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How to Reset WordPress Quickly and With No Drama

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If you're building a WordPress website and you need to start over for whatever reason but keep your chosen theme and plugins intact, a WordPress database reset may be just the ticket. Resetting the database allows you to remove all your settings, users, and uploaded content so that you start with a blank slate. Thankfully, you don’t need a lot of technical knowledge to reset WordPress.

You simply have to decide whether you should do it, perform the reset, and start your journey from scratch. Once you’ve decided to reset WordPress, there’s no turning back. This change is irreversible, so take your time to make sure it's what you really want to do, and remember to make a backup! Here we will cover the basics of how to perform a WordPress with several different methods.

What is a WordPress reset?

Resetting WordPress refers to switching it back to the default settings by clearing the database. If you know how a smartphone factory reset works, a WordPress reset follows the same principle: it deletes everything and gives you a default platform to start a fresh. You have multiple options to reset WordPress: you can either reset a specific database table or reset the entire database.

It’s not difficult to learn how to reset WordPress, but you will have to think twice whether you are ready to make this move or not. Once you’ve done it, there’s no way to get back to your previous settings scheme, and every bit of content you ever uploaded will be gone. If you simply want to run a partial WordPress reset, make sure to apply the correct measures. Avoid rushing through the process because a mistake can lead to losing everything.

Why should you perform a WordPress reset?

 

Now that you know what a WordPress reset is, it’s time to figure out why would you need it in the first place. The first purpose is obvious: starting from scratch. If you are no longer happy with your website and you would like to start all over again with everything related to it, you can reset WordPress. For the most part, you will want to do this on a site that you're still testing or developing, and not on a live production website.

Instead of resetting it, you can also uninstall and re-install WordPress, but that is a lengthy process that is not worth the trouble unless you have no other option. A few other reasons why you might want to apply a WordPress reset to your website include:

  • Rebuilding your website because it took a direction that you are no longer happy with and reversing the changes would take too long.
  • Cleaning up a test installation. This is required after you’ve completed a set of tests on your websites and you would like to start clean.
  • To upload a backup of the website. If you own a backup of your site and something went wrong, you can just reset WordPress and upload your backup. You won’t need to put any work into building the site again as long as you have a backup, so don’t worry about losing anything.
  • Testing plugins or themes on a fresh website.
  • To avoid the time-consuming process of removing posts, pages, or settings manually.

How to reset WordPress?

Once you’ve set a purpose for your WordPress reset, it’s time to put it into practice. Here’s how you can perform a WordPress reset:

Manually

 

If you know your way around WordPress well, resetting WordPress manually is the best choice. In some cases, cleaning up by hand is the best option you’ve got. Of course, only apply this method if there are no repetitive tasks involved that will take loads of your time. These can be automated by using the Command Line or a plugin, as you are about to see later in this article.

The manual WordPress reset process includes four steps. The first step is deleting your existing database. After doing so, you will have to create a new database from scratch, remove all the unnecessary files that may be present, and then run a clean WordPress installation script. There’s not much to it, but you have to know the basics of how WordPress operates to perform this method.

Using the Command Line

Users who have skills in the programming field should be able to reset WordPress using the Command Line. If you are familiar with WP-CLI, you won’t find this difficult at all. WP-CLI is a Command Line tool through which you can interact with the WordPress platform. You can use various commands to perform tasks. One of these tasks is represented by WordPress reset. The manual process described above can be automated using the Command Line tool. To perform this task, use the command below:

$ wpdb reset --yes
Success: Database reset.

WP-CLI doesn’t stop there. You can use all sorts of commands to perform tasks that you can’t normally do in the WordPress admin page, like deleting transients (i.e. bits of data that are not needed anymore). It is a quick way to deal with tasks that other people perform by hand. This tool can also be used for backing up your website and other complex processes.

Using a plugin

You can reset WordPress with no effort involved at all by downloading and activating one of the plugins listed below. The benefits of using a WordPress reset plugin are numerous. First of all, you can choose whether to reset a specific table in the database or the entire database. Secondly, you can opt for reactivating your existent themes and plugins after resetting WordPress. Some plugins come with more functionalities that can be handy during the reset process. Here’s a short description of a few WordPress reset plugins:

WordPress Database Reset

wp-database
 

A free plugin, WordPress Data Reset is able to perform a WP reset without deleting your existing files. You will get to keep your themes, plugins or other types of files you’ve uploaded to the server. The plugin focuses on the data that is stored in the database alone.

Advanced Reset WP

advance_WP
 

Even though the name says “advanced”, this plugin really isn’t. It has the basic functionalities you would need to wipe your WordPress database clean. Use this plugin if you are ready to clear out all bits of information that your website stores. It will clear the entire database, the content you uploaded, along with the themes and plugins you’ve previously installed.

Reset WP

wp-rest
 

This is another simple plugin that you can use to reset WordPress. In addition, you can make custom modifications like saving pages or content that you’ve uploaded. This plugin won’t alter any of your files, as it simply resets the database.

WordPress Reset

wordpressreset
 

WordPress Reset is one of the most popular WP plugins for resetting the database. By using it, you can also choose to reset the uploaded content entirely or partially. It can be used to restore your website if the credentials are not being provided correctly.

Conclusion

There are plenty of ways to reset WordPress, but what truly matters in this situation is what your purpose is. Since resetting WordPress is a permanent action that can’t be undone in any manner, you will have to think your decision through.You should only perform a WordPress reset if you are absolutely positive that you no longer need the uploaded content or your existing settings. As mentioned before, you can choose a plugin that lets you customize the reset according to your needs and the problems that you are facing.

Albert Ślusarczyk
Albert Ślusarczyk
As the co-creator of Be Theme, I am a strong believer in designing with care and patience. I pour my energy, time & knowledge into perfecting the theme for our 141,000+ customers.

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