Do you want to prevent WordPress from generating additional image sizes?
When you upload an image in WordPress, it automatically creates several copies in different sizes. Different themes and plugins can further increase the # of sizes generated. If you have a lot of images on your website, then then this may increase your storage needs and the size of your website backup file.
In this article, we’ll show you how to prevent WordPress from generating image sizes.
Why Prevent WordPress from Generating Image Sizes?
When you upload an image to your WordPress website, multiple copies of the image will be automatically generated in different sizes. By default, the sizes generated are thumbnail, medium, and large, in addition to the original image.
Themes and plugins can also create additional image sizes. You may find you have five or ten copies of each image in different sizes.
The additional image sizes are generated and stored during the upload process. This won’t affect your visitors or slow down your website, but it does require a little more storage space.
The extra space used by these additional images is normally not a problem. Most WordPress hosting providers offer generous disk space which is enough to store thousands of images.
Having said that, some users may want to prevent WordPress from generating image sizes.
For example, when users with thousands of images back up their website, they may find that their backup has become very large and takes more time to complete. Other users find that they don’t use some image sizes at all, and disabling them will save storage space.
However, you should be cautious about removing image sizes. They may be needed by your theme for post thumbnails, sliders, attachments, or custom post types. Only remove them if you are certain, and aware of the effect this might have on your site.
That being said, let’s take a look at how to prevent WordPress from generating image sizes.
How to Prevent WordPress from Generating Image Sizes
The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Stop Generating Unnecessary Thumbnails plugin. If you need help, see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Upon activation, you’ll need to head over to the Media » Image Sizes page to disable image sizes.
Once there, you’ll notice that all additional image sizes are listed on the left of the screen. They ones marked in red indicates that these sizes are enabled and will be generated.
You will need to drag each size that you don’t want to the right column. This will disable it, so that it won’t be generated when you upload an image.
Once you’ve dragged each image size to the right, they will now be displayed in green. You will see a notification at the top of the screen saying that ‘0 Thumbnails will be generated’.
Make sure you click the ‘Save Settings’ button to activate your new settings. Now when you upload an image on your WordPress blog, no extra image sizes will be generated.
However, you will still have all of the additional sizes of any images that you uploaded in the past. Let’s take a look at how to remove unused image sizes in WordPress.
Simply click on the ‘Regenerate’ tab, and then you need to click the ‘Regenerate’ button.
All additional images will now be deleted from your media library. This will be done in batches of 50 to avoid putting too much load on your server.
Congratulations, you have removed all additional image sizes from your site and prevented WordPress from generating them in the future.
We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to prevent WordPress from generating image sizes. You may also want to learn how to create a landing page with WordPress, or check out our list of the best web push notification software.