I want to update multiple rows in one query using wpdb->update. I get no error in the debug.log file but only the last row is updated.

$my_update = $wpdb->update( $wpdb->prefix . 'my_settings',
            array( 'value' => $tmp_mail_smtp,
                   'value' => $tmp_mail_smtp_host,
                   'value' => $tmp_mail_smtp_auth ),
            array( 'name' => 'mail-smtp',
                   'name' => 'mail-smtp-host',
                   'name' => 'mail-smtp-auth' ) );

The table structure is (eg):

id - name - value
1 - mail-smtp - yes
2 - mail-smtp-host - smtp.domain.tld
3 - mail-smtp-auth - yes

I want to update the value at name. Am i doing something wrong?


With $wpdb->last_query; i get UPDATE settings SET value = 0 WHERE name = mail-smtp-auth It seems like he not even recognize the other. $wpdb->last_result and $wpdb->last_error are both empty.

2 Answers 2


I googled a lot the last days and a few times i´ve seen postings that say that the $wpdb->update function doens´t support multiple updates and that this is not well documented. -> Sorry i don´t have links anymore...

I think that this is true because i couldn´t get it to work and i found not a single example witch works this way. So i use this way now to update multiple rows and still be able to handle errors.

The function:

function update_queries( $queries ) {
    global $wpdb;

    // set array
    $error = array();

    // run update commands
    foreach( $queries as $query ) {
        $query = str_replace( '[wp-prefix]', $wpdb->prefix, $query );
        $last_error = $wpdb->last_error;
        $wpdb->query( $query );

        // fill array when we have an error
        if( (empty( $wpdb->result ) || !$wpdb->result ) && !empty( $wpdb->last_error ) && $last_error != $wpdb->last_error ) {
                $error[]= $wpdb->last_error." ($query)";

    // when we have an error
    if( $error ) {
        return $error;

    // when everything is fine
        return false;

If we want to update a few things:

// update database
$queries = array();
$queries[] = "UPDATE `[wp-prefix]table` SET `value` = '$value'  WHERE `name` = 'name';";
$queries[] = "UPDATE `[wp-prefix]table` SET `value` = '$value2'  WHERE `name` = 'name2';";
$error = update_queries( $queries );

// if we have an error
if( !empty( $error ) ) {

// when everything is fine

Your syntax looks okay. My guess is your first two variables are empty.

Try hardcoding in values to see if those save.

$tmp_mail_smtp      = 'Test Mail SMTP';
$tmp_mail_smtp_host = 'Test Mail SMTP Host';
$tmp_mail_smtp_auth = 'Test Mail SMTP Auth';

$my_update = $wpdb->update( $wpdb->prefix . 'my_settings',
    array( 'value' => $tmp_mail_smtp,
           'value' => $tmp_mail_smtp_host,
           'value' => $tmp_mail_smtp_auth,
    array( 'name' => 'mail-smtp',
           'name' => 'mail-smtp-host',
           'name' => 'mail-smtp-auth',

Update #1

Since the above doesn't work for you, remove the $wpdb->update code and try updating each option separately and see if that works.

if ( $settings_message == '0' ) {
  update_option( 'role', $tmp_role );
  update_option( 'mail-smtp', $tmp_mail_smtp );
  update_option( 'mail-smtp-host', $tmp_mail_smtp_host );
  update_option( 'mail-smtp-auth', $tmp_mail_smtp_auth );

P.S. Since this is a wp-admin page, I'd read more about the Settings API which provides a more structured way of adding/managing option pages.

  • Even if i do this only the last one is updated. If i delete the last one only the second (now the last again) is updated. Oct 25, 2016 at 10:05
  • What add_action are you using to trigger this or where are you calling this? Could you update your code above to include more?
    – cowgill
    Oct 25, 2016 at 12:41
  • You can find the whole code here: paste.ofcode.org/345EKB5MKsGffd6DUgLEdh3 It´s too large to paste it here. Oct 25, 2016 at 16:53
  • With $wpdb->last_query; i get UPDATE settings SET value = 0 WHERE name = mail-smtp-auth It seems like he not even recognize the other. $wpdb->last_result and $wpdb->last_error are both empty. Oct 25, 2016 at 17:43
  • @wassereimer Thanks for the code link. Didn't realize it was code in wp-admin. I've updated my answer above so try that.
    – cowgill
    Oct 26, 2016 at 1:54

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