I have images on my website which I do not really want stolen, I have a no right click plugin which will help, and I would like to stop people clicking on the image to display it on it's own in a browser window.

I understand that anyone can access the source code and find the URL, I just want to make it a little more difficult.

How can I remove links from images, and just have the embedded image?

  • Your rights are protected by law, so you won't need any software. Or are you too lazy to enforce your rights if violated?
    – Raphael
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 19:26
  • @Raphael people steal images all the time, then when they are approached with an invocie for using them the take them down or say they haven't used it, I am a freelance photographer and do not have time or money to take people to court over using images, so I would rather make it hard than not. Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 7:45

5 Answers 5


To change the default for images (so you don't have to choose "none" on the image links to checkboxes every time you insert an image into a post), you can go to yoursite.com/wp-admin/options.php; find the image_default_link_type option, and change the value from "file" to "none".


There is no effective way to prevent users from stealing your images. No matter what hoops you make them jump through (including no-right-click Plugins, which take no more effort to circumvent than disabling javascript), at the end of the day, the browser still has to serve the actual content to the user's browser. Thus, viewing browser source (to find the raw image URL), or using the browser's cached copy of the image, etc. all circumvent whatever barriers you throw at acquiring images.

Now, if you simply want to avoid linking to the raw, full-sized image: that is controllable from within WordPress. When you attach and insert an image, simply change the appropriate "link" setting ( "file", "post", "none" ). But even then, savvy users will be able to parse the intermediate-sized image URL, and figure out the raw URL for the full-sized image.

  • Great post. OTOH, you do get some level of security through obscurity...at least keeps the less determined/competent ones from figuring it out.
    – mor7ifer
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 14:17
  • 1
    @m0r7if3r: personal preference, but I dislike such security-through-obscurity measures on principle. I create content for others to consume, so IMHO it is counter-productive to make it more difficult for users to consume that content. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 14:21
  • I couldn't agree more, but I figured it was worth mentioning in an attempt to cover every case :)
    – mor7ifer
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 14:34
  • Thanks Chip, I did already know about the security this its in my question. You may crate content for others to consume, but I am a photographer and do not take photographs for people for free, so will try to stop those who often do not know how to bypass the plugins or view the source. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 16:56
  • You won't upload your whole collection and you certainly can limit quality. There really is nothing meaningful to be done. Even if you hide your images inside a flash thingy, at the end of the day, I can just take a screenshot.
    – Raphael
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 19:28

If you go click on the image in the post/page edit screen, two icons should appear on the top left of the image. Click the edit icon (leftmost) and a window will pop-up. This allows you to edit the images properties etc, including the 'link url'. You can change this to 'none'.


How about modifying your .htaccess with something like this?

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?yoursite\.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteRule \.(jpeg|jpg|gif|bmp|png)$ /otherdirectory/hotlink.jpg [L]

That should redirect your images to any set image you want (just like photobucket does), that way they have to download the image to use it. This way, you can allow your users to have the best possible user experience on your site, but prevent people from leeching your bandwidth.

.htaccess source


Tell Congress to vote yes on SOPA/PIPA and people can't steal your images anymore! (Kidding... very very very much kidding; bad joke, I'm sorry)

Bottom line is that you won't be able to stop people from stealing your images or locating the full size images, especially because WordPress organizes them so neatly. Google Images alone will simplify the task of accessing them. Have you considered watermarking your images? There are a number of plugins around to do this and it will be your best defense, or at least give you credit when the image is used elsewhere if you watermark your site address.

  • This was all in my question Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 18:00
  • Your question said you have "a no right click plugin" but you didn't discuss watermarking at all, nor did anyone else. Admittedly I wasn't offering an answer to your question, which was answered perfectly by @Chip Bennet; I was offering an alternate suggestion to addressing the underlying problem. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 18:08

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