How To Clean Up WordPress Database?


I always want to keep my home and environment clean!

Yeah, I know it is not my personal blog to share my private details 😀 

Like my home & surroundings, I want to keep the web green and hence I greatly support Green Web Hosting companies. 

As you are looking for the best way to optimize your WordPress database, I would like to give an excellent product recommendation for you! 

It’s nothing but the Breeze WordPress Plugin by Cloudways

Its main features are 

# Its a simple cache plugin to optimize WordPress at various levels

# Breeze plugin is easy to install and use

# It supports Varnish and is compatible with WooCommerce 

# This lightweight plugin supports CDN

It is an excellent performance plugin for Cloudways users! If you’re not using this high-availability hosting, use Cloudways Promo Code to get free credits. 

Now, let’s come to the point – Cleaning of WordPress!

Do you know how to optimize the WordPress database?

Why should we clean up the database of our WordPress site?

How to optimize the WordPress database through PhpMyAdmin?

Which is the best WordPress database management plugin? 

Let me tell all the details through this post!

Just like every other CMS, WordPress also relies on a database to store, organize, and deliver content. A MySQL database is linked with every WordPress installation for your WP blog to function correctly.

A MySQL database is a set of tables where all your WordPress blog data, such as Name, Post and Page content, Comments, Dates, etc., are stored.

An options table stores all the theme and plugin settings active on your WordPress blog. However, new tables are sometimes created when you add a new plugin or theme to store their option settings.

Every time a user visits your WordPress site, a database query is generated to find and execute the relevant content and display it on the user’s browser.

Well, it may not take much time to load such content for a freshly installed WordPress blog. However, if your site has been active for a while, then chances are that a lot of information has been stored in the database.

The more data gets stored in the database, the more time the server takes to find the relevant data the user seeks.

Hence, your WordPress site loads slowly, and that can affect not only the user experience but also disrupt the SERPs.

Yes! You should know the valid reasons for having a fast-loading WordPress site so that you will consider optimizing the WP database without fail!

Let’s see the in-depth details! 

Why Does Your WordPress Database Need Clean-Up?

Whether or not they increase the server load, the data stored in the WP tables is essential and critical for your WordPress to function properly.

Hence, the big question is: Why does the WordPress Database require cleanup?

To understand this, you need to know how WordPress works primarily.

Whenever you edit a post and save a draft, every time the revision data is stored in the database, these post revisions of older posts are no longer required yet stack up against your database and increase the server load.

The same applies to your WordPress blog’s comments, pingbacks, and spam.

None of these data makes sense after a while!

To ease up the server load and improve the site loading speed by a few seconds, it is necessary to optimize the WordPress database.

Take WP Database Backup First!

As explained earlier already, the data stored in the WordPress database is very critical. You should modify or edit the tables only if you are 100% sure about your actions.

A simple change can cause a critical error in your WordPress, leading to a complete shutdown.

Hence, it is highly essential to take a full backup of your WordPress site before trying out any cleanup techniques.

If you have access to your PhpMyAdmin panel, you can select the database and export the whole database with a single click. Always choose a .gzip format to export the database file.

You can also export the DB file using a WordPress plugin.

Optimize WordPress Database With WP-Sweep

Once you have backed up your database, you can optimize your WordPress database.

You can always run SQL queries to remove unnecessary tables and data within the MySQL Databases.

However, I strictly advise not to perform any direct operations on your database unless and until you are proficient in operating PhpMyAdmin or SQL strings.

Well, there comes the big question again. How to repair the WordPress database quickly?

Don’t worry!

WordPress is a huge community; you will find a plugin for almost everything. And yes, there’s also a plugin for cleaning up the WordPress database.

It’s called WP-Sweep.

Directly go to “Add New” from the Plugins section on your WP-Admin dashboard and search for “WP-Sweep.”

Install and activate the plugin!

Once activated, you will find the settings to manage this plugin under Tools > Sweep.

Click that, and you will reach a page with settings and options to clean up the WordPress database.

The plugin will automatically analyze your WordPress database and show you the clutter accumulated on it over the years. The clutter sweep data is classified into sections such as Posts, Comments, Users, Term, and Options.



Below these options, there’s also a section for Database Sweep.

Once you have cleared every other section, you need to hit “Sweep” in the Database sweep section. This will optimize your WP database completely.


There’s also a button at the end to Sweep all if you don’t want to clear the database one section to another.

WP-Sweep is highly recommended for optimizing your WordPress database because of its simplicity.

Other cool WordPress plugins can help you manage your WordPress database, keep it clutter-free, and mostly help you optimize the database as well as the blog itself.

Other 3 Best WordPress Plugins For WordPress Database Optimization

As explained earlier, take a full database backup of your WordPress site before making any direct or indirect changes to the connected MySQL database.

Although I recommend the WP-Sweep extension, I am sharing three more plugins that can help you fix the WordPress database.

1. WP-Optimize

When it comes to optimizing your WordPress website, the first plugin that comes upright on top is WP-Optimize.

The plugin is very user-friendly and cleans up and optimizes the WP database pretty well. 

Just search for the plugin, install it, and activate it to start the WordPress database maintenance task. 

Once installed, a new menu option “WP-Optimize” appears on the left sidebar in your admin dashboard panel.

Click it, and you will find a list of pre-selected optimization options configured for your WordPress database. You will also see some options marked in red which you can select as well.


However, they are marked red for a reason. Optimizing or making changes to those tables can result in critical errors if not appropriately handled.

So, if you aren’t aware of those options, then I would advise you to leave them and run all the other optimization suggested by the plugin.

