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Is there a wp-cli command or any easy way to remove files that are unrelated to WordPress, but FTPed or synced to the uploads directory accidentally?

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I don't know whether there is a better WP-CLI way or not, but you could write a simple script that recursively crawls your uploads directory (or it's subdirectories) and than check the absolute paths (URLs) of those files and compare them against guid column in wp_posts table.

If your file is not there, WordPress doesn't know about it and it probably can be deleted.

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  • Danger, danger. Files can not only be linked in posts. Couldn't also a widget or even a category contain a link to an unmanaged file? Probably worth crawling your site after the purge to find any 404 caused by missing files. – leymannx Aug 11 '20 at 7:55
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    @leymannx I believe it doesn't metter whether the image is added to a post, to a widget or to something else. Because once the image gets upload via native WP uploader, it is stored in the database as a post, which is WP's default entity. It is stored in wp_post table with post_type set to attachment (and post_mime_type set to image/png). You don't have to crawl anything, only compare your /uploads/ folder with wp_posts table. – Kristián Filo Aug 18 '20 at 8:15
  • Ah yeah, but I meant those files that have been uploaded via FTP and just a link has been put in the post/widget/whatsoever. Unmanaged files. – leymannx Aug 18 '20 at 8:44

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