I'm trying to figure out the best way to deal with media that's uploaded into the library.

There's a statement in the media library that confuses me a tad:

"Discard any changes and restore the original image. Previously edited copies of the image will not be deleted."

I can't seem to find the edited images in the library ... it seems the only way to do it is to go via FTP and look into uploads folder and delete them.

This is not a realistic solution once the site goes into production as I won't be maintaining it.

What can I do to prevent this? Is there a good image optimizer plugin that also shows all the different resized images in the library? I tried a plugin that confused me because it didn't show all the different images it resized automatically, and the site became huge! Had to go into uploads to delete them all.

EDIT Just tried a couple of test images right now ... and checked the uploads folder via FTP, and it shows all different resized sizes available for the image! But it doesn't show in the library, and I don't understand where the resizing is coming from! There are no images optimizer activated!


enter image description here

The image above is showing all the resized images that's automatically generated ... all going into this directory (wp-content/uploads/2016/12) ...

1 Answer 1


These various resized images come from registered image sizes, usually from your theme, and sometimes from plugins. If a theme registers an image size, it expects to use that size in the front-end. This is most useful in an image gallery or slideshow, when you need images to be an exact ratio of width to height in order to get everything to line up.

Unless your production server is completely anemic, or you're running a multisite with hundreds of subsites, the resized images are unlikely to have a big impact. I've been supporting WordPress sites for clients for the last five years, and the largest one I ever saw took up 1 GB on my hard drive.

TL,DR: don't worry about it. The amount of time it takes to find some kind of solution will cost more than paying for one size up in server over the next 3 years.

  • hey thanks for your response. I added a new image above to demo all the images and sizes they're being generated at. Unfortunately this is an issue for me as the site has to be backed up frequently ... Dec 13, 2016 at 8:38
  • As @guiniveretoo has pointed out, these images are being generated (in part) by your theme or plugins adding images using the add_image_size() function. WP will also automatically create a thumbnail, medium, & large sized images (sized based on the settings under Media). Additionally, WP will create a medium_large image. Some of these images may not be generated based on the size of the source images and the settings for each image size. You can use remove_image_size() to remove registered image sizes. Also, setting the sizes to 0 x0 in media will prevent images from being made. Dec 13, 2016 at 8:43
  • Additional little note, it's totally possible that removing image sizes will cause things to look wonky, so you should definitely make sure that it's okay to remove the image sizes. Also, removing image sizes will not delete images that have already been generated. Dec 13, 2016 at 9:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.