In my blog I have set up auto-publish for posts and I get 5 thousands new posts every day, in this moment I have more than 150 thousand posts.

I need a script, or a plugin, or a function to connect to my database and strip out all img tags from post content.

I know the regular expression to match the img tags, but I can't find a script for using this regular expression


to replace imgs in already published posts and to prevent new posts to contain image tags.

I found this class and I think that it will achieve my goal but I am not sure how to edit this

  "UPDATE $wpdb->posts SET post_parent = 7
  WHERE ID = 15
  AND post_status = 'static'"

to fit my needs.

please note: my site is using some auto publish posts feature Any ideas!

1 Answer 1


You can use the function get_posts to get all your post, and then use a foreach cycle to replace the img tags using the regex you posted and then use wp_update_post to change post content:

function remove_images_form_past_posts() {    
  if ( get_transient('images_removed_from_past') ) return;
  $posts = get_posts('nopaging=1');    
  if ( $posts ) {
    foreach ( $posts as $post ) {
      $newcontent = preg_replace('/<img[^>]+\>/i', '', $post->post_content);
      $newpost = array( 'ID' => $post->ID, 'post_content' => $newcontent);
    set_transient('images_removed_from_past', 1);


This code should be used only once, to change the past posts content. To ensure it runs only once I've used a transient. See Codex for Transient API.

Now you have to add a function that hook into 'wp_insert_post_data' filter hook and prevent new posts are added with images:

function remove_images_before_publish( $data, $postarr ) {
  if ( ! empty($data['post_content']) )
    $data['post_content'] = preg_replace('/<img[^>]+\>/i', '', $data['post_content']);
  return $data;
add_filter('wp_insert_post_data','remove_images_before_publish', 20, 2);
  • fine, but how to implement this with $wpdb . or you mean that i don't need $wpdb at all?
    – adnan
    Oct 1, 2013 at 13:37
  • using this once! but i need to using this every day because i have 5 thousands new post every day. can i add to your code where expression to put post_date?
    – adnan
    Oct 1, 2013 at 13:52
  • i will do, but it is true i need to update my past & future posts @G. M.
    – adnan
    Oct 1, 2013 at 14:03
  • iam already updated it, thank you very very much for your help, iam really appreciate your help. iam sorry for this stupid question where i can put this code. or how to make this a plugin?
    – adnan
    Oct 1, 2013 at 14:22
  • iam already voted & accepted your answer, does this 2 functions will use alot of memory or slow down the site load speed
    – adnan
    Oct 1, 2013 at 14:32

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