How to Switch Back to the WordPress Classic Editor


A few days ago, WordPress 5.0 was finally launched and together with it, was the new WordPress editor called “Gutenberg”. though it could already be tested a while ago. While the editor received several good reviews and praises from a number of tech sites, I personally find it lacking. I have used this new editor for a month and I have experienced several bugs and inconveniences. Therefore, in my opinion, Gutenberg is still incomplete and it still needs several improvements.

Now, if you are happy with using Gutenberg, then continue to use it. For those of you who want to use the former editor, here is a simple tutorial to switch back to the classic editor:

1. When on the Gutenberg editor, click on the vertical ellipsis on the upper right section of the screen.

switch to classic editor 1.png

2. On the drop-down menu, select “Switch to Classic Editor”.

switch to classic editor 2.png

3. A dialog box will appear. When prompted whether you want to leave the page, click “Leave Page”.

switch to classic editor 3.png

4. Enjoy.


Posted by

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

80 thoughts on “How to Switch Back to the WordPress Classic Editor

  1. Is it just me? I still go to WP Admin. I like it better than the “classic” editor with one exception: the classic editor can set the primary photo. Otherwise, neither classic nor Gutenberg allow me to edit the photos’ appearance (size, border, open in new tab) as does the WP Admin editor.

    Gutenberg is just a dumbing down of the system.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wish I’d read this post a week ago. WordPress makes switching to the new editor easily discoverable — of course — but then makes switching back to the classic editor a search for the final small-print-entry at the bottom of menu. That’s a jerk thing to do, but then they engaged in the same behavior when switching to classic editor. I had a very bad, no good, several days with their new BETA (can’t stress that enough) editor. I spent about four hours with their support personnel until they finally threw up their hands and admitted the classic editor was the better choice (for now):

    No access to symbols while using Gutenberg’s Paragraph Block.
    No access to indent while using Gutenberg’s Paragraph Block
    No ability to change the color of individual words or selected text. Gutenberg will only allow you to change the text color of the entire paragraph.
    No access to bullets.
    No access to Numbered Lists.
    No ability to clear formatting.
    No access to block quotes.
    Keyboard shortcuts to above features don’t work & no keyboard shortcut for indenting.
    Single spacing with CTRL-RETURN no longer functions.
    No ability to resize images by dragging.

    Inefficiencies (these won’t go away):

    Switching between Visual Editor and Code Editor: What used to be obtainable with one mouse click now requires two plus scrolling. This inefficiency is almost geometric if one often switches back and forth.
    Whereas accessing the side pane required no extra mouse clicks, Gutenberg now requires two mouse clicks: one to access the document side pane and one to re-activate document editing mode.
    In general, the editing mode requires more clicks and more gestures for every function. The support team countered with keyboard shortcuts, but keyboard shortcuts add a whole new layer of inefficiency, like going back to DOS. The mouse and the window paradigm were adopted for a reason.

    If anyone is a Linux user, then they’ll know what I mean when I say that WP is gnomifying their editor in terms of efficiency.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t switched for fear of getting trapped in it. The old one works. Why make life more difficult? Given my experience with the WP stats page, though, I do worry that at some point they’ll eliminate the current version, forcing everyone into the new one, like it or not.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I guess I am in the minority, I actually like the new editor. It does have bugs. I was annoyed about not being able to add hyperlinks until I discovered that the user needs to click apply. The Preview feature doesn’t seem to work but the “W” graphic animation is fun to watch,

    What i do like are the various embed features. I like that I can add a photo with text on the right side. I assume later I’ll be able to choose either side. I never could do that before. Photo Gallery looks great. I like being able to move blocks around.

    I tested software for a living before I retired, so I know crappy software. This has bugs but it is not crappy. Give it chance, and please fix the preview.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has great potential. No one can deny that. However, I feel that it’s still not ready as it still has several incomplete features. It also stripped down several features from the previous editor such as the removal of the justify button. Now, I don’t care about justify as it doesn’t look good on web pages, but my point is, they shouldn’t remove features from the previous core.

      It tries to be a page builder but it would take a while before it can even catch up with free page builders like SiteOrigin. I guess they tried to emulate Medium’s editor which is more superior.

      I am currently using it and I can deal with its quirks. However, not all have the patience to fiddle with a software like this.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks. I don’t hate the new format for text but I don’t like that I have lost ability to create many different photo formats. I have started going back and forth trying to learn the new format but when I want to post a lot of photos I use the old format.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the tutorial. You know, my friend started my blog for me to give me an outlet for my “talks”. I have ALS and am pretty isolated from everything and anything. This “bubble”, as I like to call it, has stopped me from learning new technology as it comes out. This has been almost 13 years. Can you imagine being dropped into a world after you have been absent for that long? Needless to say, when my friend started the blog, it was under these speculations. No difficult technology! When they dropped that new editor on me, I did try it and was lost! Anyway, thanks for helping me get back to the old one. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree 100%. No matter the type of blog post I write I always start with a verbal dump and then edit and tweak layout etc. having to write in blocks or create blocks in order to insert other content (photos etc) was a major pain. I switched back quickly. I’m glad to hear it wasn’t just me!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am very behind in Reader and have been apologizing to other and you too Edmark – I spent the weekend getting out in nature and taking photos before bad weather settles in – snow twice this week (or so they say) … I’m going to read this carefully as I’ve been waiting for it to launch when I have a large post and I’d love to stay with the original editor – I shall read this tomorrow and follow comments.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks Edmark – I usually try to stay current – I know me in the Winter and I decided to enjoy this first weekend of back-to-back sunny days … who could ask for more? I am looking forward to reading how to thwart the Gutenberg editor – am about to shut down now though – 12:17 a.m. and walked 6 1/2 miles yesterday and another 6 1/2 today … lots of fresh air. Enjoy the rest of your day … only 1:18 p.m. for you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for sharing… In the past I found issues while blogging on Yahoo 360,etc… I would spend time writing a blog and then there would be technical issues and I would lose the entire blog, time wasted… I learned to write my blog in publisher and then copy and past on WordPress.. then should there will be issues I would still have my writings… and by using publisher I can write while not being on the internet… I do use WordPress for photos… 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Personally, I use Scrivener as easy to organize my drafts there.

