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Database Cleaner Plugin That Removes Expired Transients | WP Learning Lab

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An easy database cleaner process is to remove expired and non-expired transients from your WordPress database. This database cleanup process involves a plugin that deletes bits of information that are temporarily stored in your database.

Sometimes, a plugin developer will code the expiration incorrectly and the transients never expire. This can lead to a bloated and slow database.

The transients accumulate in the wp_options table. The view the size of the table you have to access your phpMyAdmin through your hosting account cPanel.

Then you open the database for your site and you will see a high level table called wp_options. To the far right it shows the size of the table.

Make note of the size and compare it to the size of the table after you clear any expired transients the plugin finds.

Next, let’s install the plugin.

To install this plugin please log into your WordPress dashboard, hover over Plugins and then click on Add New.

On the next page type “delete expired transients” into the search bar. The plugin we want should be the first one in the top left.

Click on the Install Now button and then click Activate after it’s installed.

Once activated, a new menu item is added under the Tools menu called Delete Transients. Click on that menu item.

Now you’ll see the simple, single page of the plugin.

This page shows how many expired transients there are on your site and how many transients in total.

Transients that aren’t expired are generally needed by one of your plugins to work properly. After a certain amount of time those transients expire and can be deleted.

Improperly coded plugins don’t have that expiration associated with the transients, so the transients never expire and just pile up in your database.

Below the numbers of transients, you can choose what to delete.

The safest is to delete expired transients, if there are any. Since they’re expired they’re no longer in use.

You also have the option of deleting all transients, which you should do with caution. There is a chance it will affect your site’s functionality until the plugin needing those transients creates them again.

However, on one of my sites, I have a plugin, I don’t know which one yet, that keeps creating transients without expiring them. So my database keeps growing in size. So, in my case I’m comfortable deleting all the transients because that improves my site’s function.

After you’ve chosen the right option for you click on the Delete button.

Now you can go back to your phpMyAdmin and refresh the page to see if there is a change in the size of the wp_options table. For me, the change in size is always substantial.

I hope this information helps you! If you have any questions leave a comment below or ping me @WPLearningLab on Twitter.


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    10 replies to "Database Cleaner Plugin That Removes Expired Transients | WP Learning Lab"

    • WordPress Tutorials - WPLearningLab

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    • Vishwajeet Javlekar

      Thanks buddy. Helped a lot.

    • Railfan Depot

      I had 1,597,000 transients. So many, I am having trouble deleting them without choking the entire website!

    • Drew Spinoso

      You are the master of Rich Snippets. Whatever I need you come up. Howz youz doz dat? Rich Snippets Tut

    • Vintage Heavy Metal

      Hey Bjorn, was just tinkering around in WP-Optimize since it updated, noticed I had a pretty large number of expired transients, copied and pasted the plugin setting/option text "Remove expired transient options" into Google and my favorite WordPress Tutorial guy was displayed LARGER than life in a sweet rich snippet! I deleted the ET's and cut my DB size nearly in half, checked back to WPO after about 5 minutes and the ET's slowly start growing, WPO has an option to schedule to delete them, which is cool, I set for once a day. What my question is: What would be the route to take in finding which plugin is causing this buildup of ET's ? I'll add: I do not have WOO plugin on site, but my theme is WOO Ready, and in WP Optimize (under tables) there seems to be a vast set of WOO files in there.

    • Brittany Quinn

      Is it safe to delete all transits my website has 200. Have you heard of trasients manger? Video request on how to use it. Will deleeting some tranients make some functions not work correctly.

    • Brittany Quinn

      Thanks for letting me know it's not woo commerce. I had the idea in my head because this is what my hosting company told me for some reason.

    • Brittany Quinn

      Im having trouble with woo commerce don't get me wroung I love it and need it for my ecommerce store. However I'm having issues the woo commerce it caused 878 transits nothing expired in transits. Right after I delted transits there was 27. What is your opionion on what I should do. Should I clean transits once a week.

    • Samael Passage

      Чувак я не понимаю по английски, но ты реально крутой. Очень качественное видео.

    • Brittany Quinn Will deleting transits keep your database from getting too big? Because I had my database tables go from 52 tables to 110 tables before. Can your hosting company really terminate your account for using to many resources? Please email me at I need to please ask a few questions about this. I have the red on the memory limit all the time it seems like and the CPU usage is also in the red a lot is a plugin causing this problem if I delete transits will this fix problem?

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