How to Bulk Delete WordPress Posts [No Code or Plugins]

Need to ditch some posts?

The post interface in WordPress is excellent for deleting posts, but most people don’t know how to use it right. In this post, you’ll learn the trick to edit/remove a ton of posts at once.

This method works for deleting multiple posts/pages and deleting all posts/pages.

Bulk delete your posts

The first step is to login and visit the Posts page in your dashboard. Once there, click on the Screen Options tab at the top-right corner of the screen.

Screen Options tab

Now update the pagination value to be exactly the same as the post count value.

Updating the post pagination value

Click the Apply button, and the page will reload with all of your posts available in the table.

All you have to do next is click the top checkbox, select Move to Trash from the bulk actions drop-down, and press Apply.

Bulk deleting posts

The final step is to visit the Trash posts list and repeat this process using the Empty Trash button to delete the posts permanently.

One more thing: don’t forget to switch the posts pagination back to 20 when you’re done.

What if I have like 20,000 posts?

If you have a massive number of posts this could get kinda wonky. Instead, try out the Bulk Delete plugin.

Bulk Delete plugin

It’s capable of running database queries that can handle that type of volume. It will save you from entering SQL commands into phpMyAdmin yourself and has some neat options for specific post selection.

Here’s a quick look at the menus and some of the options added by Bulk Delete.

Settings page in the Bulk Delete plugin

Goodbye posts

If you’ve got a few hundred posts or less, the bulk actions in the Posts menu will work fine. Once you know how to update the posts per page, mass deleting becomes fast and efficient.

For anyone with a post count in the five-figure range, you may be better off using the Bulk Delete plugin. It handles huge volumes easily and doesn’t require editing the database code yourself.

Is there anything else you need to know about deleting posts and pages in WordPress? Post a comment below.

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4 Comments
  1. Varadero Varadero

    Changing the number of items per page doesn’t work well because of its naive implementation. It adds every single post id along with some constant value with length of about 20 to the URL, which in case of let’s say 500 posts causes request to be rejected by the server because URL is too long… Just tried…

    • Interesting, thanks for sharing the tip! The Bulk Delete plugin is a good fallback when the posts per page isn’t up to the job.

  2. Thanks for the post – didn’t realise the screen option bit….I’m trying to delete 20,000 tho & am currently trying the Bulk delete plugin but it is being a bit painful!! & not quite as awesome as I had hoped!!

    • Darn, sorry to hear that! You may have to try batching the posts a few thousand/hundred at a time.

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