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How to Restart a WordPress Site – Reset WordPress (The Fast Way)

Recently, one of our readers asked us, “How do I restart my WordPress site?”.

This isn’t something that most users will need to do, but knowing how to reset WordPress can be very helpful in some situations.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to restart or reset your WordPress site, the fast way.

Restarting a WordPress site

Why Restart a WordPress Site?

Restarting or resetting WordPress is a process where you restore WordPress to the default settings. Think of it as a similar process to restoring your phone to the default “factory settings”.

It will delete all your apps and customizations, so you can start over fresh.

There are several situations where you might want to restart or reset a WordPress site:

1. You’re using a demo site on your own computer. If you’ve installed WordPress on localhost, then you might want to reset after you’ve built a site and moved it from localhost to a live server. If you’re a developer and constantly test themes & plugins on your local install, then it can help to reset it every quarter to start fresh.

2. You’ve been working on a new site and want to start over. Maybe you’ve been busy creating a blog or website, but you are not happy with the customizations. Instead of undoing everything, you can simply reset WordPress and quickly start over with a new design.

3. You’re going to rework a client’s website. If they want something very different from what’s already there, then you might need to reset WordPress on staging server to start from scratch.

4. You’re learning about WordPress, hands-on. Maybe you’ve had a go at developing your own plugins or themes, or you’ve been experimenting with a starter theme. You might want to start again with a fresh installation of WordPress.

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How to Restart and Reset a WordPress Site

Restarting your WordPress site might sound difficult, but it’s really not.

We’re going to walk you through the entire reset process, step by step.

Before you begin, it’s important to create a full backup of your site using a WordPress backup plugin. This is important in case you want to restore your site from the backup after restarting it.

Restart Your WordPress Site with WP Reset

Now you’re ready to move on and restart your WordPress site. We’re going to use the free version of the WP Reset plugin for this.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the WP Reset plugin. For more details, see our instructions on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once the plugin is activated, you need to go to the Tools » WP Reset in your WordPress dashboard and scroll down to the Site Reset section of the page.

To reset your site, you need to type the word ‘reset’ in the confirmation field before clicking the red ‘Reset Site’ button.

The button in WP Reset to restart your WordPress site

WP Reset will pop up a message asking you to confirm that you want to reset the site. Click ‘Reset WordPress’ to continue.

Confirm that you want to reset your website

You’ll see a ‘Resetting in progress’ message for a few seconds. Then, your site will be restarted.

Next, you’ll see the homepage of your WordPress dashboard with a success message at the top from WP Reset.

WPReset's message confirming that you've successfully reset your WordPress site

That’s it. You’ve restarted your WordPress site.

Optional WP Reset Functions When Restarting Your Site

The above method gives you everything you need in order to restart your site.

However, there are some other options in WP Reset that you might want to use too.

Taking a Snapshot of Your WordPress Site Before Restarting

You can use WP Reset to take a snapshot of your site. A snapshot is a restore point for your WordPress database. It lets you see what changes have been made since the snapshot was taken. You can use it to roll back changes if necessary.

Important: A snapshot is not a WordPress backup. You should still make backups to restore your website.

To create the snapshot, click on the Snapshots tab. Then, scroll down and click the Create Snapshot button:

Creating a snapshot of your WordPress site before restarting it

You’ll be prompted to enter a name or description for the snapshot. Type in whatever you want to use, then click the ‘Create snapshot’ button.

Name the snapshot you're creating

Deleting Themes and Plugins Using WP Reset

By default, WP Reset doesn’t delete theme and plugin files. It simply deactivates them. However, you can use it to delete these files too.

First, you’ll need to go to Tools » WP Reset and click the ‘Tools’ tab. Once there, simply click on the ‘Delete Themes’ or ‘Delete Plugins’ links to jump straight to those tools.

Click the link to delete themes and/or plugins

Once you click either link, you’ll be scrolled down the page to the right tool:

Click the button to delete all themes from your WordPress site (including the active one)

You can click the ‘Delete all themes’ or ‘Delete plugins’ button to delete them.

Important: WP Reset doesn’t backup your files in any way. Deleting your themes and plugins can’t be undone.

After you click the button, you’ll be prompted to confirm. Click the Delete button on the popup to continue.

WP Reset will bring up a warning before allowing you to delete all themes

You’ll then see a message telling you how many themes or plugins have been deleted.

If you delete all themes, then you’ll need to install and activate a theme manually. Your site won’t work without one. If you go to Appearance » Themes, then you’ll see a screen like this:

The empty themes page with no themes installed

Go ahead and click the ‘Add New’ button and choose or upload a theme of your choice. If you need help, check out how to install a WordPress theme.

Restoring Your Data After Restarting Your WordPress Site

After restarting your WordPress site, any posts and pages you had will be gone. Instead, you’ll see the default pages and the ‘Hello, world’ post:

The 'Hello World' default post

To restore your old data, you will need to reinstall and activate the backup plugin that you used to create your backup.

You can then follow its instructions to restore your site from the backup.

Viewing Your Restored Content

Once you’ve restored your site from backup, your content should be back on your site.

You’ll find all your posts under Posts » All Posts. They’ll have the correct time stamps, categories, tags, and comments.

Viewing the imported postsv

We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to reset a WordPress site the fast way. You might also like our ultimate guide to speeding up WordPress and our list of must have WordPress plugins for all sites.

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Reader Interactions

27 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I reset my website and it kicked me out, and when I tried logging in again it says my email is not registered on the site. Did the reset delete my account information? How do I get it back if I cant log in to my website?

    • Sadly, you would need to manually reset the content or find a different tool to keep the users.


  2. Thank you for this it was great and worked perfectly. I want to restore the blog posts ONLY, not the theme, not the plugins, and nothing else from the database, only the blog posts. When resorting the database, it restores everything and the website goes back to what it was like before the reset. Is there a way to bring pack the blog posts only?
    thank you!

    • You would need to have a backup of the posts to restore for what you’re wanting to do if you use this method.


  3. Hi! i’ve reset my wordpress but my home page did not reset, it’s still my latest homepage. do you know why?

    • It would depend on what you reset but the most likely culprit would be if your site has caching enabled that would be showing the old page.


  4. I am getting a 500 internal error on my admin page, my website doesn’t work any longer, and I can not log into my dashboard AT ALL to attempt to fix any of this.

  5. Hey. Thanks for the article. I reset my website and after that all options of editing it in dashboard dissapeared and i can’t do anything with the website now. I used a plugin to reset it. Do you know what can be done about it?

  6. There is no “website reset” on the Tool dashboard. Could there have been changes on the plugin or does this article need some updating?

    • This plugin should still currently be working, you may want to ensure the plugin is active and you are an admin user on your site.


  7. I have issue with images not loading in media gallery. I have tried resetting the file permissions using your blog, deactivating themes and plugins, changing hyperlinks as well, but problem persists. Will resetting the WordPress help??? Or is there any other way?? Please help

    • You would want to reach out to your hosting provider, resetting your site would remove all of your content.


  8. What a timely article. Thanks. I am new to WP (I did spend 40+ years as a mainframe systems programmer) and my encore career involves developing Adwords scripts for a small marketing company.
    We want to completely blow the site away and start from the beginning. I have downloaded the images and content he wants to save.
    What is the best way (or a best way) to delete everything (including the database) so we have a blank slate to start anew?

  9. A friend of mine is having a heck of a time reestting the site-wide font. I’ve found your video on this but that didn’t help. He’s using a template he bought and can’t seem to be able to figure this out. It’s set to 12 and he wants 18 as the default. Any tips? thanks so much, Sonia :)

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