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How to Automatically Empty Your WordPress Trash

Do you want the trash on your WordPress website to be emptied automatically?

By default, WordPress will automatically delete anything that has been in the trash for 30 days. But some users might like the trash to be emptied more or less often.

In this article, we will show you how you can automatically empty your trash daily, weekly, or as regularly as you want.

How to Automatically Empty Your WordPress Trash

What Is Trash in WordPress?

WordPress added a trash feature way back in version 2.9. It works just like the recycle bin or trash on your computer.

In other words, your deleted posts aren’t removed permanently but are sent to the trash instead, so they can be recovered for a time.

Trash links on Posts screen

Anyone can click the Delete link on a post accidentally. That’s why WordPress makes it easy to restore deleted posts and pages.

Your WordPress website will automatically delete anything in the trash after 30 days so that it doesn’t pile up. If you’d like to stop WordPress from emptying the trash automatically, then you can follow our guide on how to disable automatic empty trash in WordPress.

What if you prefer the trash to be emptied more regularly than just once a month? Or maybe you’d like it to be emptied less often. Let’s have a look at how you can have it automatically emptied as often as you like.

We’ll cover two methods below. The first method is the easiest for most users. You can use the links below to jump to your preferred method.

Method 1: Automatically Empty WordPress Trash with a Plugin

First you need to install and activate the Change Empty Trash Time plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you should visit the Settings » General page of your admin dashboard. Once there, scroll to the bottom of the page and you will find a new ‘Time to empty trash’ setting.

Visit Settings » General to Find a New ‘Time to empty trash’ Setting

Simply type in the number of days that WordPress should take to empty the trash. For example, you can type 1 for daily, 7 for weekly, or 30 for monthly.

If you type 0, then deleted posts and pages will be deleted permanently instead of being placed in the trash.

Note: Be very careful about setting the time to empty to 0. It can be difficult to recover permanently deleted posts and pages. Make sure you’re using a backup plugin just in case.

Don’t forget to click the Save Changes button to store your settings.

Method 2: Automatically Empty WordPress Trash with Code

You can also configure how to empty WordPress trash using a code snippet. This method is not recommended for beginners, so if you’re not familiar with code, then you should use Method 1 instead.

For this method, you’ll have to edit your wp-config.php file.

If you haven’t edited the wp-config.php file before, then take a look at our guide on how to edit wp-config.php file in WordPress.

You simply add the following line of code in your wp-config.php file. You should paste it near the end of the file, just before the line that says ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.’

define('EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS', 1 ); //Integer is the amount of days

Paste the Snippet Near the End of Your wp-config.php File

If you leave this code as it is, then your trash will be emptied every day. Feel free to change the number 1 to some other number, and the trash will be emptied after that number of days.

If you don’t wish to use the trash feature at all, then you should set the number to 0. Deleted posts and pages will then be deleted permanently without being placed in the trash. Make sure you have a backup plugin set up first, just in case you need to restore any accidentally deleted pages.

Don’t forget to save the wp-config.php file once you have made your changes.

We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to automatically empty your trash in WordPress. You may also want to learn how to get a free SSL certificate or check out list of must have plugins to grow your site.

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Reader Interactions

3 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I found this very useful because even after deleting a post, slide or comment. Going to the trash to permanently empty it is always the next step. Makes me more lazy in regards to that which is cool.

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