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How to Find and Replace Text with One Click in your WordPress Database

Are you looking to do a mass search and replace in WordPress? Whether you want to find and replace a specific text, URL, or an image, you can easily do so by using a find and replace WordPress plugin or a simple SQL query. In this article, we will show you how to find and replace text in your WordPress database.

Find and replace text in WordPress database with just one click

When You May Need Find & Replace for WordPress Database?

Let’s suppose that you have added specific text or URL to a number of your posts. You don’t know which posts you have added that text to, but you do know that there are a lot of them.

Now you can manually search your site and edit every single post one by one. That’s going to take time and has a high chance of you missing some occurrences.

Using a single command to automatically find and replace will do the same thing but much quicker and efficiently.

There is one downside to it though. If you made a mistake, then you will not be able to undo it. Once you replace the text, it is gone. You will need to carefully type the text you are looking for and the text you want to replace it with.

Having said that, let’s see how you can easily find and replace text in your WordPress database.

Getting Started

As we mentioned earlier that the changes you make to your database will not be reversible. You need to take every precaution to make sure that you don’t lose data.

First you need to create a WordPress database backup. You can do that by using a WordPress backup plugin. Alternatively, you can also create a database backup using phpMyAdmin.

After creating the backup of your WordPress database, you can move on to run your find and replace commands.

Running Find and Replace with a WordPress plugin

If you are not familiar with code and don’t want to write a custom SQL query, then there is an easy to use find and replace WordPress plugin called Better Search Replace.

Better search replace plugin settings

It allows you to run search and replace commands from inside your WordPress admin area. We have a detailed guide on how to search and replace in WordPress with Better Search Replace plugin.

Running Find & Replace MySQL Query with phpMyAdmin

You can also use phpMyAdmin to find and replace text from your WordPress database.

First you need to login to cPanel dashboard of your WordPress hosting. Scroll down to the database section and then click on phpMyAdmin.


The screenshot above is showing the cPanel dashboard on BlueHost. Your cPanel dashboard may look slightly different.

This will launch phpMyAdmin where you will need to click on your WordPress database name and then click on SQL.

Running SQL query in phpMyAdmin

You will need to enter your SQL query in this format:

replace(FIELD_NAME, 'Text to find', 'text to replace with'); 

For example, if you wanted to search for text in a WordPress post’s content, then you would write your query like this:

update wp_posts set post_content =
replace(post_content,'Text to find','text to replace with');

Click on the ‘Go’ button to continue.

PhpMyAdmin will run your SQL query and upon success it will show the number of rows affected by the query.

You can now visit your WordPress site to see your changes in action.

We hope this article helped you learn how to find and replace text with one click in your WordPress database. You may also want to see our beginner’s guide on WordPress database management with phpMyAdmin.

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Reader Interactions

18 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Can do search and replace HTML code? I have snippets of (table td tr) code I would like to replace.

    • It would depend on where that code was added from, you should normally be able to edit the page that it is on for modifying the code.


  2. Hey there! could you please tell me how can I do this find and replace in sql for a word only in specific language?
    I tried using language queries but din’t work out!
    I really appreciate any help towards this. Thank you

    • Unless I hear otherwise, we don’t have a language specific search at the moment sadly.


    • For the post and page titles, you would search the wp_posts table but, for changing categories and their urls you would want to do that manually and create 301 redirects.


  3. I want to replace all instances of “OpenTx” with “OpenTX” but skipping URLs. So basically only what the viewer sees… How do I do this? I’ve installed both Search Replace and Better Search Replace but they also replace in the URLs…

  4. I tried plugins “Search $ replace” and “Better Search Replace” but there was no effect. Links in my posts was there. But…

    Thanks a lot for code metod, it works fine. It takes only few seconds.

  5. Is this something that would work in migrating a site – to change the DB urls to a new location?

  6. I’m not 100% sure but I’d say the SQL query can’t handle serialised data. If you search & replace your database using the suggested SQL query you’ll break the serialised data and get yourself into lots of troubles down the road like widgets not working, images dissappearing, broken javascript, etc.

    It’s well explained in this link

    So better look for a plugin, script or tool which handles serialised data, like the suggested plugin Better Search Replace or the interconnectit script.

    Personally I use search and replace tool integrated in WP-CLI, in my experience it’s the best and fastest tool out there, never had a problem so far, tested in dozens of websites. For less savvy people, I’d recommend a plugin since WP-CLI is a terminal command tool and might not suite everyone.

  7. I like internetconnect/it’s Database Search and Replace Script.

    Unlike the phpMyAdmin example in the article, it will search all fields. It will also do a dummy run.

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