How to Reset a WordPress Website Back to Default

Whether it’s you that messed up with your WordPress website or it’s your test website, you’ll always need to reset a WordPress website back to default.

I love to start over rather than dealing with so many issues with my WordPress site. It saves a lot of time then debugging all those errors.

And also, creating a test website on a subdomain just to experiment with a new theme or plugin, requires reset the database after some time to perform those activities more and more in the future.

How to reset a wordpress website back to default

In this tutorial, I will show you how to reset a WordPress website back to default –

The Easiest Way to Reset a WordPress Website – Using a Plugin

Using a plugin is the most effortless way to reset your WordPress database. You just have to install the plugin and do some mouse clicks and you’re good to go.

Right?

The plugin that I use to reset a WP-database is a free plugin named Advanced WordPress Reset. This plugin clears all the files stored in your database and brings that fresh WordPress Dashboard, which you can find on a new installation.

The only thing this plugin can not do is that it can not delete the plugins that were installed before. The plugins will be there in the deactivated state. You need to delete them manually.

Overall, this is what I found the best effortless way to reset a WordPress website. Let’s see how to reset a WordPress database with Advanced WordPress Reset.

Easiest Way to Reset a WordPress Website

Step 1: Install and Activate the Advanced WordPress Reset Plugin

  1. Go to Plugins >> Add New
  2. Type Advanced WordPress Reset in the search box.
  3. Click on Install Now.
  4. Click on Activate.

Step 2: Reset the Database

  1. Go to Tools >> Advanced WP Reset
  2. Type reset in the box below Reset Database.
  3. Click on Reset database.

Again, to make sure, note that this step will clear all the data in your WordPress Database. All your posts, pages, media will be erased completely.

After you click on Reset Database, you’ll be prompted to the login page of your WordPress website. In there just log in with your Username and Password, then you will see the clean default WordPress dashboard.

Step 3: Delete all the Plugins

  1. Go to Plugins >> Installed Plugins
  2. Click the radio button to select all
  3. Select the bulk action to Delete
  4. Click on Apply.

And that’s it. You’ve successfully cleared all the data of your old WordPress installation.

Isn’t it the easiest way to reset a WordPress Website?

How to Reset a WordPress Website Without Using Any Plugin?

If you don’t want to use plugins for every single task on WordPress, or if you’re techy, you know how to do technical adjustments, then this method is for you.

Let’s get started with the step by step process to reset a WordPress website manually.

Step 1: Delete the Database

You need to login to the cPanel of your website. You can also get access to your database using phpMyAdmin.

  1. Log in to cPanel.
  2. Go to MySQL databases under Databases Section. (You can search in the search bar also)
  3. Click on the Delete Database button.

This operation will delete all your contents of your website.

Step 2: Create a New Database

After deleting the old database, on the same page, under the Database section, you can create a new database. This new database will now be used for your website.

  1. Type a name for the new database, then click on Create Database.
  2. Click on Go back.

Now, it’s time to assign a user to the newly created database. To assign a user to the database –

  1. Scroll to the Add User To Database section
  2. Select the user and Database name, then click on Add
  3. Select the radio button for ALL PRIVILEGES then click on Make Changes.

Note – Make a note of the Database name, database user name, and database user password.

Step 3: Edit wp-config.php File

To assign the newly created database in the previous step to your website, make changes to existing the wp-config.php file.

edit wp config
  1. Go to File Manager under FILES section
  2. Go to the folder in which WordPress is installed. (Mostly inside public_html)
  3. Click on wp-config.php then click Edit
  4. Change the following entries – (Refer to the note) and save it.
// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
 /** The name of the database for WordPress */
define( 'DB_NAME', 'database name' );

/** MySQL database username */
define( 'DB_USER', 'database user name' );

/** MySQL database password */
define( 'DB_PASSWORD', 'database password' );

Step 4: Remove Old Files from wp-content Folder

To completely remove the old WordPress installation, or reset a WordPress website back to default, using this manual method, you must delete all the outdated contents from the wp-content folder.

remove old files

Delete the old themes and plugins from the wp-content folder. You can use an FTP solution like FileZilla or you can directly do it from the cPanel to remove old files.

  1. Go to File Manager under FILES section
  2. Go to the wp-content folder
  3. Go to Plugins folder
  4. Click on Select All and then click on Delete
  5. Click on Up One Level
  6. Go to Themes folder
  7. Select and delete the old theme

Alright!

You have now a clean WordPress setup, to begin with. Run the WordPress installation script to complete the setup process.

  • Go to https://wplearnr.com/wp-admin/install.php on your web browser.

Do not forget to replace ‘wplearnr.com‘ with your domain name. And the rest, you know what to do… Right?

That’s how you reset a WordPress website manually without using any plugin.

How to Reset a WordPress Website Without Losing Data?

Here’s another question, how can you reset your WordPress blog without losing posts and pages of your blog?

Sometimes, what happens is that your live blog is having issues or errors, and you know that by resetting the WP installation, your problems will be gone. But those posts you’ve published, your hard work should not be affected.

Here’s how you can reset a WordPress blog retaining your posts and pages.

Step 1: Export All Content

Export all content from wordpress blog
  1. Log in to WordPress dashboard
  2. Go to Tools >> Export
  3. Click on the radio button for All content
  4. Click on Download Export File

This step will download all content as an XML file. Now, you have the backup of your posts and pages.

Step 2: Reset WordPress

The next step is to reset your WordPress database and completely remove your old files. You can perform this step by using any of the methods I’ve discussed above.

Step 3: Import the Backup file

The last step is to import the XML file to your blog.

import files to wordpress blog
  1. Log in to WordPress dashboard
  2. Go to Tools >> Import
  3. Scroll to WordPress and click on Install now.
  4. Click on Run Importer
  5. Click on Choose File and select the XML file
  6. Click on Upload file and import
  7. To import attachments click on the radio button and then click on Submit

All done! You have your old post and pages on your blog.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. Now you know how to reset a WordPress website back to default. Choose the option that you find most convenient for you.

Which one of the above methods you’re going to use to reset a WordPress website?

Do you have any other method that is easier than the first method? Let me know in the comment section below.

As always, sharing is caring. If you like these methods of how to reset a WordPress website, feel free to share it.

PS. After resetting the WordPress website do not forget to add Google Analytics to it again.

FAQs

  1. How do I completely start over on WordPress?

    Let’s see how to reset a WordPress database with Advanced WordPress Reset –
    Step 1: Install and Activate the Advanced WordPress Reset Plugin
    Step 2: Reset the Database
    Step 3: Delete all the Plugins

  2. How do I manually clean my WordPress database?

    You need to login to the cPanel of your website.
    1. Log in to cPanel.
    2. Go to MySQL databases under Databases Section. (You can search in the search bar also)
    3. Click on the Delete Database button.
    This operation will delete all your contents of your website.

  3. How do I reinstall WordPress without losing content?

    Here’s how you can reset a WordPress blog retaining your posts and pages.
    Step 1: Export All Content
    Step 2: Reset WordPress
    Step 3: Import the Backup file
    The last step is to import the XML file to your blog.

  4. How to reset WordPress from cPanel?

    Let’s get started with the step by step process to reset a WordPress website manually. You need to login to the cPanel of your website.
    Step 1: Delete the Database
    Step 2: Create a New Database
    Step 3: Edit wp-config.php File
    Step 4: Remove Old Files from wp-content Folder
    Step 5: Run the WordPress installation script

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