Cleaning Cached Blog Entries in Google Reader – Or: How to Remove Unwanted Posts from Google Reader

While I was working on my next article using Windows Live Writer, I’ve hit the “publish” button too soon and ended up with a published draft in my blog. I just went and re-drafted the entry, thinking everything was going to be fine. Unfortunately, I did not realize that Google Reader automatically caches everything it finds, and do not delete entries even if them have been deleted from their original blog.

After some researching, I’ve found out that if I published a new post with the same GUID as the unwanted entry, it would be automatically updated in Reader. So here are the steps to remove an unwanted blog post from Google Reader:

Removing an unwanted blog post from Google Reader

Step 1: Consulting Reader’s cache

Type the following address in your address bar, substituting yourblogname by your actual blog name:

http://www.google.com/reader/atom/feed/http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?r=n&n=100

Go to the page, then right click its content and select “View page source” or equivalent.

Step 2: Find the offending post

Find the string “blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/” and notice the two numbers that come after it:

https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/88422212108117265282876694319097447217?l=yourblog.blogspot.com

Those are your blog ID and post ID, respectively.

Step 3: Resurrection!

Copy and paste these two numbers in the placeholders of the following URL:

http://draft.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=yourblogid&postID=yourpostid

Finally, open this URL and watch your once deleted (?) blog post be resurrected from the dead. Update it or just leave it blank, set the post date to the future and publish it again. Voilà!

 

Update: Unfortunately, the original post title will remain as the URL for the entry. As you can see, this was going to be a post about Partial Least Squares Analysis. However, I’ll leave it as is to prove this procedure really works. Cheers!

Update 2: I made a simple application to browse and edit deleted blogger posts that have been cached by Google Reader. The program, together with the C# source code can be found here. The program uses the Google Reader API developed by Matt Berseth.

71 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot, it was a hard work but I have cleaned and postponed to a future date all the unwanted posts for my feed.

    Why didn’t anyone at google remember this??? It’s a basic feature! Now I have lots of emply messages in my posts.

    Anyway, I resurected them and resubmitted them in blank, but they are still showing in Google Reader… I hope it’s just a matter of time.

  2. Ok, I figured out my problem. If I submit a post in a future date the Google Reader’s Cache isn’t updated. I had to clean the post and give it a date previous than any other (real) post’s date.

  3. This is genius. You’re the first person I found to have figured this out. I have one question, when I look for my posts, it only seems to go back to a certain date, doesn’t go to the beginning. Is there a way to search from the beginning?

  4. Yes, in fact you can. Notice that the url:

    http://www.google.com/reader/atom/feed/http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?r=n&n=100

    has a last field n=100. This means it will retrieve the last 100 posts. Change to 200, for example, and it will retrieve the last 200 posts.

    By the way, you could also use the application I made to retrieve and edit your blog entries. The download link is available in the bottom of my post.

    Regards,
    César

  5. Thank you this was very helpful. I delete a lot of posts that I use as just ‘update’ posts and it was frustrating to have them in my blog reading list which also confused my readers sometimes. They are blank and much less of a bother now.

  6. Thanks for answering my question regarding going back to a specific number of posts. You are awesome!

  7. I have a blog I have already deleted; however, all the posts still show up on google reader. Is there a way I can delete all of them?

    If there is a way, and the steps are too complicated to explain to a common person, I would be willing to pay you to delete them for me.

  8. @Reid7544: I am afraid there is nothing that can be done in this case… If a solution exists, I am not aware of. Sorry.

    @ed: Yes, there is. I heard it is possible with WordPress, but I don’t have the details because I have never used it. Perhaps you could find some more info here.

    Regards,
    César

  9. i tried to edit my deleted posts and i published them with future dates (dates after the real date of the post) and they still seem as before. in my blog they are new and edited, but at google reader they didn’t change… what’s the problem?

    thankssss! xx

  10. This is fantastic! I made the changes using the application you created. I tried changing the date to the future, as well as to the past, but the entries still show up in the reader. Any thoughts? 🙂

  11. Hi there,

    Actually, the most that you can do is to clear the *contents* of the entries showing up in Reader. You can not remove them completely. At most you can try to bury them in the beginning or in the middle of your feed, so they are less noticeable.

    Also if you are using a feed burner, please make sure to resync your feed. Other problems may be preventing Reader to fetch your updated entries.

    Regards,
    César

  12. Thanks for your quick reply. I did change the contents – I deleted the original content and added some gibberish text to “over write” the original. Will the entry content be changed, then, from the original text to the “gibberish” text in the reader?

