In this post we will go over the different methods of which you can remove or disable the default sidebar that shows in most WordPress themes.

First, let’s get one thing straight. The sidebar itself is a theme addition, and often has it’s own PHP file in the root directory of any given theme.

The sidebar widgets are plugin enhancements that can come from either themes or plugin installations, as well as modifications done by the site owner in functions.php

This is important because if you just wish to disable default sidebar widgets, you can simply go to:

Appearance -> Widgets -> Sidebar

Otherwise, you will have to change some PHP files. Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through every step of the process!

Remove sidebar via theme files

This method involves changing the theme core files, which may not be the most considerate thing to do, if you wish to update the theme in the future. Instead, consider adding a child theme based on your current theme, and then remove the sidebar there. Go to:

Appearance -> Editor

Once there, use the right hand side menu to browse to these following files:

  • single.php
  • page.php
  • front-page.php

When loaded, go to the botttom of the template file, and find get_sidebar(); – remove this code to permanently remove the sidebar loading.

There might be other files specific to your current theme that loads “get_sidebar();” so feel free to open Notepad++ and search in all files in that directory that makes this call, and remove the lines accordingly.

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