I can't seem to find a simple reliable way to do this - perhaps?:

// delete row ##
global $wpdb;
$delete = $wpdb->query( 
         "DELETE * FROM `wp_table_name`"

// return ##
$return = __('Table Emptied.');
if ( $wpdb->last_error ) {
    $return = $wpdb->last_error;

But this gives me the classic:

You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near '* FROM wp_table_name' at line 1

  • Not sure but shouldn't you use $wpdb instead of $this?
    – GhostToast
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 18:07
  • 1
    The SQL looks right if you have a table named wp_table_name which I doubt. There is also truncate. I don't see how this is a WordPress question though.
    – s_ha_dum
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 18:11
  • @s_ha_dum - thanks, the table_name is whitelisted.. I think using $wpdb makes this a WP question.. this is a WP plugin using a table in the WP DB.. I've added an answer below - thanks again!
    – Q Studio
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 18:17
  • But it isn't a $wpdb error. It is a just a SQL error.
    – s_ha_dum
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 18:53
  • 1
    isn't it true that all WordPress errors are PHP errors, by the same logic ;)
    – Q Studio
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 21:29

4 Answers 4


I would just modify Q Studio example to:

global $wpdb;
$table  = $wpdb->prefix . 'table_name';
$delete = $wpdb->query("TRUNCATE TABLE $table");

Thanks @s_ha_dum - Truncate does the job nicely:

// delete row ##
global $wpdb;
$delete = $wpdb->query("TRUNCATE TABLE `wp_table_name`");

2 years late, but maybe this will help someone in the future :)

The correct syntax for deleting rows from a MySQL table is:

DELETE FROM `wp_table_name`
WHERE 1 = 1;

This is late and the answer been accepted. But no one mentioned that your DELETE SQL statement is incorrect. Try this:

DELETE FROM `wp_table_name`

However, this might still not work. You might need to change your MariaDB/MySQL settings, which protects such deletes, to prevent you from mistakenly deleting a full set of data. To make it work, you have to

DELETE FROM `wp_table_name` WHERE `some_column` = 'some_value'


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