Clean Up Your WordPress 2.3+ Database after Ultimate Tag Warrior

WordPress Database Management
John P.

WordPress Database ManagementThis post is for a very select group of people. Namely, bloggers who have been using WordPress since before version 2.3, and specifically those who were using the UTW (Ultimate Tag Warrior) plugin.

In version 2.3, WordPress introduced native “tagging”, which is what enables those little tag links you see below this post. Prior to that, those of us who wanted to use tags had to turn to an external plugin – the most popular of which was UTW.

When the upgrade to WordPress 2.3 occurred, it allowed us to import our existing tags into a different table in the database, but it did not delete the old UTW table even if you uninistalled the plugin. Here is how you can go ahead and clean up your database to keep things neat and tidy and running smooth.

First of all, you need to download and install Lester Chan’s WP DB Manager plugin. It allows you to optimize, repair, backup, and restore your database as well as drop/empty tables and run selected queries. It also supports automatic scheduling of backing up and optimizing of database.

After you’ve installed it and played around with it a bit (optimized and backed up your database!), you should go into the “Empty/Drop Tables” tab so you can remove the old UTW tables from the database.

The tables that you should delete are:

  • wp_post2tag
  • wp_tag_synonyms
  • wp_tags

I personally dropped wp_tags, wp_post2tag and wp_tag_synonyms with no problems, but of course I’m not going to guarantee that you won’t have any yourself (though I’m 99% certain you should be OK). The only things you must remember are:

  1. Make sure you’ve imported your UTW tags into wp2.3 first!
  2. Back up your database before doing this

My thanks to MattWeibe for documenting this on the WordPress support forums so I didn’t have to test it by myself first. And of course to Lester for his excellent and simple to use plugin.

Oh, and as a gift with purchase, I also highly recommend the WordPress Clean Options Plugin to help you continue to keep your database nicely trimmed.


  1. says

    I have been blogging now since version 2.1 and was told that this plug in going to do wonders. it did it left lots of tags some of which was useful but many almost unrelated to what I was looking for.

    after one upgrades I decided on one blog to copy the database and then deleted the whole blog and set it up again. rather severe option looking back and a waste of time as the tags were still in the database. Never again. Now this new db manager plug has solved the problem and it is time to move on.

    Thanks for this advice

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