  13. Yes, Google Reader will update the entry with the new text. But depending on your feed settings you may need to update it with a more recent date.

    In my particular case I had some problems because FeedBurner was configured to burn only the last 5 entries in my blog, and the entry I was trying to change was not among them. I had to repost it with a future date so FeedBurner would process it and Reader would be aware of the changes.

    Regards,
    César

  14. Hi Cesar –
    I’m starting to feel a little dumb 🙂 I’m using Blogger, and have been playing with changing dates on the edited entries, but nothing seems to work. I hate to muddy up your page here, would you mind providing me with your email address? I would really appreciate any help in getting this resolved – thanks Cesar…

  15. Thanks so much! It works for me when I republish the post –no when saving as draft or changing the date post.
    You may change the title with something like < h2 >< /h2 > (clear the spaces :D), in Reader you’ll see “title unknown”.
    Yeah!!!Great research, thanks and congratulations.

  16. Your method is great! Thanks!

    I figured the way to do it for tumblr blogs, thought of sharing it here since I cant find any write ups on this. it is way easier to locate compare to blogger.

    Step 1)

    http://www.google.com/reader/atom/feed/http://yourblogname.tumblr.com/rss?r=n&n=100

    [note: /feeds/posts/default is replaced by /rss]

    Step 2)

    Post ID can be found in:

    [note: 733473467 is the post ID]

    Step 3)

    Copy and paste post ID into:

    http://www.tumblr.com/edit/postID?redirect_to=/dashboard

    Save changes. Done!

  17. aiting — thanks SO much! I was panicking when I realized I published something to the wrong blog and it wouldn’t go away from Reader — thank you!

  18. HELP HELP!!! You’re awesome I did what you said and it deleted my one post. But I posted by accident 3 times and I can’t get to my other 2 posts to clean them up on reader. I downloaded your application but I don’t know what to open it with on my computer. I know almost nothing about computers.

    So I downloaded it with adobe and now I’m trying to download it again and it won’t let me download it with any other opener. I need to get to it to delete my other 2 posts! Help! Thanks!

  19. Hi Anonymous,

    To open the application you may need WinRAR. WinRAR is a tool similar to WinZip, which can open compressed files, and can be downloaded from here. After you have installed WinRAR and decompressed the application file, just click the .exe twice to open the application. You may also need to have the .NET Framework installed (which already comes with Windows 7 and perhaps Vista).

    Best regards,
    César

  20. Cesar,

    I downloaded the winrar. And restarted my computer. Now a box keeps pooping up when I click on the winrar. Google readers cache updater for blogger blogs. Then it says blogger: yourblogspot.com. Then an empty big box with listings title, publish date, last update. And on the bottom I have to enter blog id and in a separate box underneath post id then click on edit on blogger. Is this the right thing for editing my last 3 posts to make them clear? If so I tried to put my blog and post id by finding the same numbers as per your direction in steps 1,2,and 3 above. Please help! I need to erase this content very badly!

  21. This is what comes up when I do the above…And click the button edit on blogger which is next to the blog and post id.

    Oops! This link appears to be broken.
    Suggestions:
    Go to www. blogger. com
    Search http://www.blogger.com for post edit
    Search on Google:

  22. Hi Anonymous,

    In the box where is written yourblogspot.com you should write the address of your own blog. Then you should click on the button named “Fetch”. It will connect to your feed and download the latest 10 posts on your blog. They will be shown in a list at the top.

    Now, select the post you would like to remove. A preview of the post will be shown in the middle of the screen, and the blog and post IDs will be shown in the text boxes at the bottom. Click “Edit on Blogger” to open your post for editing in Blogger. After Blogger opens your blog post, you may edit it as you wish.

    Regards,
    César

  23. Btw, Thanks for all the help!

    So I did what you said I wrote my blog name from blogspot. A box then poped up with a lock and key and asked for my google account name and password so I typed them in. Then a cloud poped up on the google reader’s cache near my blogger address and it says invalid blogger address the given address does not exsist or is not the address of a blog hosted by blogger. When it is my blog address! I really want to delete the content I wrote because I posted security information!

  24. Well, I don’t use Tumblr so I can’t say for sure. But try republishing your post with a future date to see if the cache is updated, if you haven’t done it alredy.

    Best regards,
    César

  25. HI ,
    I used the software you developed I,as I enter my blog address and provide the user and password, it prompts with invalid blog address, or it is not hosted by blogger , which both are false.

