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How To Manually Cleanup Expired Transients

Expired transients in WordPress are temporary data entries stored in your website’s database. They are used to speed up your site by caching data, but once they expire, they can linger and clutter your database. Cleaning them up manually is an effective way to maintain your website’s database efficiency.

How To Manually Cleanup Expired Transients In WordPress Using phpMyAdmin


  1. Backup Your Database: Before making any changes, ensure you have a complete backup of your database. This step is critical to prevent data loss in case of any errors during the cleanup process.
  2. Access phpMyAdmin: phpMyAdmin is a popular database management tool that most web hosting providers offer in their control panel. Log in to your hosting account and open phpMyAdmin.

Steps for Manual Cleanup:

  1. Identify Your WordPress Database: Within phpMyAdmin, locate and select the database used by your WordPress site. If you’re unsure of the database name, you can find it in your WordPress site’s wp-config.php file.
  2. Search for Transient Options: WordPress stores transient options in the wp_options table (the prefix ‘wp_’ may differ if you have set a custom one). Execute the following SQL query to list all expired transients:
    SELECT * FROM `wp_options` WHERE `option_name` LIKE ('%\_transient\_%') AND `option_value` < NOW();
  3. Delete Expired Transients: Once you’ve identified the expired transients, run the following SQL query to delete them:
    DELETE FROM `wp_options` WHERE `option_name` LIKE ('%\_transient\_%') AND `option_value` < NOW();
  4. Verify and Optimize: After deletion, browse through the wp_options table to ensure that the expired transients are removed. Optionally, you can run the ‘Optimize Table’ operation in phpMyAdmin to reorganize your table and improve performance.


  • Be Cautious: Directly editing your database can be risky. Ensure you are confident in using phpMyAdmin and understanding SQL queries.
  • Regular Maintenance: Consider scheduling regular cleanups to prevent the accumulation of expired transients.
  • Alternative Methods: If you are not comfortable with manual database manipulation, consider using WordPress plugins designed for database optimization.

By regularly removing expired transient options manually through phpMyAdmin, you can significantly improve the performance of your WordPress website’s database. However, always approach database modifications with caution and ensure you have adequate backups before proceeding.

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