I just exported a largish WP blog from MediaTemple to PHPFog.

I used the standard WordPress export and import plugins.

For some unknown reason all of my media assets have been duplicated. I now have twice as many images per post.

If an original file was called "Lot-44-Warrens.jpg" it now has a duplicate called "Lot-44-Warrens1.jpg" Both files are attached to the same post.

I now have many duplicate images across about 250+ posts.

So my question is how do I remove said duplicates from the media library and from the posts?

I tried to search the media library with "*1.jpg", but it didn't work.

Looking for a neat solution that doesn't mean removing each dupe manually.

Perhaps there is a MySQL query I can run to remove the dupes from the library and the posts?

The site in question is: http://igrealty.phpfogapp.com/ .

  • Could you delete them all and reimport? Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 16:06
  • Tried that 4 times last night. Every time they imported with dupes. :(
    – jnthnclrk
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 18:04

4 Answers 4


combining the two answer on this page, I found this worked.

$args = new WP_Query(array(
  'post_type' => 'post',
  'posts_per_page' => -1

$loop = new WP_Query($args);

while($loop->have_posts()) {
  $args2 = array(
    'order' => 'ASC',
    'post_type' => 'attachment',
    'post_parent' => $post->ID,
    'post_mime_type' => 'image');
    $attachments = get_posts($args2);
    if($attachments) {
      foreach ($attachments as $img_post) {
        if( ((strpos($img_post->guid, '1.jpg')!== false) || (strpos($img_post->guid, '1.gif')!== false) || (strpos($img_post->guid, '1.png')!== false))){
          $stuff = $img_post->guid;
} wp_reset_postdata();
  • I must try that
    – jnthnclrk
    Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 20:00
  • @jnthnclrk I had some issued importing images and it duplicated 2000+ of them, this did the trick in getting rid of the duplicates. Test it out first 5 or so posts, also though it works, I just noticed one or two errors with the loop which I'll edit now.
    – UzumakiDev
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 0:53

Use a run-once script to clean it up. Just an outline, no code:

  1. Get all posts. See get_posts( array ( 'numberposts' => -1 ) )
  2. For each post get all attachments. See get_children( array ( 'post_type' => 'attachment', 'numberposts' => -1 ) )
  3. For each attachment get the attachment URL. See wp_get_attachment_url()
  4. If you find the attachment URL in the parent post's content ($post->post_content):
    • If there is another attachment URL with the same file name plus the 1 and
    • both are part of the post content then
    • remove the second image first then
    • use wp_delete_attachment() to delete the physical file. This will remove all meta data and all associations in other posts too. It is the best way to remove attached files (imho).

This may take a while. Test it on a local copy of your site. Maybe you should run the process in steps of 50 posts ('numberposts' => 50).

  • Not sure why the bounty got awarded. This didn't actually work for me at all.
    – jnthnclrk
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 11:03
  • Sorry to read that. It happened due to the votes. See the bounty FAQ for details.
    – fuxia
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 14:38
  • Ah well. No biggie.
    – jnthnclrk
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 15:01
  • 1
    Sorry to bring this back up, but it seems you've glossed over the meat of the question. For instance I need to the details of 4a, b and c.
    – UzumakiDev
    Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 21:00

This script will grab all of the attachments in the database, compare the file to one another through md5 and if it finds a duplicate and it has a 1 at the end of the file name it will remove the image:


global $wpdb;

$img_posts = $wpdb->get_results("SELECT * FROM {$wpdb->prefix}posts WHERE post_type like 'attachment'");

$img_md5s = array();

foreach($img_posts as $img_post){
  $single_img_md5 = md5_file($img_post->guid);

  if(in_array($single_img_md5, $img_md5s) && ((strpos($img_post->guid, '1.jpg')!== false) || (strpos($img_post->guid, '1.gif')!== false) || (strpos($img_post->guid, '1.png')!== false))){

    $img_md5s[] = $single_img_md5;

Just place it in a file in your root directory.

  • You might want to run the script and print out the img's guid to see how accurate it is first then if you like the results, run the script with wp_delete_attachment.
    – Lee
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 20:49
  • Won't work, as it is missing the $wpdb function for $image_post. Further $wpdb->("SELECT * FROM {$wpdb->prefix}posts WHERE post_type like 'attachment'"); should be: $wpdb->query( $wpdb->prepare( "SELECT * FROM %s WHERE post_type LIKE %s", $wpdb->posts, like_escape( '%attachment%' ) ) );...
    – kaiser
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 21:08
  • Yeah, I get this error: Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '(', expecting T_STRING or T_VARIABLE or '{' or '$' in /var/fog/apps/24741/igrealty.phpfogapp.com/find-dupes.php on line 6
    – jnthnclrk
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 21:15
  • Now getting this error: Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /var/fog/apps/24741/igrealty.phpfogapp.com/find-dupes.php on line 11
    – jnthnclrk
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 21:22
  • Instead of $wpdb->query try $wpdb->get_results
    – Lee
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 21:27

I learn't a valuable lesson yesterday, if an application does not provide you with adequate functions for finding and removing assets from a database, and you're trying to find duplicates across multiple, often unique, fields, and you're unsure how to create complex MySQL queries; then the best bet is to go back to basics.

In the end, I exported the tables with dupes into Excel, filtered them by creating my own "hash" of significant fields ( doing this in MySQL was complex and crashed the server a few times ) and pruned the data set so that I created a list of IDs that I was absolutely sure I wanted to remove. I then built a much more simple MySQL query to delete each row by ID.

This method worked great because I was able to take things slowly and consider each Excel filter I applied. This way I was much more confident I was deleting the correct records. I also have an accurate record in Excel of exactly what I did delete.

  • MySql and PHP are much more sophisticated and advanced than Excel or any other spreadsheet program. You just don't have the right skills to implement the solution with them.
    – Omar Abid
    Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 23:07
  • 1
    I couldn't agree more.
    – jnthnclrk
    Commented Jan 20, 2013 at 15:18

Your Answer

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

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