Have you ever wanted to just start over, with a clean slate? Maybe you’re trying out a new theme on a staging site. Or perhaps you’re testing the compatibility of a few plugins in your own sandbox.
In these cases you’re most likely importing or creating sample data to test with, and once you’re done testing you’ll probably want to get rid of it. You could just delete the data bit by bit manually, but that takes forever. Or you could use the the WordPress Database Reset plugin to put your site back to the way it was when you started in just a few seconds.
How To Reset Your WordPress Database
The easiest way we’ve found to quickly reset your database is with the free WordPress Database Reset plugin. This plugin cleans out the blog posts, store products, portfolio items or anything else you might have added to your WordPress installation along with all of the accompanying media files, comments, taxonomies, ratings, etc. It does not delete your installed themes and plugins (so no worries).
We highly recommend using this plugin in test environments where you constantly need to start over. We use it ourselves when doing testing for our Total WordPress theme as well as for many of the plugin reviews you see on our blog. While the plugin currently does not support multisite, it does a fantastic job on single installations and really speeds up the testing and re-testing process.
Now that you know what the WordPress Database Reset plugin does, here’s how you can install and use it to reset your site.
Step 1: Install The WordPress Database Reset Plugin
First, log into your WordPress installation and navigate to Plugins > Add New. Search for “wordpress database reset” and look for the plugin created by Chris Berthe (it should be the first result). Click the button to Install and then Activate the plugin.
Step 2: Select & Reset Your Database Tables
Once active the plugin will add a Database Reset option under Tools. This is where you will be able to select your reset options.
You can use the Select Tables dropdown to choose individual data tables. Or if you want to reset everything (like we typically do) click on the Select All option.
Note: If you select the users table your user account will be reset. This means you will have to reset your password and log back into your WordPress installation after using the reset plugin. To avoid this, remove the users option after using the select all quick link.
After selecting the tables you want to reset you have the option to reactivate your current theme and plugins. This step is completely up to your preference. When we’re doing theme testing we always check this box to speed things up. For plugin reviews we don’t check this box, which means the theme and plugins are all deactivated (but not deleted) on the installation.
Once you’ve made your selections, type in the temporary security code, click the button to Reset Tables and then confirm the reset.
Step 3: Checkout Your Clean Installation
If you had the users table selected when you ran your reset you’ll need to log back into your WordPress installation.
Note: This will only happen is you selected the users table when resetting.
If you didn’t reset your users table then you’ll still be inside your dashboard except it should look like a brand new installation. If you click on Posts you’ll see that your website has gone back to the original WordPress “Hello World!” default post, complete with sample comment. And if you check under Pages default WordPress “Sample Page” should be back too.
Before & After
And just to give you a look, here are our test before and after pictures.
This was our test site before (complete with sample posts, taxonomies, events, menus and more).
And this is the after result (note, we had the option selected to reactivate the theme and plugin which is why you see the Mesa theme we were using instead of the default WordPress theme.
There you have it! A complete guide to resetting your WordPress installation with the WordPress Database Reset plugin. It really does speed up testing if your a web designer or developer. Just be sure you’re using it on a single WordPress installation and that you uncheck the users table when resetting.
Do you have another way to reset WordPress? Or any questions about using WordPress Database Reset? Let us know in the comments below!