You can also visit the “Table Information” tab to check the list of tables on your WP database and analyze load each table puts on your server.


In the “Settings” tab, you will find options to schedule database repairs and other helpful options.


This best WordPress database plugin suggests you backup your site through the plugin, UpdraftPlus before beginning the optimization! 

2. WP Clean Up Optimizer

WP Clean Up Optimizer is a flashy database cleaner plugin with a wide range of options.

It will help you clean up all the old and outdated information from your databases such as post revisions, drafts, comments, pingbacks, and orphaned content such as post-Meta.

Install and activate WP Clean Up Optimizer plugin from the WordPress repository. Once activated, you will be redirected to the plugin settings panel.

Here, you can find a series of actions based on the junk accumulated in your database over the years. You can empty them individually or select all and clear your WordPress database.

You can also use the “DB Optimizer” feature on the plugin to optimize each table created in your WordPress database.


The tables marked in red are critical data, so it is recommended to leave them unless and until you know what you’re doing.

While the free version of this WordPress database cleanup plugin offers the basic features, there’s also a pro version available for this plugin. Scheduling options and several other features are only available in the pro version.

3. WP DBManager

The third plugin on my list is WP DBManager. This WordPress database maintenance plugin is mainly designed to help you manage your WP database even if you don’t have the technical expertise.

Unlike the other plugins mentioned above, WP DBManager is a complete database optimization plugin with tons of different features.

These features aid the admin user to efficiently manage and optimize the WordPress database directly from the admin dashboard. Simply install WP DBManager plugin and activate it.

Once activated, a “Database” menu option will appear on the left sidebar on the WP admin panel.

The “Database” menu has multiple sub-menus for different options such as Database backup, Optimize database, Repair, database, Run SQL Query, Empty/Drop tables, and other options.

There’s no direct cleanup option available for this plugin, but you can always optimize the database to ease up the load on your server.

In addition to that, you can also schedule regular Database backups, optimization, and repairs to keep your WordPress blog safe and smooth always.

Since this WordPress database repair plugin possesses the excellent features that I have mentioned above, I would call this add-on as the “WordPress advanced database cleaner” that would tweak your site’s performance.

How To Clean WordPress Database Through PhpMyAdmin?

If you are a Plugin hater and want to do everything manually, then the options are always available without using the WordPress plugin!

Over usage of WP plugins slow down your site – It’s true!

So, let me tell you the option to repair the WordPress database through PhpMyAdmin.

Go to your hosting CPanel > PhpMyAdmin


Click your database file, and now, you will be seeing the tables as shown in the below image


Scroll down and check the option “Check Tables Having Overload.” 


From the drop-down menu, choose “Optimize Tables” (Shown in the above image)

Tada! That’s it!

You have optimized your WordPress database without using any plugin and will be getting the result message like below!


Over To You!

I request you keep your living area hygienic and grow the plants as much as possible to produce Oxygen. Likewise, maintain a clean WordPress site by managing the crisp database and making it load blazing fast!

Cleaning up the WordPress database is like defragmenting it in Windows!

Optimizing the database at least once a month is vital if you are passionate and serious about your business through WordPress.

It will help you reduce the server load and improve the site loading speed. Try out these simple and user-friendly plugins to do the WordPress database management job! 

Also, if you already use a plugin or any other method to optimize WordPress database, do let me know in the comments below. I want to discuss and find the best WordPress database optimizer for better results!

by Nirmala
Nirmala Santhakumar is a professional blogger, WordPress enthusiast who has been blogging since 2010. She always loves to write useful WP tips, tricks and tutorials on this active blog. Sharing her SEO knowledge is her keen interest.

8 thoughts on “How To Clean Up WordPress Database?”

  1. Hello Nirmala Mam,
    I am also using WP Sweep Plugin to optimize and clean up my database. It is one of the best optimization plugin I have ever seen. It drastically free up your database with unwanted database tables and other orphaned database tables and post options. I highly recommend this plugin to everyone. Using it without any problem.

    Have a great day 🙂

  2. great post Nirmala….i will surely take note of this …never cleaned my blog database in past…this will really help in improving my blog speed….i will use plugins to clean the database..thanks for sharing this helpful information…thanks for sharing this post..!


  3. Hi Nirmala,

    You’ve given some great information for sure.

    I never thought of cleaning my database but you really make a good case for why it’s so important to do.

    And the fact that you have recommended a great plugin to use to do the big part of the work … is a real bonus.

    Very helpful for me and I will pass it on to my blogging students.

    I know they’ll appreciate it too.


  4. Nirmala, my database size is grown to over 60MB now for a 3 year old blog with about 200 posts, I think I need to try WP-Sweep now. I have been using the WP Optimize but it has not brought the size down of my database.

    Thanks for the prompt about WP Sweep, I am going to try it now. Cheers.


  5. Hey Nirmala,

    Whenever I speak at any event or a meetup, I always recommend people to optimize the database. It’s because aren’t really familiar with this concept.

    Using the plugin like Wp-Optimize is good but I use WP-Sweep which is much better and responsive as compared to others.

    Using the phpMyAdmin can freak people out. Not for the non-techie people.

    Thanks for this informative article.

  6. great post Nirmala….i will surely take note of this …never cleaned my blog database in past…this will really help in improving my blog speed….i will use plugins to clean the database..thanks for sharing this helpful information…thanks for sharing this post..!

  7. Thanks, author for posting a detailed guide to optimizing the database. Wp-rocket also has an inbuilt option to clean and optimize the WordPress database. However, other plugins like wp clean are also good. Users should take the backup of their database before doing anything with the MySQL databases.


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