I don't really use:

  • Contacts
  • Banners
  • Search
  • Newsfeeds

So my question is:

  1. Are they safe to disable?
  2. Are they safe to uninstall?

Ideally, I'd like to make my installation as lightweight as possible. I also don't use tags and messaging but they have a padlock, so I assume anything without the padlock is safe to uninstall?

2 Answers 2


I always disable any of the core components that I won't use and this is a safe approach. I wouldn't recommend to uninstall at this phase until Joomla removes them from the core as it happened with WebLinks.

For a component being part of the core means that they will be back with the next Joomla update - plus if they are not present, there is some possibility for future issues mostly when updating with database/updating/installation/ inconsistencies.

The padlock means the extension is protected - so you can't uninstall or disable it because it is somewhat required at some level. The unprotected ones can be uninstalled - but as suggested above it's safer to simply disable them.

If with Lightweight you mean to have a minimal admin menu for your admins, then ACL and custom admin menus is the way to go.

And a couple of extra tips I usually do (if the following features aren't needed):

  • Disable versions (both the versions component and the setting in articles -com_content).
  • Disable Search and Finder and their plugins
  • Disable modules
  • Disable redirect plugin
  • Disable other content and system plugins

Brief explanations on why I disable the above. First this is not done with speed optimization in mind. It is mostly that I prefer to see and have enabled only what I need/use. It gives me a sense of a lighter site, plus it looks friendlier for my admin users. Whenever I need to enable something, it's easy to do it on purpose.

Versions : If left enabled and never meant to keep history of articles changes, I may end up with a huge versions database table. It's easy to truncate it, but in terms of keep things light and efficient I would prefer to not store data that I won't use. Same with redirect plugin, which can easily fill up the database with all sort of 404 urls. Regarding Search plugins, I disable them all if I dont use search, or allow only the ones that I really want to search for (which in most times is content). I don't like when in search results pages it gives me options to choose among categories, tags, contacts etc. Finder, although it needs manually to start making the indexes, if I don't use the smart search I also disable all of its plugins. I also like to disable admin and site modules that I don;t or don't plan to use. This also gives me a shorter list of modules to select when I want to create a new module. Other plugins, I am going one by one in the plugins list and disable any non-needed/used. In some cases (but I haven't tested) this could have small performance benefits.

  • Yes, I was going to use ReDJ instead of redirects. Also in 3.7 there are admin menus so that is going to be a lot simpler. I already do the core ACL. But yes, the more things that are disabled, technically, the faster Joomla! should be right?
    – Eoin
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 18:13
  • Doubt it will make any difference to speed - the component is only called on component pages, not on every page. Caching is the best thing to look into for speed gains (well, after good hosting).
    – RichardB
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 18:38
  • @Eoin - hardly those changes will have any impact on speed. I just disable them, just to keep control over what's active in the site and keep backend simpler and cleaner for the other users. For example versions database table may become huge if it's left enabled - the same for the redirects. Other factors are most important for speed optimization. I didn't realize your question was about speed optimization/improvement.
    – FFrewin
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 18:55
  • It wasn't about that, I wanted to know the answer. I always compress/combine/minify, my server is decent, and I can use a CDN if need be. The reduction of template files is the next thing to remove weight and improve speed. I just wondered if this would help too. Being a bit anal I suppose.
    – Eoin
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 19:11
  • 1
    @Eoin - I just realized that in your previous comment you asked if the reduction of template files would improve speed. So, briefly the answer here is: it depends. It much depends on what type of files you are going to remove. If for example you disable the loading of heavy or multiple js/css files that actually don't use, then yes it can help. Also, if you manage to remove let's say php features that you don't use but somehow are always being executed with the template loading, then again you will have small performance gains. It's also up to the techniques you use and their combination.
    – FFrewin
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 14:04

Locked ones are required for Joomla to work, so you shouldn't unpublish or uninstall them.

The others may be required for some third party extensions to work (as they are part of core Joomla, the assumption that they exist may be made by some developers.)

I have uninstalled some of these in the past without problem, but now tend to use ACL instead - day-to-day work is done with a cut-down administrator account and only the super user gets to see all the additional components (unused third party ones are a different matter - these should always be uninstalled).

I tend to subscribe to the never touch core code school, even though in this case Joomla do let you remove them so one would hope they take this into consideration when releasing patches.

Unpublishing should be fine - the worst that could happen is you need to re-publish.

  • Yes, i know that uninstalling can cause issues, I'm sure it had happened ni the past, but I can't remember how long ago. Obviously padlocked things don't have an option to uninstall/unpublish.
    – Eoin
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 18:15

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