How to Mass Delete All Pending Comments

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Overwhelmed with spam?

If you’re still getting spammed, read our tutorial on how to stop comment spam first.

Once you’ve put an end to the spam, follow the steps in this tutorial to learn how to quickly delete all of your pending comments.

How to delete all pending comments

You managed to stop the spam.

The problem is that now you’ve got hundreds, maybe even thousands of pending comments. Marking them all as spam one-at-a-time would take forever.

There’s an easier way. You just need to know your way around WordPress to quickly delete them all.

Change the comments per page

Visit the Comments menu in your WP admin dashboard. At the very top-right of the screen is a tab called Screen Options.

Screen Options Tab Comments

Click on it and you’ll find the pagination option that reads, “Number of items per page:”

Comment Pagination Setting

You can update this to a much larger number than 20. Let’s say you have 200 pending spam comments. Update this setting to 200 comments and you can bulk trash them all at once.

And here’s how to do that…

How to bulk delete comments

While in the Comments menu, use the checkbox at the top of the comments list to select all comments. Then click the Bulk Actions drop-down menu and choose the Mark as Spam option.

Comments Bulk Actions

Then hit the Apply button and all of the comments will be marked as spam.

Mark As Spam

Make sure to switch over to Pending comments and not All comments so you don’t delete any legitimate comments on your site.

Delete all spam comments

You’re not quite done yet.

Once you’ve marked the comments as spam, your pending comments will be cleaned up. However, you still have hundreds of spam comments taking up space in your database, and you don’t need them at all.

Luckily, WordPress has a simpler way to delete all comments that are already marked as spam.

Switch from the Pending comments view over to the Spam comments section. Then click the Empty Spam button off to the right to delete them all.

Empty Spam Button

And with that, you’re finally free of the dreaded comment spam 🙂

Staying spam-free

Make sure to follow the steps in our spam prevention tutorial in case you haven’t already.

If you are getting spammed and also don’t care about comments at all, you can completely disable comments on your site to stop the spam.

If you have any questions about deleting pending comments or stopping spam, please post a comment below.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.