FAQ How do I remove a plug-in?
You should not remove plug-ins from Eclipse. Plug-ins should be installed as features using the Update Manager. The same Update Manager can be used to disable plug-ins by disabling the feature they belong to. Run Help > Software Updates > Manage Configuration..., select the feature of interest, and disable it with the task shown in the right window. In newer versions, you might need to Run Help > About Eclipse SDK > Installation Details, and then select the software you no longer want and click Uninstall
When a feature is disabled, all its plug-ins will be disabled also. They are still available on disk, and they can be enabled at any time in the future. To physically remove the feature and its plug-ins, you will have to manually remove the feature from the eclipse/features directory and its plug-ins from the eclipse/plugins directory. We advise extreme caution here. Remove the wrong ones, and you may have quite some trouble restoring your Eclipse to a stable state. Unless you care a lot about hard disk use, we recommend leaving the plug-ins where they are.
Comments from the peanut gallery
What about rolling back to a previous version, repairing a corrupted plugin, or eliminating conflicting plugins? Aren't there legitimate use cases for wanting to safely remove a particular plugin?
Under Helios/3.6/STS you can disable plugins at startup via "Window > Preferences" from the menu under "General > Startup and Shutdown". Uncheck the items you don't want to run when you start Eclipse.
Under Indigo/3.7 not all plugins and features are listed in "Window > Preferences > General > Startup and Shutdown". I never checked this under Helios. It appears I will have to create a new installation of Indigo in order to get rid of an unwanted feature.
This FAQ was originally published in Official Eclipse 3.0 FAQs. Copyright 2004, Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. This text is made available here under the terms of the Eclipse Public License v1.0.