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WordPress Reset: How to Completely Reset WordPress to Its Default Settings

WordPress, the most used content management system around the world, powers over 40% of websites on the internet. Though famous for its flexibility and ease of use, problems can occur that require a complete reset of your WordPress site, especially when a WordPress theme is causing issues with your site or you want to start with a fresh WordPress theme. In such cases, resetting WordPress to its default settings is necessary, and this article explores how to completely reset WordPress to its default settings.

The Importance of Backing Up Your Website

Before considering resetting WordPress, it’s crucial to understand that resetting WordPress will delete all data on your website, including posts, pages, users, comments, and any other data. Therefore, it’s crucial to take a backup of your site before proceeding with the reset. There are different methods to create a backup of your site, but using a backup plugin such as UpdraftPlus, BackupBuddy, or WPvivid is recommended.

Step 1: Install a Maintenance Mode Plugin

Before resetting WordPress, it is essential to put your site in maintenance mode. A maintenance mode plugin will inform your visitors that your site is temporarily unavailable while you work on it. Among the various maintenance mode plugins available, “WP Maintenance Mode” is one of the most popular ones. You can install and activate it by following these steps:

  1. Go to the WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins -> Add New.
  2. Search for “WP Maintenance Mode” and click on “Install Now.”
  3. After installation, click on “Activate.”
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Once activated, you can customize the plugin settings by going to Settings -> WP Maintenance Mode.

Step 2: Backup Your Website

Before resetting WordPress, creating a backup of your website is essential if you want to preserve your website’s data. Even if you are trying to reset your website, it’s worth preserving all your content to a safe place, in case you need it later.

Step 3: Resetting WordPress

Next, we will show you how to reset WordPress to its default settings. There are different methods to reset WordPress, but we will cover two of the most common methods.

Method 1: Using WP Reset Plugin

The “WP Reset” plugin is a powerful and straightforward tool that helps you reset your WordPress database to its default settings. You can install and activate it by following these steps:

  1. Go to the WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins -> Add New.
  2. Search for “WP Reset” and click on “Install Now.”
  3. After installation, click on “Activate.”

Once activated, you can reset WordPress by following these steps:

  1. Go to Tools -> WP Reset.
  2. Read and acknowledge the “warning” message, which reminds you that resetting WordPress will erase all data.
  3. Type “reset” in the field to confirm that you want to reset your website.
  4. Click on “Reset WordPress.”

After resetting your site, you can reactivate your theme and re-launch your site. You will need to customize your site’s settings and install your desired plugins, and re-upload your content.

Method 2: Manual Resetting

Manually resetting WordPress requires accessing your WordPress site’s files and database. This method is a bit technical, and it’s better if you are comfortable working with coding and databases. Before you begin, make sure to backup your website.

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Step 1: Access Your WordPress Root Directory

You can access your WordPress root directory using a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client. Here, you will locate your WordPress wp-config.php file and rename it, for example, wp-config_bak.php.

Step 2: Access Your WordPress cPanel

After renaming your wp-config.php file, you can access your WordPress cPanel. In your cPanel, locate the “phpMyAdmin” icon and click it.

Step 3: Reset WordPress Tables

In phpMyAdmin, select your WordPress database and locate the “SQL” tab. Copy the following SQL code and paste it into the SQL command box:

DROP DATABASE yourdatabasename;
CREATE DATABASE yourdatabasename;
USE yourdatabasename;

Replace the “yourdatabasename” with your actual database name. This SQL code drops and recreates your database.

Step 4: Upload a New WordPress Installation

After resetting your database, you can upload a new WordPress installation from the WordPress website. Unzip the downloaded folder and upload the content to your WordPress root directory.

After installing WordPress, you will have access to your WordPress site with the default settings. You can now customize your settings, install plugins, reactivate your theme, and re-upload your content.


Resetting your WordPress site can be a powerful tool to resolve problems, such as issues with your theme, or the need to start with a clean slate. Please remember to back up your website before proceeding with any reset to avoid losing your data. Resetting WordPress is a technical process that requires some knowledge of coding and databases, and if you’re not comfortable doing this, you can hire a professional developer to do it for you.

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