WordPress Creating Duplicate Image Copies – How To Prevent Multiple Image Sizes

Prevent Duplicate Image Copies Auto Generated by WordPress

WordPress.org is one of the widely used CMS. It is known for its easy user interface and customization friendly. But WordPress customization is not so easy for everyone especially when you don't know anything about codes.

Moreover, many WordPress errors are unpredictable some can easily be solved and some errors can get you a headache.

Have you ever noticed that WordPress is generating multiple (resized) versions of an image?

If yes, you may be looking for the solution to prevent WordPress from creating multiple image sizes and explode your hosting storage.

Some of you may have read my previously written detailed guide on this same issue. But that guide is not recommended for beginners as that may require you to have an extensive knowledge of coding.

Note: By default, WordPress creates 3 different image sizes (thumbnail, medium, large) excluding the uploaded image. And if you find more than 5 copies of an uploaded image, your WordPress theme or a plugin will be responsible for that.

In this article, I have one simple guide for you to prevent multiple image sizes without getting involved with coding.

So without wasting our time let's start with our tutorial.

Detect the Issue Before Preventing

Login to your cPanel and navigate to public_html/wp-content/uploads/2018/01. You'll see your latest uploaded images with different sizes.

Here I am uploading an image without setting any image sizes prevention to see how many duplicate copies of an image will be created including both default WordPress and WordPress theme & Plugin.

Prevent Duplicate Image Copies Auto Generated by WordPress

In the above screenshot, you can see that WordPress has generated 12 different sizes of that same image.

For me, this is too much and can affect my site backup copy.

Now, after setting all the prevention lets see how many images will be generated by WordPress.

Prevent Duplicate Image Copies Auto Generated by WordPress

Surprisingly only 3 images are there including the original uploaded image. Setting WordPress image prevention took me only 2 minutes.

So now that you have seen the result. You may be wondering what did I do?

How to Prevent WordPress from Creating Multiple Image Sizes

  • Step 1 - Changing the WordPress Media settings
  • Step 2 - Setting up a plugin "Stop Generating Image Sizes"

The whole process is done using two steps only.

Step 1 - Changing the WordPress Media Settings

In your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings > Media.

Prevent Duplicate Image Copies Auto Generated by WordPress

You'll see the default image sizes by WordPress. (excluding the WP theme image sizes)

To prevent WordPress from generating these default image sizes, change the values to 0.

Prevent Duplicate Image Copies Auto Generated by WordPress

This process would be enough to prevent WordPress from creating duplicate image sizes if your blog does not have any WordPress theme installed. But that won't be the case.

So let's get straight to our next step.

Step 2Setting Up a WordPress Plugin "Stop Generating Image Sizes"

As I mentioned above you don't need to get into coding work to fix this issue. All you need to do is install a WordPress plugin and this will help you to stop WordPress and WordPress theme to generate multiple image sizes.

After you are done installing the plugin. Click on the "Image Sizes" option in the sidebar menu of your WordPress dashboard.

You'll be redirected to "Image Sizes Settings" page.

Prevent Duplicate Image Copies Auto Generated by WordPress

Here all possible sizes will be listed depends on your WordPress, WordPress theme and Plugins. Now you have to select image sizes that you want to prevent from creating.

In the above screenshot, you may have noticed "tt_" before some images it's because (My WordPress theme is FocusBlog by ThriveThemes and I am using Thrive Architect plugin)

Note: If you check all options, it will create no additional images. And if you check no options, it will create all listed image sizes along with the original image!

Also ReadImage Optimization Plugins To Speed Up Your WordPress Blog


This task can be included in your WordPress optimization. Auto-generating too many image sizes can also eat a good amount of storage size in your hosting plan and the backup copy.

So I decided to prevent this issue before it can harm my website speed or my storage. And I prefer you should too fix this issue.

This could improve website performance for image-based blogs like a travel blog, food blogs and photo blog.

For more information on this issue, you can read my previously written article on this same issue and also find out how to delete pre-generated image sizes.

I hope this tutorial will be helpful to solve this WordPress issue. If you still got anything to ask about this issue or anything related to it feel free to shoot your question via the comment box below.

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Alok Rana founder of LoudTechie. Like to share his blogging experience and resources with readers. Offering best money making blogging opportunities to new bloggers. He loves to talk about how to blog, SEO, Traffic Strategies and Marketing.

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