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How to uninstall Global Translator Plug-in properly


global translator plugin settings

On my previous post, I explained on why I uninstalled the Global Translator plug-in from this blog. Here is a step by step process that you should take if you want to uninstall the plug-in as well. It won’t be as simple as deactivating the plug-in from your WordPress administration menu as Google might have already indexed your translated pages/posts.

To uninstall Global Translator Plug-in:

  1. Deactivate the plug-in from your WordPress administration (the most obvious step). This should stop the plug-in from further connecting to the translation service and translate your posts.
  2. Using your FTP program, browse to the Global Translator Cache directory on your blog. It’ll usually be under: /your_wordpress_blog_root_folder/wp-content/gt-cache/
    global translator cache folders
    You should then see the languages folders (in acronyms). Keep your FTP program open because we are going to use the folder names for the next steps.
  3. Edit your robots.txt file to disallow search engine bots (especially Google) to index the translated posts/pages.
    Add the line “Disallow /[LANGUAGE_ACRONYM]/ ” where [LANGUAGE_ACRONYM] is a language on the cache directory. Add this line on EVERY language acronyms located in the gt-cache folder.
    uninstall global translator using robots.txt
  4. Use Google Webmaster Tools to request Google to permanently de-index the translated posts/pages.
    To remove the posts from Google Webmaster Tools:
    – Go to Dashboard->Tools->Remove URLs.
    – Click on the New Removal Request
    – Choose “A directory and all subdirectories on your site. Remove all files and subdirectories in a specific directory on your site from appearing in Google search results.” and then click Next.
    uninstall global translator from google webmaster tools
    – Now, add one of the [LANGUAGE_ACRONYM] folder earlier and click the “Submit Removal Request” button.
    – Repeat this process until all languages have been entered and submitted for removal.
    removing global translator cache
  5. Don’t forget to remove the flag widgets from your blog if you injected the Global Translator codes manually like I do.
    remove Global Translator flag widgets
  6. Wait for a few days or a week until all posts have been de-indexed properly by Google and then remove the cache files (basically remove the whole gt-cache folder). The reason why this is put on the last point, is to avoid people getting 404 error which of course will reduce the credibility of your blog. Once the posts have been removed from Google, you can safely remove them.

Feel free to give more feedback on the uninstallation steps to help other bloggers who are planning to uninstall the plug-in.


  1. Hope this post helps other guys who installed this plugin. And requesting for the removal of indexed sites doesn’t happen overnight. So I guess, it takes real amount of time.

    One more thing. Is this a step by step process that can’t be re-ordered? For example, request for a removal first before deactivating and uninstalling it on your blog?



    Tnomeralc Web Design Toys´s last blog post..Cavitenio and Cavitenia Bloggers

  2. Great post Michael I persoanlly wanted to write a post on how to remove Global translator plugin wordpress plugin without impacting your SEO
    Since you have covered it it’s great.

    I already m altered my robots.txt file to disallow crawlers and bots to index my language folder
    You can see an example here
    and same way I removed all the directories using Google webmaster tools.

    Harsh Agrawal´s last blog post..Get recommendation for Twitter followfriday

    • Ouch. Lunarpages usually moves you to a temporary server until you can fix the problem (Happened to me in the past when I got massive traffic from StumbleUpon). Thankfully I installed SuperCache when I had this plug-in

  3. I’m stuck. I’ve noticed a huge decline in Google traffic, ban in Yahoo and decided to quickly remove this plugin.

    I started before I found your post, but I deleted the gt-cache, removed the plugin.

    Yet, when I go to http://www.domain.com/it/ or any other language translation, the english version of the page shows up.

    How do I remove this hook?

  4. Thanks for the detailed instructions!
    This was the first time that I had used robots.txt so your instructions helped me lots.

    Btw, I didn’t deactivate the plugin cause the translated pages weren’t working then. So I used robots.txt and webmaster tools to remove the translated pages from being indexed. Then i can delete the translated pages in a month or 2 when they have all been de-indexed. Newer pages translated due to the plugin still being active wont matter since they wont be indexed. This is correct, right?

  5. It seems kinda drastic to recommend uninstalling the Global Translator plugin, if not misleading. The same steps for uninstalling can equally be applied to properly managing the plugin to increase visitors and avoid conflicts with Google Adsense, for example.

    I began an experiment along those lines by setting up the Translator again in what I consider a more practical manner. Firstly, I ensured that the languages I selected were supported by Adsense. Then I completely deleted my cache of newly translated pages and ‘stale’ files. This is easily done in FTP by finding the gt-cache folder and right clicking to delete. The contents are trashed but the empty language subfolders remain to be filled up again.

    Then I added ‘disallow’ lines to my robots.txt file to block Googlebot from mapping translations in languages not supported by Adsense, or which I had already deselected as language options. Incidentally, it’s a good idea to check periodically that the cached translations are in keeping with the present style of your blog. I found a couple of pages that were still displaying with a WordPress theme I had long abandoned. Incidentally, a picture banner or logo instead of a title stops the translator messing up your site’s main title.

    I am n0w in the process of removing URLs from Google’s database using Webmaster Tools. This is not straightforward but not as lengthy as you might think. I believe there is an option under ‘diagnostics’ to block the route to the gt-cache folder which also removes already-indexed files. I’m still looking for the link, as I think the layout of Webmaster Tools might have changed over time. I might be an optimist but I’m sticking with Global Translator for now.

