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Can ACF work without the plugin appearing?

  • I’m working on a site with custom fields, which appear to be ACF in origin.

    But there is no ACF plugin installed.

    I did find a “acf” folder inside wp-content/themes/theme-name.

    Is it possible to build a site using ACF and then remove the plugin, and have the fields still work?

  • No, you cannot remove the plugin and have the fields still work.

    From your description the developer of the site has included ACF in the theme instead of installed as normal and that they have likely disabled the ACF admin, see the show_admin setting on this page.

  • Thank you John for replying.

    There is no filter in functions.php hiding ACF admin.

    I searched the entire theme folder for ‘show_admin’ and only acf.php has a function initialize() which sets ‘show_admin’ => true.

    Can the ACF admin be hidden permanently by the previous developer?

    Any help greatly appreciated.

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