Changing a Comment’s Parent Comment In WordPress

WordPress comment messSometimes someone will accidentally reply to a comment on a WordPress post instead of starting their own comment thread. This can create a set of replies that aren’t actually relevant to the original comment. They’re hard to follow and are ugly, the replies that are relevant to the original comment are hidden by the additional conversation. There’s no way to fix this through the WordPress Admin interface, but you can using phpMyAdmin. You can also use this to change what comment a comment is replying to.



  • Backup your database first.
  • Open up phpMyAdmin through cPanel.
    phpMyAdmin cPanel
  • Click on the database WordPress uses.
    phpMyAdmin Select Database
  • Click on search.
    phpMyAdmin Search
  • Search for the comment that shouldn’t be a reply (the comment that you want to outdent) inside the comments table, search for something semi-unique to the comment eg. the IP address of the commenter.
    phpMyAdmin Search Database
  • Click browse.
    phpMyAdmin Search Results
  • Click the pencil icon beside the comment.
    phpMyAdmin Edit Entry
  • Change the parent_comment value to 0.
    phpMyAdmin comment_parent

3 thoughts on “Changing a Comment’s Parent Comment In WordPress

  1. I had the same issue as you, as my WordPress blog originally had comment threading turned off.

    To avoid the mucking around in phpMyAdmin there is a plugin that provides a nicer interface, called “Edit Parent Comment ID”. Just find the comment in question, click edit, and you have a field where the parent ID can be entered. Unfortunately it doesn’t show a dropdown of possible parent comments:

    Another plugin called “Move WordPress Comments” provides a similar form, but shows it on the main comments page, not the single edit page.

    Both plugins haven’t been updated since 2010, but I’ve got both working at the same time in WordPress version 3.2.1.

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