    • Hi Tony,
      If you go back to my other post (link on the post), you’ll find out that it’s against Google policy (not the Google AdSense) to keep the cached pages more than a certain period. Of course you can delete and regenerate it, but then again, that’s not what the policy wants. So play safe or get more traffic? It’s up to you

  6. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for this post, I have created a similar post to yours where I updated the links in Google Webmaster tools as they have changed their layout. :)

  7. I am in the process of removing this plugin because-
    1- 2 crashes of my site
    2- Kicked off server once
    3-84,000 URL’s found by Xenu on my site
    4-Slow loading of my site
    5-More than the allowable HTML calls on my shared server
    For the average nontechnical Blogger like me this plugin is a disaster.

  8. I downloaded the google translation bar but when it translates the window oppens a small logo of google and a link to block the translation…. all this bothers me because the translation should be smaller…is there a way to make disappear the logo and that useless link ?
    I was getting crazy trying to fix this but no more… I guess I’ll eventually find out how to do it …

  9. I installed this plug-in about a month ago, and then I started noticing that google was not indexing my site as often. Post would take 5-7 day to appear in google and I have seen my us traffic decline. I too am removing the plug-in, thanks for the detailed instructions.

  10. About a year ago i installed Global translator. I then quickly uninstalled!

    I deleted all language folders, removed coding from header.php, de-indexed all translated pages, and added the directories into my robot.txt.

    I have recently installed hyper cache and it says ‘it appears you have global translater installed’! Suddenly as well, google has comeup with 1500 not found posts all translated. I have searched through file after file and i can’t find any remnants of this plugin.

    Does any one have any clues?

    Many thanks

    • I may have found the answer!

      in wp-admin/options.php via hyper cache, there is a reference to gltr_preferred_languages. This lists as serialized data. Going into php my admin I found gltr_preferred_languages in the options table with the list of languages for translation! I deleted this row on the table and I HOPE this is the end of global translator.

      It seems this is another step in the removal process

      I hope this helps :-)

  11. Hi again,

    just an update, I said at the beginning ‘via hyper cache’, I actually meant ‘via Clean Options.’
    Clean options is a great plugin that can track down remnants of uninstalled plugins that leave traces in the database tables. It provides a link to options.php which shows gltr_preferred_languages listed as ‘serialized data’. Clean Options doesn’t remove this remnant but told me what to look for ;)
    Deleting gltr_preferred_languages from the options table was the key.
    Hyper cache now gives NO reference to global translator – i.e. IT WORKED :)

    here is the link to the Clean Options plugin if anyone would like to try; just be carefull what you delete ;)


  12. Thanks for the updates. My hosting account got 2x exceeded because of this and I couldn’t figure out why. Is there any settings which will make this translator delete/purge files after a certain time period. Would help for non-techies to work with blogs in a user friendly manner.

  13. thanks for this useful post.GT plugin was installed last year on my website and had removed later and also have added robots.txt.but today i found the gtcache in my ftp. I have deleted it using this tutorial.Thank you

  14. Thanks for the article, what a “wonderful” process to remove this plugin and de-index at Google… why is this still available for download it is damn dangerous for any SEO… I had 16,000!!!! unreachable pages!

    But on the other hand glad I read how to get rid of this monster crap.

  15. Thanks for the reply Michael!

    I went through the steps you described and have to really thank you for writing down this operation! It was rather tedious, but thanks mate for the info! (If you ever come to Thailand I buy the beers! >sincere offer<) and so we shall see. I guess that I have nowhere to go but UP with my SEO stats :( I was wondering why they were dropping for months now… but that is life and I am going to be posting everywhere not to use this dangerous plug-in…

  16. WOW!!! I have to say this was one of the biggest SEO mistake I have every made. What a joke of a plug-in, great idea bad execution.

    I to installed this plug-in and looked at my webmaster tools and saw 18,000 404’s I went ballistic! Hopefully I have caught it in time but not before some damage was done.

    I use some of the methods above with a few tweaks.

    Since the main part of my site and the blog area are different but still manged by WordPress CMS (Permalink Custom Structure: /blog/%postname%/, Category Base: topics, Tag Base: categoryname). The original site build was a pure html and when rebuilt in WordPress internal structure for inbound links had to be maintained, so base pages have .html extension and blog post are in /blog/post-name/ I added a few more directories in my robot.txt.

    *replace language with the abbreviated one from gt (i.e. es, ru, fr)
    • Disallow: /language/
    • Disallow: /blog/language/
    • Disallow: /topics/language/ “I changed my category to topics”

    Also deleting the gt-cashe folder if you had built the website on another test server and moved it over may not delete without permissions changes from 755 to 775 this can be done via myphpadmin or ftp CHMOD. Once changed to 775 it will delete no problem. If you’re not sure how to do this Google still is your friend lol. Most of the time in your ftp client you can right click and press properties to change permissions of a folder.

    I also submitted to Webmaster Tools for page de-indexing. There have been a few changes to it since this was first posted. It is now (Dashboard>Site Configuration>Crawler Access>Tab in the middle of the page “Remove URL”) once there you will have to submit the full URL sting of the pages.

    There was a reason I did elect to use this in the first place. to add functionality to the website and help people who preferred to read in their language. So what I did was all the steps above and kept the flag icons and coded them in to my site using ‘Google Translates Site’. How I did this was to add them in as external links to Google Translate with my sites URL and language in the Google Translate URL string (‘http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=LANGUAGE-ABBREVIATION-HERE&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.your-site-here.com%2F) I know this will add external links off the site and not count for traffic but it will translate the page in Google and hopeful get them the information they were looking for and not having to do so via leaving and going to other sources other than my site translated on Google for them. You can check my site to see how I did this (http://www.beverlyhillsplasticsurgerycenters.com)

    Thanks again for the insight, I am usually a lot more careful but sometimes even the best of us get burnt. Hopefully nothing an extra 100+ pages of content, some press release and article submissions and just good old hard work can’t fix, I HOPE.

    THANK YOU Michael. I to was going to write procedures on this because of the headache it has caused but you are on it.


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