I try to remove a nav menu programmatically but I didn't find the way to do it. I knwo how to create it but I don't know how to delete it... I've got the menu name and I wan't to delete it like in wp admin panel but programmatically.

Or I want to delete all the menu item inside it.

  • Just delete it from admin. Jul 20, 2014 at 16:29
  • programmatically
    – lolo
    Jul 20, 2014 at 20:03
  • possible duplicate of Unregister Nav Menu with fallback? Jul 20, 2014 at 20:33
  • I just try but it's not working in my case. In fact I want to completely delete the nav menu or item inside the nav menu then repopulate it... What wordpress do when you click on delete menu?
    – lolo
    Jul 20, 2014 at 21:10

3 Answers 3


Finally the answer is simple:

$menu_name   = 'your menu';//name,id,slug
  • This answers the nav menu - But what about menu item? Mar 11, 2021 at 10:44
  • In fact, this is a good start for deleting a menu and its items since WordPress handles this directly. Dec 24, 2022 at 10:31

As the question was "Remove nav menu or menu item -programmatically-?"

Since WordPress 3.0, there is native dedicated function to do so: wp_delete_nav_menu(). It deletes the menu nav and all related menu items, no need to use wp_delete_post anymore.

So, depending on the context:

  • A. in pure code in php, use wp_delete_nav_menu();
  • B. in WP Cli, there is the wp menu delete command, which call wp_delete_nav_menu;

So to conclude, in both cases, all menu items and the menu will be deleted.


This is an old question but I just found the solution for myself. In order to delete all (or some) menu items from a menu you could first get the menu items and then use wp_delete_post().

From: https://developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/wp_delete_nav_menu/ (line 271)

$menu_objects = get_objects_in_term( $menu->term_id, 'nav_menu' );
if ( ! empty( $menu_objects ) ) {
    foreach ( $menu_objects as $item ) {
        wp_delete_post( $item );

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