Function and usage of delete_metadata() in wordpress


Answers ( 1 )


    The delete_metadata() function in WordPress is a powerful tool for managing metadata associated with various types of objects within the WordPress database, such as posts, comments, terms, and users. Here's a detailed explanation of the function and its usage:

    Function Overview

    delete_metadata() is used to delete metadata for a specified object in WordPress. This function is versatile as it can handle metadata for different types of objects, like posts or users, based on the parameters provided.


    delete_metadata( string $meta_type, int $object_id, string $meta_key, mixed $meta_value = "", bool $delete_all = false ): bool


    1. $meta_type (string, required): This parameter specifies the type of object the metadata is associated with. It accepts values like 'post', 'comment', 'term', 'user', or any other object type that has an associated meta table.

    2. $object_id (int, required): The ID of the object for which the metadata is to be deleted.

    3. $meta_key (string, required): The key of the metadata that needs to be deleted.

    4. $meta_value (mixed, optional): The value of the metadata to be deleted. This is optional and must be serializable if non-scalar. Specifying this value means only metadata entries with this particular value will be deleted. If this parameter is set to null, false, or an empty string, the function will skip the check for a specific value and delete all entries with the specified meta_key.

    5. $delete_all (bool, optional): If set to true, the function will delete matching metadata entries for all objects, ignoring the specified object_id. If false, it only deletes matching metadata entries for the specified object_id. The default value is false.

    Return Value

    • Returns true if the delete operation was successful.
    • Returns false if the delete operation failed.

    Sample Usage

    Here's an example of how delete_metadata() can be used:

    // Example: Delete metadata with a specific key for a post
    $post_id = 123; // example post ID
    $meta_key = 'my_custom_meta_key';
    // This will delete all metadata entries with the key 'my_custom_meta_key' for post 123
    $result = delete_metadata('post', $post_id, $meta_key);
    if ($result) {
        echo 'Metadata deleted successfully.';
    } else {
        echo 'Failed to delete metadata.';

    In this example, the delete_metadata() function is used to delete all metadata entries for a post (with ID 123) that have the meta key 'my_custom_meta_key'.


    • It's crucial to be cautious when using this function, especially with the $delete_all parameter, as it can lead to bulk deletion of metadata across objects.
    • Always ensure the correct object_id and meta_key are provided to avoid unintended data loss.


    The delete_metadata() function is an essential part of WordPress's metadata management, providing flexibility and control over the metadata of various object types within the WordPress ecosystem. Proper understanding and careful usage of this function are important for effective data management in WordPress development.

Leave an answer