Use at your own risk, it is buggy and I have run across a couple instances where it would delete ALL attachments. Unsure why.

Is it possible to delete media associated with a page when that page is deleted? I know in the Insert Media page you can filter by images "Uploaded to this page" so could I get a list of those and just delete them as the page is being deleted?

Right now I'm playing around with hooking into Delete Post. Right now... it does nothing but I think I'm getting somewhere with it.

function del_post_media($pid) {
    $query = "DELETE FROM wp_postmeta
            WHERE ".$pid." IN
            SELECT id
            FROM wp_posts
            WHERE post_type = 'attachment'
    global $wpdb;
    if ($wpdb->get_var($wpdb->prepare($query))) {
        return $wpdb->query($wpdb->prepare($query));
    return true;
add_action('delete_post', 'del_post_media');
  • 1
    Be careful about deleting references to media that are used elsewhere e.g. other posts or if your post has been shared on social media.
    – Gilbert
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 19:37
  • Well if I force the user to upload the same image twice (if they want the same image for 2 different pages) it will rename one of the images, so it should be fine.
    – Howdy_McGee
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


How about this? It adapts an example on the get_posts() function reference page.

function delete_post_media( $post_id ) {

    $attachments = get_posts( array(
        'post_type'      => 'attachment',
        'posts_per_page' => -1,
        'post_status'    => 'any',
        'post_parent'    => $post_id
    ) );

    foreach ( $attachments as $attachment ) {
        if ( false === wp_delete_attachment( $attachment->ID ) ) {
            // Log failure to delete attachment.

add_action( 'before_delete_post', 'delete_post_media' );
  • 1
    Didn't work for me. Created post attached 1 image, trashed post, empty trash. Image is still there on media library. EDIT: Oh it's missing the add_action part Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 19:03

I suppose you're looking for something like this...?

function delete_associated_media($id) {
    // check if page
    if ('page' !== get_post_type($id)) return;

    $media = get_children(array(
        'post_parent' => $id,
        'post_type' => 'attachment'
    if (empty($media)) return;

    foreach ($media as $file) {
        // pick what you want to do
add_action('before_delete_post', 'delete_associated_media');
  • Does nothing for me. Deleting post results on unattached media as usual it doesn't delete it. Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 19:09
  • Unless you adapted the code, it's for pages only. You saw that, right, @MichaelRogers?
    – tfrommen
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 11:39
  • Gotcha sorry then! Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 16:53

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