Removing unused third party Joomla extensions has several benefits including:
- performance improvement
- reducing website maintenance
- improving website security
- reducing conflicts between extensions
There's usually no point removing unused core extensions as there may be dependencies that are not obvious and Joomla updates will likely reinstall these anyway.
Compiling a List of Third Party Extensions
Find which third party extensions are installed by logging in to the back-end of the website and checking for extensions with an Author other than "Joomla Project" at Extensions -> Manage -> Manage. (See below for an example).
Ignore the following extensions which are installed by default as part of the Joomla 3.x core:
- beez3 Template by Angie Radtke
- Editor - CodeMirror Plugin by Marijn Haverbeke
- Editor - TinyMCE Plugin by Ephox Corporation
- Hathor Template by Andrea Tarr
- IDNA Convert Library by phlyLabs
- Isis Template by Kyle Ledbetter
- phpass Library by Solar Designer
- phputf8 Library by Harry Fuecks
- protostar Template by Kyle Ledbetter
You can also click on the "ID" column heading to sort by ID and in Joomla 3.x, the third party extensions start at ID = 10000. (Thanks to Tim Davis from www.cybersalt.com for this tip).
How to Check if a Third Party Extension is Being Used
Installed and enabled components are generally found under the Components menu. Some Components are used in the back-end only (e.g. Akeeba Backup) and you will generally know if you are using these types of Components or not.
Components that are used in the front-end are often associated with a menu item so open each Menu and scan the list of menu items to see which components are in use. (See below for an example). You can probably ignore menu items that are disabled.
You can see which third party modules are being used at Extensions -> Modules. (See below for an example). You can probably ignore modules that are disabled.
Note that menu items with no module position assigned may or may not be in use as these can be inserted into content using "loadmodule" syntax or similar.
You can see which third party plugins are being used at Extensions -> Plugins. (See below for an example). You can probably ignore plugins that are disabled.
You can see which templates are being used at Extensions -> Templates. Templates that are not being used will show "Not assigned". (See below for an example).
Removing Unused Third Party Extensions
Before doing any changes, be sure to run a full backup of the website using Akeeba Backup or similar and copy the backup file off-site as a precaution.
Before removing an extension that looks like it is not being used, I recommend disabling it first and testing the website thoroughly to be sure that everything is still working as expected.
Once you are confident that the extension is not needed, then remove it.