WordPress Thumbnails

Setting media thumbnails to 0 (zero) does NOT prevent multiple image creation in WordPress

Setting WordPress Media Thumbnails to Zero

So you’ve Googled something like “How to prevent WordPress from creating multiple thumbnail images” and you come across COUNTLESS numbers of posts that say to simply adjust your thumbnail values under SETTINGS – MEDIA to 0 (zero) and all the multiple images will magically stop being created. So you make the adjustments as stated… yet every time you upload an image, multiple version reappear (sound of head scratching)…

Next you read a post that says… OH YES… on occasion you have to edit your functions.php file and remove any reference to lines that start with “add_image_size”. So you open functions.php in your editor and search for this string of text and find nothing. WHAT IS GOING ON??


What is ACTUALLY happening is that the “add_image_size” text strings can appear in ANY files of your theme’s author’s choosing. There are NO standards to where these lines may exist. THE ISSUE YOU ARE ENCOUNTERING IS A THEME SPECIFIC ISSUE. In other words, if you were to set your theme to the standard TwentyTwelve theme, the Media Settings of 0 (zero) would work great!

So alas… you must start the “finding a needle in the haystack” journey in order to FINALLY GET WORDPRESS TO STOP CLOGGING YOUR UPLOADS folder with pointless and redundant images files.

How to fix this issue ONCE AND FOR ALL =0)

I had the VERY same issue as you are experiencing. I did the following (as per all the friendly tips and suggestions on the Internet):

  1. I adjusted all the thumbnail settings in SETTINGS – MEDIA to 0
  2. I opened my theme’s function.php file and could find NO trace of “add_image_size”

So here’s how I found the needle(s) in the haystack…

  1. Zip up and download your entire theme folder which is causing the multiple thumbnails to be created
  2. Unzip the folder local on your computer and perform a full text search on ALL files and folders for the string “add_image_size”. Once all files are located, you will then have to DELETE these specific lines (or remark them out). **IMPORTANT NOTE** Setting the last boolean value of each line to False will NOT DO THE TRICK… Just delete those suckas! Don’t forget that you will be deleting the lines from the files ON YOUR SERVER (not the folder you downloaded locally… that was simply to find out which files needed to be edited).

Well that should do it! You can now move on with your life knowing that your WordPress site and theme are streamlined with ONLY the file sizes you specifically upload… yae!

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