  26. Hi arash,

    Apparently Google has changed the authentication API and the software does not work anymore. I will try to post an updated version soon. Thanks for reporting the issue.

    Regards,
    César

  27. I tried the date thing already :/
    Also I emailed the tumblr support team.. and they say that google updates the cache every months or so..
    I don’t know if it’s real >_>

  28. Sorry, I haven’t updated it yet… But if wish to edit your feed, the manual method still works. I will see if I can find an updated API to use in the software.

    Regards,
    César

  29. Heya;)
    I tried your manual method but it returned a blogger error code. Thing is I deleted my old blogspot posts before realizing they were stuck in google reader cache.
    I stopped all feeding from my blog at this point but there’s still 26 old posts I wish were removed from the blasted reader.
    Perhaps the cache clears all by itself over time? One can only hope.

    Thanks for the post though, it was helpful in as much that it made me understand how things work.

    ziggi

  30. Still me.
    Any ideas on how to get the post GUID on old deleted blogspot posts still displayed in google reader?
    I read on the reader known issues section that indeed this is the way to go – only I don’t know how and for some reason, the manual method hinting me in that direction does not work.

    Thanks,
    Ziggi

  31. Hi Ziggi,

    Actually, this post is exactly about this – recovering GUIDs from old deleted posts in Google reader. So it should work, unless you actually removed your blog from blogger by deleting your entire blog.

    If you wish, send me the link of your blog by email.

    Regards,
    César

  32. Hi again 😀
    Dear Cesar, you DO rule. I got all the Guids I needed in that first link you posted: http://www.google.com/reader/atom/feed/http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?r=n&n=100

    I edited 20ish posts, blank-ified them and after a while they updated in reader as blank titles, blank contents:) I’m really really happy, as it was something bugging me for days. Thank you.

    There’s still a few (5 out of 26) postIDs that error on me when I try to edit them:

    bX-ol5rgd
    Informaţii suplimentare
    blogID: lalalalala
    host: draft.blogger.com
    postID: 6904901370884373391
    uri: /post-edit.g

    If I could get rid of them too, id be nothing short of ecstatic.
    I turned off feeding and syndication completely, I supect I’m done with reader headaches.

    Thank you very much for the info 🙂 It was all there in the page source.

    Ziggi

  33. Hi Cesar. I hope you read this as it is a couple months after the last comment on here.

    I’ve tried the manual way you posted, but when I go to “View Source Info” it only gives me the numbers for the most recent blog post, no matter where on the page I click. I’ve tried right-clicking on the title of each post, and also highlighting some text first, but neither of those work. Any suggestions?

    Thanks a ton for figuring this out by the way, if I can get it to work you’ll be a life saver!

  34. Thank you so so so so much for posting this tutorial!

    It works like a charm!

    To everyone, if it doesn’t work for you really check to make sure that you put your blogid and your postid in the right spots because it worked like magic for me!

    Thanks again for bothering to do this for strangers!

    CB.

  35. Hi César,

    I’ve also got the same problem as ziggi. None of the deleted posts can be retrieved. All I got was an error code. Would you please advise me what I can do? Million thanks!!!

    Ying

  36. i really want to thank you for writing this tutorial, which has worked really well for posts that are more recent. i’m having trouble getting it to work for older posts though, and wonder if you might have any advice? i am able to use the method to bring back up the deleted post and take out the content, and re-publish, but instead of showing up blank in google reader the old content is still there. when i re-open the post, it is empty… but in the reader it is still there. again, only for older posts.

  37. Are you using Feedburner? By default, it will process only recent posts. If you are using Feedburner, click on the “Edit feed” button and change the original feed address to include “max-results=n” at its end, where n is a number of more recent postings in your feed. For example, for this blog it would be:

    http://crsouza.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?max-results=100

    This would cause Feedburner to always sync the last 100 posts in the feed.

    I am not sure if this will help, but is something to try.

    Best regards,
    César

  38. Hi Cesar,

    Very happy to find this tutorial here. However, when I try to follow your first step, pasting http://www.google.com/reader/atom/feed/http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?r=n&n=100 into the address bar, all I get is the Google Mail login page, with a bit on the left about Google Reader. I’ve viewed source, and can’t find anything resembling step 2!

    Also, if I’ve turned off the feed setting on my blog, as well as the actual blogpost, will that mean that unless someone downloaded their RSS feeds prior to me deleting the feed, they won’t be able to access it now?

