I want to update half of all posts with status from published to trashed.


  • if I have 10000 posts, 5000 post to trash
  • If I have 6000 posts, 3000 posts to trash
  • If I have 7000 posts, 3500 posts to trash
  • 1
    I assume you want to run this under special circumstances. Otherwise it would keep dividing itself until you have only 1 post left...
    – GhostToast
    May 31, 2013 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


Assuming you want to delete by date, here is a basic concept. You'd need to figure out when you want this to run, otherwise, as I commented above, you'll end up with only 1 post if it runs repeatedly.

Edit: Including parameter for a bit of safety

function doomsday_device($herd_thinning) {
    if(empty($herd_thinning)) {

    $args = array(
        'post_type' => 'post',
        'post_status' => 'publish',
        'orderby' => 'date',
        'order' => 'ASC',
        'posts_per_page' => -1

    $loop = new WP_Query($args);

    if($herd_thinning > $loop->post_count) {

    $kill_num = $loop->post_count / 2;
    $i = 0;

    while($loop->have_posts()) : $loop->the_post();
        if($i >= $kill_num) {

Must stress that this is a very dangerous function. If you attempt it, please back up your database. And you'll need to pass an integer to it that represents a total post count size that is too large for your liking, which will then allow the thinning.

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