How To Stop WordPress From Creating Multiple Images?

stop wordpress from creating multiple images

You would be amazed to know that WordPress generates many sizes for a single image. Whenever you add any thumbnail image, two more images get generated with it.

Does it affect your website? The answer is yes. It’s because the storage provided by the web hosting is limited and if you would get two images for free then the storage would get consumed more.

It’s your duty to stop WordPress from creating multiple images.

If you don’t then it will soon affect the page loading time of your website. It’s because the size of your whole website will increase.

How To Find All The Images For Your Website?

One of the simple solutions can be done from the WordPress admin panel.

There are a few options in the media settings from where you can control the output of the images.

But before that, let me provide you a guide to check the availability of the multiple images in your WordPress directory.

All the uploads get saved in one wp-content folder of WordPress.

Follow the steps.

Step 1:- Login to cPanel and open the file manager.

Step 2:- Search for wp-content>>uploads. You will see the upload folders.

If you have set it to save monthly then there would be different folders for each month. Open any of them and check the images.

prevent wordpress from creating multipe images

If you would find three or more copies of the same image then it means WordPress is generating many image sizes for your each image.

How Would You Prevent WordPress From Generating Multiple Images?

There are only two steps.

Step 1 :- Login to your WordPress admin panel and go to settings>>media.

Step 2 :- Set the value to zero for all the three types of images.

stop wordpress from creating multiple images

Save and you’re done.

NOTE :- The image size is used by WordPress for its gallery┬áso the new gallery won’t be the same as before.

Though this is not the permanent solution. If your WordPress theme consists the code to set the image size then you have to remove it too.

What’s The Code To Find In Your WordPress Theme?

Most of the time, the code may present in the theme’s functions.php file.

You can open that file from your WordPress admin panel only.

Just go to appearance>>editor>>functions.php.

Look for the two types of codes.

add_image_size( ‘image1’, 180, 120 );

If you find any code similar to that then remove it and your theme will stop generating the images of this size.

There is another code which may present.

set_post_thumbnail_size( 150, 150 );

If you don’t want your theme to generate the image of this size then remove this code.

NOTE:- After removing these types of codes, your WordPress theme won’t generate any type of image. Remove the codes only if you know their effects.

Can You Now Stop WordPress From Creating Multiple Images?

If you want to use the image size set by the theme provider then set the values to zero from the media settings.

For the rest, you should know a little bit about the WordPress theme codes. If you unintentionally remove the code which is generating the image size for all the thumbnails then it would break your website.

So what’s your plan? How are you going to stop WordPress from creating multiple images? Will you take any expert advice or do it yourself?

by Ravi Chahar

A WordPress Professional and the LinkedIn Influencer. A coder by passion and a blogger by choice. WordPress theme development is his forte. He is your WordPress guy who will teach you how to solve WordPress errors, WordPress security issues, design issues and what not.

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  1. Interesting trick, Ravi. So by setting those numbers to zero, what happens when we upload one image. Does WordPress continue to keep the size we used to create the image?

    1. Hey Bren,

      Be setting the value to zero, WordPress will stop generating the images other than your theme image sizes. It will stop generating the extra image sizes which were due to those settings.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Thanks Ravi,

    I knew my blog was saving three different sizes of image, but didn’t know how to stop it doing so.

    I won’t be fiddling with code in my theme, but I’ll have a look at the Settings you describe.

    Great info ­čÖé

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    1. Hey Joy,

      Such types of things are rare to look on. People don’t really try to find the solution. But you know that it’s important to save the bandwidth of your web host.
      Just set the value to zero and WordPress will stop generating at least one image.
      Thanks for dropping your input.

  3. Hi Ravi,

    This tutorial is really helpful for me, my file manager occupied more space than I can imagine just because of many duplicate images with in different size. Now I will implement your defined functions to redefine the WP Function.
    I am glad to know this cause It’s improve my server speed.

    ~ Junaid Shahid

    1. Hey Junaid,

      You can use the WordPress settings and set to zero. But if you don’t know about WordPress theme codes then don’t play with the codes.
      Make sure you know what you’re going to do.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hi Ravi. I had no idea that setting those to 0 would stop WordPress from creating the extra images. Makes sense though if I had thought about it.

    WordPress doesn’t store extra images for me because I don’t have it manage any of my images, at least not on my main websites. I need to fix the others. I read that moving images to a subdomain would allow pages to load faster, at least for pages with several images on it. HTTP can only open so many connections to one domain at a time. It treats subdomains as a separate domain, effectively doubling the number of connections it can open. So I created an images subdomain and moved all of the images. I have to upload the images through my cPanel, so it’s a little more work, but it did have a positive effect on my product website.

    As I said in my comment on your 15,000 LinkedIn followers post, I’m looking at what you’re doing on LinkedIn. It won’t let me connect with you but I can follow you. That’s how I reached this older post.

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