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I have a media library containing 500 images. I need to make some modifications to these images in Photoshop (batch resizing and color correction). I'm looking for a way to simply overwrite the files in the 'wp-content/uploads' directory without having to re-upload them via the media library. The file names will stay the same. I also want to be able to retain the title, alt, caption and description associated with the old image files.

What would be the most efficient way of going about this?

2 Answers 2

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Well, I think the easiest way would be the following:

  • Download your wp-content/uploads/ folder so you have all images on your hard disk
  • Remove the images WordPress has automatically generated (the ones with -*x*.jpg, maybe read this if you have SSH access as a filename)
  • Optimize your base images with Photoshop
  • Reupload the images into the wp-content/uploads/ folder
  • Use a plugin like "Regenerate Thumbnails" (I use that one often) to rebuild all the necessary images

This should work, but I have not tested it.

Important! Do not change the filenames of your base-images, otherwise WordPress will not find them after reuploading. (Yeah, seems obvious, mentioned it just for clarification...)

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  • Thanks! I'm going to give this a try. Do you happen to know if WP stores the image dimensions from media library items in the database? Oct 28, 2015 at 12:37
  • Actually it is saving that in the wp_postmeta table, yes. It´s serialized and saved as _wp_attachment_metadata.
    – flomei
    Oct 28, 2015 at 20:59
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    This sorta worked! I could not get the SSH script to delete the files for some reason, so I used this plugin: wordpress.org/plugins/force-regenerate-thumbnails Nov 1, 2015 at 18:55
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    I´m glad it worked for you.
    – flomei
    Nov 1, 2015 at 20:41
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    It really is the time saver. just imagine I had 150 product images with all the generated ones by wordpress. in less than 10 minutes, work done :) Dec 18, 2020 at 11:43
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Try to download the uploads folder all together or you will lose the quality of the images, then re-upload them with the same name and description to the same folder

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    While I tend to agree with you, can you please elaborate on the answer a bit.
    – s_ha_dum
    Oct 27, 2015 at 20:03
  • I'm not sure this method will work since I'm be resizing the images, right? Oct 27, 2015 at 20:05
  • @s_ha_dum you have to download it from the uploads folder or download the uploads folder all together then modifying it, because of this way you wont lose your image quality
    – bbadawee
    Oct 27, 2015 at 23:26
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    @bzhar93 : edit your answer instead of posting clarifications in the comments.
    – s_ha_dum
    Oct 27, 2015 at 23:28

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