I'm sorry if this is too noob of a question, but when I upload an image and set it as the featured image then later remove it (as featured image), the media list still shows it's "Attached to" the post I removed it as featured image from. Any clue?

More importantly, how do I then make it so that when I remove the featured image, it will be "Unattached"? Any hook I can attach to or the like?

Thanks so much.


1 Answer 1


Any image uploaded to a post in the post editor is "attached to" that post. Actually, you can only set an attached image as Featured Image (aka Post Thumbnail -- not to be confused with "Thumbnails"), and it's NOT vice-versa.

If you do not want an image to be attached to a post, you can upload the image directly to the Media Library (via WordPress Dashboard > Media > Add New) and then use the image in your post (from the From URL tab in the media uploader in the post editor).

  • thanks, but i have no issue with that. i can even set an unattached image as Featured Image/Post Thumbnail. what i need is after removing the Featured Image using the "Remove featured image" link in the Featured Image metabox when editing this post type, i don't want the just-removed image to still show up as "Attached" on the media list.
    – Ana Ban
    Jun 27, 2012 at 8:45
  • @AnaBan Looks like this is what you need? wordpress.org/extend/plugins/file-un-attach
    – its_me
    Jun 27, 2012 at 8:50
  • @AnaBan And there's another one as well: wordpress.org/extend/plugins/file-gallery
    – its_me
    Jun 27, 2012 at 8:51

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