    Thanks so much!
    Heather

  39. Hi Anonymous,

    To access this page you should have an account on Google Reader and you have to be logged in your account. Also, please don’t forget to replace the “yourblogname” by your actual blog address.

    Regards,
    Cesar

  40. Hi Cesar,

    thank you for this great help. However, it did not work for me. I followed all your steps and I even tried saving the post to a future date and also a date in the past. It still does not show up or update in Google Reader. What can I do please? I already deleted my posts and it defeats the purpose when my posts still show up on Google Reader.

  41. Hello all,

    For those who still couldn’t remove theirs posts from reader, here is a quick observation.

    In the ressurection section, I’ve posted a link to Blogger in Draft because it was what I was using at the moment:

    http://draft.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=yourblogid&postID=yourpostid

    However, it would be worth to try using normal blogger instead:

    http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=yourblogid&postID=yourpostid

    I hope this tip can help further.

    Best regards,
    César

  42. I’ve tried this many different ways, and I keep having the same problem as Ziggi above. Blogger keeps telling me my action could not be completed. I’d be willing to pay you to do this for me if you can’t help me figure it out.

    I’ve tried:
    Using the original page
    Using the page source info
    Changing it from “draft” to “www”

    Nothing works.

  43. Hi Niki,

    You don’t have to pay. I have described everything I know about it in this post and in the comments. I, too, encountered times when I just couldn’t remove those posts from Reader. Unfortunately it doesn’t seems to work every time. In particular, it doesn’t seems to work with very old posts.

    If you, somehow, manage to retrieve and modify them, please also share with us.

    Regards,
    César

  44. Hello.

    What if I’ve deleted the blog long time ago (I didn’t delete the entries first), and now I’m using back the url and the ancient blog entries are still in Google Reader? I really wanna delete them all. Please help, thanks 🙂

  45. Another way to retrieve the BlogID and PostID is to email yourself a copy of the ‘deleted’ post from within Google Reader. Open the email and “View Source” to find the numbers.

    When I tried the first method of visiting http://www.google.com/reader/atom/feed/http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?r=n&n=100 it would only give me the info for my legitimately active posts. The email method was the only way I could discover the PostID I needed.

    Thank you so much for your help!

    -Jolene

  46. Cesar,
    You post titled, “Cleaning Cached Entries in Google Reader” worked very well for me. I had 18 old posts that I wanted to edit in Google Reader. I was able to edit 12 of them… however after the 12th post, I started getting error messages and Blogger said they were unable to complete my request. Do you why this happened or what it means? I have 6 more posts I want to edit, but I can’t get past the error messages. If you have any idea of what went wrong, please let me know! I would appreciate your help! You seem like a pretty smart guy! Thank you!

  47. Thank you so much for this post. I’m relieved to have at least removed the random content that I used in test posts while troubleshooting a problem I was having with Blogger and Reader. I really appreciate your taking the time to detail this procedure.

  48. Thank you SO MUCH for this simple guide!!! I freaked and hit delete when I accidentally published a Blogger post to only then see it on Google Reader. Thanks to this, it was only on there for moments! 🙂

  49. Problem: There is one blog entry I can’t reach by using this guide. I have tried several times and it will just not work. I recieve an error message from Blogger saying that “something went wrong” by using the url. How ever, it has worked for five other posts that I have changed. And of course, the one that doesn’t work is the most important one to change. Can you please help me? email me at abeautifulmess@live.se Thanks.

  50. Hi again, I’ve figured out the problem. I tried another guide before finding this guide. I now have two entries with the same url. That is problably why I can’t change the original entry bby using the guide. Any idea on how to fix this? Can I just remove the second entry and then try to change the original post or does the problem remain since both entries still will be available in google reader?

  51. hi and thank u for your recommend
    i could go through step 2 but in step 3 i dont know actually where i should put my 2 numbers
    if its possible please explain me how to entire my google reader removing post.
    sorry for my full of mistake language

  52. I know this is is from awhile ago, but I’m trying to do this. Everything worked great and I got to the post again, so I could edit it. But if I try to save or published the edited version of my post it won’t let me. It just comes up with an error message.
    Any tips on what I can do?

  53. Hey Cesar,

    Thanks for this tutorial! I followed all you suggested and I get to see and edit my post however when I want to publish or save it as a draft I get a message from blogger saying they are unable to complete my request – I have tried about 15 times already and is always the same message. I would appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks

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