I am looking for solution to auto delete images (jpg, gif, png -content in general) inside a specific folder (folderx) INSIDE the uploads/months folders (customization intended for future folderx --older folderx have already been deleted manually). These images inside folderx have no relation to any posts. they can be deleted in x days. or x hours.

  • Uploads

    • O7 (month)
      • folderx (images inside folderx to be deleted)
    • O8 (month)
      • folderx (images inside folderx to be deleted)


1 Answer 1


First of all, I would n e v e r automatically delete files, database entries, whathaveyou. Too risky. But, I created this once, that moves files to a 'trash' folder. This will help you get where you want:

 * Autodelete folders in upload dir
add_action('admin_init', function () {

    $time_to_live = 60 * 60 * 8; // 8 hours
    $folders_to_clean = [

    // dirs
    $upload_dir = wp_upload_dir();
    $upload_base = $upload_dir["basedir"];
    // loop through folders to clean
    foreach ($folders_to_clean as $folder) {
        // set specific trash path
        $trash_path = "{$upload_base}/_TRASH/{$folder}";
        // create trash path
        mkdir($trash_path, 0777, true);
        $folder_path = "{$upload_base}/{$folder}";
        // loop through files in dir
        if (is_dir($folder_path) && $handle = opendir($folder_path)) {
            // valid file?
            while (false !== ($file = readdir($handle))) {
                $file_path = "{$folder_path}/${file}";
                // older than set time?
                if (is_file($file_path) && filemtime($file_path) > $time_to_live) {
                    // move to trash
                    rename($file_path, "{$trash_path}/$file");

If you do want to delete them immediately, just switch the rename function for unlink($file_path). But be warned, this will one day bite you hard! ;-)

  • as mentioned these images inside folderx have no relation to any posts "folderx", the images are not linked to any posts-- they are completely independent. so the trash option wont help. if it did somehow put it in trash, i think that would mess up everything. thank you for your reply though :) Jul 10, 2021 at 8:36
  • Then use the unlink command to delete them
    – Jos
    Jul 10, 2021 at 10:30

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