wp_sitemeta table grew exponentially – dashboard plugin?


I recently had an issue where my multi-site database grew huge and exceeded it’s size limit in a couple of days. I narrowed it down to the wp_sitemeta table which was over 500MB in size. I was also unable to login the to back-end as super admin. It is difficult to narrow down the culprit script/plugin, but the row within that table that was 500MB was wdp_un_autoupdate_schedule. Deleting this row reduced the table size to 400 KB. I’ve seen this before where some script gets stuck in a Loop and creates more and more data in the database.

I’m wondering if it was caused by plugin WPMU DEV DashBoard below version 4.0.7 because on 4.0.7 the changelog indicates:

– Fix a possible infinite-loops that blocked wp-admin for the superadmin in rare cases.

– Add an additional timeout to really prevent infinite-loops in any case!

You would know if the plugin writes to that row and table??

Luckily this only happened on a development site, this would have been a disaster on a live site.

That all said I have 3 questions:

1. Did the Dashboard plugin cause the problem?

2. Will deleting that row (as above) cause problems in the functioning of the site?

3. is it possible to use your plugins without having to use the dashboard?


  • Jude
    • DEV MAN

    Howdy @kevin

    Hope you are keeping well !

    1) Im not 100% sure but its likely the infinite loop could have caused this, I studied the code and can confirm the table you referenced is being written to by the plugin.

    2) Deleting that row should not cause issues as the plugin should be able to create it again, that said do take a backup before proceeding.

    3) The plugins will still work but API features and updates will stop working if you turn off / remove the WPMU DEV Dashboard plugin

    Hope that clarifies



  • Kevin
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Hi Jude,

    That’s great, thanks for the answers. I know you can’t be sure without seeing the table, but it seems a likely candidate for the problem I had as it is writing to that table. I’ll be keeping an eye on it.


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