivated, and their data may be permanently deleted.

For example, if you have a product that is no longer available, you may choose to inactivate it. Or if you have a blog post that is outdated or no longer relevant, you may want to inactivate it so that it does not appear in search results or confuse your readers.

How to Inactivate

To inactivate a feature or element on your website, you will also need access to the management tool that controls it. In most cases, you will find an option to delete or remove the feature entirely, which will inactivate it. Depending on the feature, you may also need to delete associated data, such as images or posts, to fully inactivate it.

Deactivate vs Inactivate – Which Should You Use?

The choice between deactivating and inactivating a feature depends on the situation you are facing. If you intend to use the feature again in the future, deactivating it is the best option. If, on the other hand, you have no plans to use the feature again, or the feature is no longer needed, inactivating it is the way to go.

It is worth noting that some website management tools may use different terms for deactivating and inactivating. For example, some may use “disable” instead of “deactivate.” Regardless of the specific terminology, the key difference between deactivating and inactivating is whether or not the element can be restored in the future.


Deactivating and inactivating are actions that website managers can use to control their websites’ features and elements. Deactivating is a temporary action that disables features or elements temporarily, whereas inactivating is a permanent action that removes them entirely.

Whether to deactivate or inactivate an element depends on the situation, and it is essential to understand the difference between these actions to make the right decision. By doing so, you can ensure that you have full control over your website’s features and elements, and avoid accidentally removing something that you may need in the future.