WooCommerce: Bulk Search & Replace SKUs

Yes, you could use a plugin to bulk search and replace a given string inside the WordPress database… but today I want to show you a simple snippet you can use to bulk edit SKUs in your store (please test first on staging or a development site!).

Specifically, we will replace dashes “-” with an empty string (i.e. we will remove dashes from all products’ SKU), but you can of course readapt this and for example add suffixes, remove prefixes, replace special characters and so on. Enjoy!

My goal is to remove dashes from all SKUs. The snippet below does just that, with the bonus of scheduling events as opposed to running the bulk update for all SKUs, so that the WooCommerce website doesn’t reach the memory limit and crash.

PHP Snippet: Bulk Replace SKUs @ WooCommerce Admin

Please note that in order to trigger the bulk update you must add the “bb-edit-products” URL parameter to any WordPress dashboard URL when you’re logged in as administrator or shop manager, and hit enter.

The Action Scheduler’s as_enqueue_async_action() function will schedule one event per visible product. The event will then trigger the bbloomer_edit_product_schedule() function for each product ID, and specifically this will get the SKU, edit it, and save it.

 * @snippet       Bulk replace SKUs
 * @how-to        Get CustomizeWoo.com FREE
 * @author        Rodolfo Melogli
 * @compatible    WooCommerce 7
 * @community     https://businessbloomer.com/club/

add_action( 'admin_init', 'bbloomer_edit_products_admin' );
function bbloomer_edit_products_admin() {
	if ( isset( $_REQUEST['bb-edit-products'] ) ) {
		if ( ! current_user_can( 'manage_woocommerce' ) ) {
			wp_die( 'You do not have permission to bulk edit products' );
		$args = array(
			'status' => 'publish',
			'visibility' => 'visible',
			'limit' => -1,
			'sku' => '-',
			'return' => 'ids',
		$products = wc_get_products( $args );
	   	foreach ( $products as $product_id ) {
			as_enqueue_async_action( 'bbloomer_edit_product_schedule_trigger', array( $product_id ) );

add_action( 'bbloomer_edit_product_schedule_trigger', 'bbloomer_edit_product_schedule' );

function bbloomer_edit_product_schedule( $product_id ) {
	$product = wc_get_product( $product_id );
	$sku = $product->get_sku();
	$newsku = str_replace( "-", "", $sku );
	$product->set_sku( $newsku );

Where to add custom code?

You should place custom PHP in functions.php and custom CSS in style.css of your child theme: where to place WooCommerce customization?

This code still works, unless you report otherwise. To exclude conflicts, temporarily switch to the Storefront theme, disable all plugins except WooCommerce, and test the snippet again: WooCommerce troubleshooting 101

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Rodolfo Melogli

Business Bloomer Founder

Author, WooCommerce expert and WordCamp speaker, Rodolfo has worked as an independent WooCommerce freelancer since 2011. His goal is to help entrepreneurs and developers overcome their WooCommerce nightmares. Rodolfo loves travelling, chasing tennis & soccer balls and, of course, wood fired oven pizza. Follow @rmelogli

Questions? Feedback? Customization? Leave your comment now!

If you are writing code, please wrap it like so: [php]code_here[/php]. Failure to complying with this, as well as going off topic or not using the English language will result in comment disapproval. You should expect a reply in about 2 weeks - this is a popular blog but I need to get paid work done first. Please consider joining the Business Bloomer Club to get quick WooCommerce support. Thank you!

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