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Deleted field still appearing on front-end

  • We are using ACF on the posts on this page ( We deleted one of the fields (Downloads) via the admin console. However, the title of this deleted field (Downloads) is still appearing on the front-end without the content.

    How can I delete this field and keep it from appearing on the front-end?


  • Simply deleting the field from the ACF admin does not delete the meta data from the post. Try recreating the field ( be sure its the same field name) and go into the post and empty the fields value, save the changes, THEN go and delete the ACF field. Now you’ll have an empty meta value in the post and nothing should appear in the posts frontend + no more field.

    Another way to do it would be to delete the meta value directly in the wp_postmeta table but I’m assuming you prefer not to tamper with that 🙂

  • OK, logically this makes sense but unfortunately, recreating the field, deleting the content and then deleting field didn’t work. I did it twice.

    I’m looking at the wp_postmeta table and can see traces of the download content, but you’re right, messing this with table does make me nervous somewhat as someone who normally doesn’t dive directly into the tables.

  • That’s strange since it should work.. is it possible you dont have the right field name?

    If you come so far as to find the field value in the wp_postmeta table for the post in question you can easily delete it!

    Just click the delete button next to the row which contains the data you dont want and it should be fine. If you’re nervous you can always to a export backup first 🙂

  • I’m looking at the all the rows in this table and there are probably several dozen rows with the meta_key of “downloads” which is the name of the field I deleted. There were only about 5 posts that used this field. Am I safe in deleting ALL the rows of that meta_key? Or could they possibly be for other content in the site?

    I can’t tell if any of them contain the content that was originally associated with the fields when live. Most of them have empty meta_value or have a three digit number in them.

    The field used to be a file download link.

  • Do you have a suggestion on which rows I should target for deletion so that I know for sure it’s from the ACF field I deleted?

    Thanks so much.

  • Just delete the fields where meta_key is the same as you field_name was/is..
    That should be enough!

  • I’ve done that. There were probably 50-60 rows named downloads. Then there were probably at least many or more rows called _downloads. That’s a lot of rows for a handful of posts.

    Anyways, after doing that, the Downloads field is still visible on our site unfortunately. Any other ideas?

  • This will only remove the posts values, not the field itself.
    delete all _downloads as well 🙂

    Then to actually delete the field from the admin edit page you trash the field in ACF admin page.

  • Yes, I deleted all of the _downloads already. The category was deleted. I had looked for a trash option since posts/pages go into a trash normally in WP but I do not see a Trash option with ACF. Where is this?

  • Just hover over the field group in the list view and you have a red trash link 🙂

  • Yes, I see that but I don’t want to delete the entire group. I just want to delete and not display that field on the front end.

  • Unfortunately, I am still unable to resolve this issue. Do you have any other ideas on how to delete this field from our site?


  • I don’t understand how you can still have the field..

    is it the field in admin or the fields value on the front-end you wish to remove? Which is not being deleted?

    Are you sure its an ACF field?

    You can always go into your theme files and remove the output of the field there.. if it’s in single posts check single.php, if its on regular pages check page.php.

  • Ah, the theme files. Sorry about that. I went to the file and removed it there.

    Thanks so much.

  • Glad it worked out!


    p.s. dont forget to set this as solved

  • I’m having the same issue. I’ve deleted every record in the database referencing a particular field group, removed the page itself that contained the field group, removed the theme files referencing the field group. And I still have it showing up under “Tools” and I can’t re-import.

    I did a database base search for the exact term and got no results. Then did a search through all of the wordpress code and got no results.

    Where else could this be?

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