How to Delete All Your WordPress Posts

If you have the need to delete all your posts from your WordPress site, then there are basically three ways you could go about it. You could  manually delete your posts. You could use a plugin. Or you could go into your database and delete your posts from there.

We’ll go over each method below:

Manual Deletion
Delete with a Plugin
Go into the Database
Reset The Database Completely

No matter which method you choose, of course you should first back up your database in case something goes wrong and you end up deleting things you don’t want to delete.

Manual Deletion

If you’d like to manually delete a LOT of posts, there is a little trick you can use to help cut down on the time it will take to run through the deletion process.

1. First go to your Post section in the Admin area of your backend.

Select Posts > All Posts to view your Table of Posts.

2. Once there, go to the “Screen Options” panel in your Admin section. (You should see an option for it in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.)

Select the Screen Options tab.

3. In the Screen Options panel, you can change the number of posts you can view on one page. Change that number from the default 20 to something higher. (Note: if you have LOTS of posts and you change this number to something VERY high, your browser might lock up on you. You can test it to see how high you can go without problems.)

Increase the number of items to display per page in the Screen Options > Pagination section.

4. Select all your posts; then use the “Bulk Actions” pull-down menu, and select “Move to Trash.” After that, click the “Apply” button.

Select all posts and choose the ‘Move to Trash’ option, then click Apply.

5. You can then go to your “Trash” section and click “Empty Trash” if you like.

Click ‘Empty Trash’ to permanently delete all trashed posts.

*Repeat the above process until all your posts have been moved to trash and deleted.

Delete with a Plugin

If you’d like to use a plugin to do this work, then the Bulk Delete plugin should do the trick for you.

The Bulk Delete plugin lets you choose to delete posts based on a number of different options. For example, you can delete posts based on …

Status (Draft, Revision, Pending, Scheduled, Private)
Age of Post
And more

Here’s a partial look at the settings page.

Bulk Delete Plugin

Go into the Database

If you have thousands of posts delete, and you feel the options above may be too slow or too clunky, then your best bet may be to dive into your database. And so for this I’ll refer you to a post at TripWireMagazine where they run through at least one way of doing that.

Reset Your Database Completely

If you’re looking to get your database to the way it was when you first installed WordPress (in other words, deleting pretty much everything), then check out our recommendation on resetting your database.

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