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disable-thumbnails-2 Tips & Tricks

Disable or Prevent Thumbnail Creation in WordPress

By Christopher Lin on May 11th 2011

As photographers we have thousands of files on our websites and blogs. On top of that, if you use the WordPress image uploader, you are stuck with three times the number of images, as the uploader automatically creates two additional files in different sizes. This can create problems for some hosting services that limit the number of files that you can store on the server (like Bluehost). If your site isn’t utilizing the thumbnails created by the uploader, you should disable the creation of the Thumbnails. Here is a quick tutorial on how to do it.

How To Disable WordPress Thumbnail Creation

1) Log into your wp-admin
2) Navigate to the Media Settings (see image below)

3) Input zero values into the height and width fields of thumbnail size, medium size, and large size as you see in the image below and uncheck the “Crop thumbnail to exact dimensions (normally thumbnails are proportional)” option.


4) Hit the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.

You’re done! Told you it’d be fast!

Of course there are other options. You could also host the images on another website; or you can upload your images directly to the server via an FTP program like Filezilla, but this is a quick fix for those of you who are used to using the default WordPress image uploader. Good luck!

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Co-Founder of SLR Lounge and Photographer with Lin and Jirsa Photography, I’m based in Southern California but you can find me traveling the world. Click here to connect on Google +

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for posting.

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  2. Mark Shirley

    Doesnt work in twenty eleven still creates 3 images

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  3. gavsiu

    Thanks! Works for me. On WordPress Version 3.3.2. You guys have to understand your theme could be generating extra sizes through the functions.php file using add_image_size.

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  4. WordpressSux

    I am getting 15 thumbs after uploading a single image! That is just ridiculous! After 0x0-ing everything on the page, I got 15-3 files… WTF????

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  5. TA

    I just tested it repeatedly in WP 3.2.1 and this does not work. From the test.jpg I get this in the file folder structure. test-400×300.jpg, test-640×288.jpg and the original test.jpg. My settings are exactly the same as yours and other who have suggested this and most of the morning I’ve been searching for an answer. Any further ideas would be greatly appreciated. I am a pro photographer who is starting out on WP and immediately noticed I was going to be in real trouble when I started uploading 1000’s of pics.

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