How to bulk delete pending spam comments in WordPress.

Last Updated 12th November 2023

So you open up WordPress and find thousands of spam comments waiting to be approved… what next?



Easy, go to the Comments admin, select all and bulk delete.  But oh no! try deleting them in the comments admin page and you can only select 20 at a time.  There could be thousands to delete and that will take far too much time.

Here’s how to bulk delete those spam comments and how to stop them arriving in the first place.



Bulk Delete Spam Comments


Simple: Install Delete Pending Comments 

Go to Comments –> Delete Pending Comments. Follow the instructions and hit ‘Delete Pending Comments’






Update your WordPress Comments Settings

Settings > Discussion Settings

Make sure that “Comment author must fill out name and email” is selected.  Uncheck ‘Allow links notifications from other blogs…’




Add A List Of Comment Blacklist Keywords

WordPress comments has a keyword blacklist section.  If Akismet or your preferred anti spam plugin is failing then use this as a fall back.

Open this blacklist file:  Spam Blacklist Keywords

Settings > Discussion > Blacklist Keywords > copy and paste the keyword list into the blacklist keyword field




Use Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin

Akismet is installed by default so just needs to be enabled.  If you’re a blogger, don’t sell anything and don’t advertise then it’s free.  Around $8 a month otherwise for a small site.




That’s it.


For more info on dealing with spam in WordPress take a look at the WP Forms article:  7 Best Anti-Spam Plugins for WordPress