      Anyway, in Gutenberg, if you insert an image between two paragraphs, sometimes, weird things happen. While nesting blocks is supported, it’s still buggy.


  10. the editor you switch back to is not the same as the original. I can’t get photos to load in the right place and it won’t insert links. This things is terrible.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Perhaps, you encountered a bug (as several people did). Some even said that they don’t have the option to switch back. I was able to switch back to the original reader and didn’t experience any problem.

      Whaf is clear is this entire thing is one big mess…

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I have to say — I really like Gutenberg but it does have a learning curve. I’m a tech-head and I’ve been teaching technology for many years; I’ve been writing on how to learn Gutenberg on my blog and will be glad to answer questions. So far I haven’t found bugs—but it’s not as intuitive as the developers thought and hoped. I have several “how to walk throughs” — and will create more on request.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, good for you.

      Here lies the problem: a lot of bloggers, especially here on WordPress.COM, are mainly writers, poets, photographers, etc. and don’t have much experience in dealing with this kind of stuff. They only want things that “work” without much fiddling. Therefore, it’s not surprising if they want to switch back to the classic editor for now.

      Personally, while I’m not technologically gifted, as a Linux user and someone who writes math-related codea on a regular basis, I don’t have any problem with Gutenberg except for the occassional bugs which I’m sure will be fix in future updates.


  12. Thank you, Edward, for this clear and helpful tutorial. I have heard about a lot of users, who were disappointed and clueless about the new editor.
    So I will “press this” as linked from a german-written article to your great work to get the good message on.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. It seems to have been randomly switching me from new to classic. I like some aspects of it but gave up when I couldn’t seem to insert pictures throughout the text, which all seemed to be in one block with no clear way to splitting it!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I don’t know. My text all seemed to be in one huge block although it was in paragraphs which then couldn’t be split. I think it was a draft post which was probably already written in the classic editor.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That explains it. If you insert an image between two paragraphs, those paragraphs should have their own blocks, hence, a total of three blocks (including the image). Even headings have their own blocks. This means a longer article which consists of several images and subheadings would contain more than 20 blocks. I hope they will fix this silliness in future updates.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for the tip on how to go back. I’ve been reluctant to switch for just this reason – in case I didn’t like it. But is there a site or tutorial out there which describes what the new features are? I’ve not seen anything yet and it’s like a leap into the dark… Software companies are always bullish about their new products (and probably only publish the good reviews). It justifies all that investment!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are welcome.

      I’m pretty sure that there are some sites or YouTube videos that provide tutorials (though I haven’t personally looked for them!). Since I’ve used it for a month, I could also write some tutorials later.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I updated my blog to 5.0 on Thursday morning and used Gutenberg once. It was quite good to make an entry but there is so much you can do with it. Is it necessary? It has been downloaded 500,000 times, rated 2.5⭐, very bad rating. You can download and install the classic editor.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Indeed, those “blocks” don’t make any sense if you need to write long articles with a lot of headings, subheadings and images. Those blocks could reach 100 or more for those knds of articles as even things like the “Read More” tag has its own block.

      Anyway, unrelated (or is it?): I was just reading a book titled “How PowerPoint Makes You Stupid” by Franck Frommer and it made me laugh several times. I’m sure that the author didn’t intend to make the book humorous but his opinionated rhetorics made me laugh.


      1. I’ve just started to read the book. From what I can gather, the author has strong opinions against consultants who he said are using PowerPoint as their “weapon” to bullsh*t their way around the executives and management whose brains can’t function properly anymore due to being bombarded by pointless slides at a daily basis(The author called this slides factory).

        He also viewed PowerPoint presentations as some sort of ritual:”

        “An archetypal scene of social life in the early twenty-first century: four shadowy figures emerge from an ill-lit corridor: a woman of about thirty, well dressed but not flashy, with glasses, her blond hair in a bob; two young men dressed in identical dark gray suits with narrow trousers that are a little too short, wide ties with bright colors, a white or sky blue fitted shirt, that touch of elegance that distinguishes them from vulgar salesmen, carrying attaché cases and spiral-bound notebooks; and finally an older man who is very elegant, smiling, with a detached air. The two young men set up their laptops, apparently calm; they all have one except for the man who looks like the boss.After pleasantries and the exchange of business cards, the installation begins with the connection of a laptop to a video projector. A slight hesitation for both performers and audience: “Where is the outlet? Thank you. Where is the screen? Very good. Can we start? Go ahead.” The room usually goes dark, the title slide with a logo appears, and the ceremony can begin.This ritual occurs millions of times a year, in offices, rooms, and amphitheaters everywhere in the world, with the same rules, the same form, the same language, the same accessories.”

        He’s also critical about “models” used in the business world as he thought that relying on predefined diagrams destroy creativity.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I’ve read a few articles and followed some threads in the forums where the developers are chatting. It’s clearly not designed for writers, but for those who are more media-heavy. I don’t like it at all. The option for the classic editor will disappear soon, although I can’t say when. It’s the WordPress way.

    Liked by 4 people

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