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Flush Unused Custom Fields

  • During development I’ve chopped and changed my mind on the Field Names for ACF. Because of this, I have loads of old and pointless custom fields. Is there a way to flush out the ones I am no longer using?

  • Hi @realph

    Thanks for the topic. At the moment, there is no way for ACF to ‘clean’ up the old data, but perhaps this is a good feature request I should add to the to-do.

    Maybe an admin menu page where you can search for unused values.


  • @elliot No worries Elliot! Would love to see a feature like that make a future version. Looking forward to ACF4!

  • For the love of GOD there has to be a better way! I have had to make numerous changes to field names and now i am trying to import tons of data and need to map to fields.. BUT I’m seeing every single custom field ever created AND fields now with “field_bunch of numbers” that I cant even identify! Unbelievable.

  • Hi @Bryant

    In time my friend, in time.


  • Sorry, but ‘time’ is the one thing we can’t get back! Unfortunately I have had to drop this plugin, gladly before i purchased the addons, especially the needed Options and Repeater.
    But just having too many problems with the template I am using for client. And secondly because of the issue above, the fact that there are a multitude of test custom fields that cant be cleanly deleted seeing as they were created by ACF? Sorry, but just cant pass that on to a client. Especially when they ask about all of the fields just sitting there from prior dev and myself.. then to respond, well I cant delete them (sure, I know I can.. with “time” that i don’t have to hopefully search enough correct methods and then hopefully do not screw up db).. yea, I know, backup db first.. But why even go through all that when the plugin that created the fields should be able to delete them aswell. EVEN IF,there is a big warning that comes up.. “Do you really wanna do this, your data in those fields will be loss”.. my answer is a big fat yes, because I need them gone.

  • Hi @Bryant

    Thanks for the feedback. I am unable to add this feature into the next version, but will be sure to add it into a future release.


  • Has then been addressed in the newer version 4.. or even in the beta 5?

  • As far as the fields with names that are “field_bunch of numbers”. Maybe in a future release if you can have the “key” values for fields start with and underscore (_), or maybe have a setting that allows us to set that the key values should be hidden from WP by starting with an underscore, that might help.

    A way to delete unused fields would be nice though.

  • +1 to delete unused fields.

    These unused fields are still recognised by WPML which turns out to be a mess when you translate sites.

  • +1 for deleting unused fields.

    This is still *the best* plugin though!

  • Anyone, has this been addressed yet?

  • Any news about this feature?

  • +1 if this feature still isn’t added. Gogo Elliot….this is an important feature 🙂

  • Wow, it’s almost 2 years later, and we are still not able to remove old unused DB records created by ACF?

    I would think keeping a clean tidy DB would be reason enough for this to be implemented!

    Since this doesn’t seem to be important, can someone give us an official way to SAFELY remove this useless fields manually?

  • The other massive issue with this, is that the old ACF data is seen by WP search functions.

    We had an ACF text area for staff listings on an old theme. We approached that content differently on the newest theme, but the search results now show old data in the results. Which has conflicts in between the old unaccessible ACF content and the new data.

  • Elliott you said, “In time my friend..” In time? 2 years?

  • Definitely a needed a feature. Has the idea been abandoned by the developer?

  • There is Flush ACF on GitHub. Never tested it though.

  • Good find @klox7 trying this on a dev site now.. hopefully it works.
    Still cant understand why ACF many versions after 2 years of updates hasn’t made this happen already..

  • @bryant please let us know how it works out. I will also try it but at the moment I have no time. Yep, this should be in ACF core.

  • Is this in the roadmap =) Just curious, because it would be a nice feature for people who like to keep their WP installs nice and optimized.

  • Doesn’t look like it, it’s been 2+ years

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