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Is there a way to bulk remove attachments from WordPress database but not delete the actual files from the server?

Sort of like the opposite of http://wordpress.org/plugins/add-from-server/

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Just use a custom $wpdb query, something like

function remove_all_attachments() {
  global $wpdb;
  $ids = $wpdb->get_col("SELECT ID FROM $wpdb->posts WHERE post_type = 'attachment'");
  if ( empty($ids) ) return;
  $remove = implode(',', $ids);
  // remove post meta
  $wpdb->query("DELETE FROM $wpdb->postmeta WHERE post_id IN ({$remove})");
  // remove posts
  $wpdb->query("DELETE FROM $wpdb->posts WHERE ID = IN ({$remove})");
}

After that just call remove_all_attachments() whatever you want and all your attachemnts posts are gone, but the file stay there...

| improve this answer | |
  • If I use the plugin SQL Executioner, I'd use $wpdb->query("DELETE FROM $wpdb->posts WHERE post_type = 'attachment'"); to run command, is that correct? – ayutheos Oct 22 '13 at 4:24
  • How do I filter attachments named *_small.jpg? – ayutheos Oct 22 '13 at 4:34
  • @ayutheos I've updated the answer to remove also postmeta. regarding your questions: (1) I don't know that plugin. (2) you can add AND guid LIKE '%_small.jpg' to SELECT query, but is not very reliable because guid column is not reliable... a better result involve to get the real image url using WP API, but if you have hundreds of images it can be a serious performance problem – gmazzap Oct 22 '13 at 5:12
  • SQL Executioner is a plugin to run SQL queries from Wordpress. I have about ~300+ manually created thumbnail images that I'd like to remove from the database but not the actual file itself. I'll try out your function in my local install to test it :) – ayutheos Oct 22 '13 at 6:42

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