I recently migrated from the WordPress premium Gravity Forms plugin over to the free version of Ninja Forms. Why? Well, I don’t really use any of the premium features of Gravity Forms and while I really like their plugin, it really was a waste of money to keep renewing it. All I use on my sites is a simple contact form with basic drop-down menu options.
However, there is a correct way to uninstall Gravity Forms, otherwise, you will be left with a bunch of old database tables.
Gravity Forms database tables
Gravity forms uses the database tables below. And depending on how many forms you process, these tables could add up to quite a bit of space. So if you aren’t using the plugin, you shouldn’t leave them behind.
One of the biggest contributors to database bloat is not properly uninstalling a plugin. Some plugins also don’t have options for “database table cleanups,” but all the popular ones should. If they don’t, let them know that they should.
Current 2.3+ tables
Deprecated 2.3 tables
The following tables were deprecated as of Gravity Forms 2.3 (source).
How to properly uninstall Gravity Forms
To properly uninstall the Gravity Forms plugins, you should browse to the settings page and click on “Uninstall Gravity Forms.” This will remove all the database tables automatically and deactivate the plugin. Remember that this is wiping out any data for past form submissions.
How to manually cleanup Gravity Forms tables
If you have already deleted the plugin and don’t have access to download it anymore, you can always clean up the tables manually. I highly recommend backing up your database before doing this, just in case. Simply log in to phpMyAdmin at your host and look for the tables mentioned above or seen below.
Select the tables and at the bottom click on “Drop” from the drop-down menu. This will remove the Gravity Forms tables.
Make sure that whenever you delete or uninstall a plugin that you look at their documentation first to see if there is a proper way to remove it. If you don’t, you could be leaving behind a bunch of unneeded data in your database. And over time, this can become a much bigger problem.
Another easy way to prevent database bloat is to disable or limit post revisions. You can easily do this with our Perfmatters plugin.
Have you been uninstalling plugins the right way? If not, don’t feel ashamed to let me know below.
4 thoughts on “How to properly uninstall Gravity Forms and database tables (wp_gf_)”
Does uninstalling it fully, remove all the old form submissions as well? Or should that be done before uninstalling the plugin via the plugin UI?
Yes, the above steps would also remove all of the old form submissions.
Thank you for the helpful article, Brian. We have 8 tables leftover from Gravity Forms in our database after removing the plug-in, and will manually remove them per your guide. Thanks for the help!
Glad it was helpful!