I need to replace the special characters å,ä,ö (with a or o) in my WP database for all image attachments. How can I apply this search and replace only to affect these links?

Edit: Solved

  • Where exactly in attachments?
    – Rarst
    Jan 9, 2014 at 16:03
  • I mean all the image links in the database that are attached to posts (under the wp_postmeta table). Jan 9, 2014 at 16:08
  • 1
    This is a PHP/SQL question, not a WordPress-specific question. Per the WPSE FAQ, questions are not inherently on-topic merely because they take place in the context of WordPress. Jan 9, 2014 at 16:42
  • Also: post your solution as an answer, rather than as an edit to your question. Jan 9, 2014 at 16:44
  • Ok! Sorry about that. Jan 9, 2014 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


Solved -

UPDATE wp_postmeta SET meta_value = REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(meta_value, 'å', 'a') , 'ä', 'a') , 'ö', 'o')
WHERE LOWER(RIGHT(meta_value, 5)) = '.jpeg'
   OR LOWER(RIGHT(meta_value, 4)) IN ('.jpg', '.gif', '.png')
  • Great solution!
    – RCNeil
    Jul 22, 2017 at 3:50

Just do this with your string:

$yourString = preg_replace ( '/å/' , 'a' , $yourString )
$yourString = preg_replace ( '/ä/' , 'a' , $yourString )
$yourString = preg_replace ( '/ö/' , 'o' , $yourString )

If you just want to do it with an SQL sentence, then you can try this :

REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(StringColumn, 'å', 'a') , 'ä', 'a') , 'ö', 'o') 

And you can use it in a SELECT, UPDATE, ... sentences, like this:


SET StringColumn = REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(StringColumn, 'å', 'a') , 'ä', 'a') , 'ö', 'o') 
  • Sorry if I was unclear, I'm looking for an SQL sequence that I can run to update everything in the database. Jan 9, 2014 at 16:09
  • All right. Check it now.
    – Manolo
    Jan 9, 2014 at 16:25
  • I just tried a similar method. The problem is, under the wp_postmeta table you have all other sorts of content that should not have their characters replaced (such as custom field text content), I only want to target image links. You know a way of doing that? Edit: or target any files for that matter. Jan 9, 2014 at 16:28
  • Solved it! See updated post. Jan 9, 2014 at 16:38

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