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How to Reset Your WordPress Files and Databases

"Have you tried restarting it?" is the age-old wisdom of the IT world.

In this troubleshooting guide, I'll show you some simple steps to reset the WordPress core files and database.

Understanding the problem

The below steps won't fix all issues. They are only for issues that are likely to be WordPress core related glitches.

These types of issues usually manifest after a WordPress core update. If for some reason (ex: server resource exhaustion or a bug) only some files get updated, it often results in fatal errors or strange usability issues.

For example, if you navigate to an admin page and it doesn't fully load, but it works fine on another site, you might have stumbled onto a glitch.

1) Create a backup

Create and download a backup of your site, just in case something goes wrong.

2) Fix your file permissions

Fix your folder and file permissions. Or contact your hosting company's support and ask them to fix the folder and file permissions for you.

3) Reset your site

WordPress has made it easy to run a reinstall.

  • Go to your WordPress admin > Updates.
    Click the "Re-install Now" button.
The "Re-install Now" button in WordPress

The reinstall will execute the following process:

  • Download the update package
  • Unpack it
  • Verify the unpacked files
  • Prepare the installation
  • Enable maintenance mode
  • Copy over the required files
  • Disable maintenance mode
  • Update the database

This will all be done automatically for you, after clicking the Reinstall button. Once the process is done, you'll get a confirmation message:

After clicking the "Re-install Now" button in WordPress

Pro tip: If WordPress' admin or install installer isn't working, give this process a try.


Now your WordPress core files and database should be reset.

If you're still experiencing the issue, then it's likely a bug in the WordPress core or a bug in an plugin, but you're one step closer to narrowing it down. Sign up for one of our support plans if you need extra help and we'll be glad to provide assistance.

About the author

Nick is the Director of Support at OSTraining and you can find him in almost every area of the site, from answering support requests and account questions to creating tutorials and software.