How To Do WordPress Image Cleanup In Media Library To Remove Unused Files? Best of 2021

We all have used media files somehow at some points while creating a website or blog by using WordPress. The WordPress media library is very useful for any kind of website as they contain relevant images and files which are used for attracting more and more people towards us. After containing the images, WordPress image cleanup is a necessary process because it may increase your site load time.

It has been usually seen that your media library is full of unused and irrelevant files which are very difficult to manage. These unusual files and images may result in poor management of your website.

Meanwhile, it is not a very hectic task to manage all your media libraries and files. You can easily manage your media library by cleaning it up regularly. This will help you to optimize your images appropriately so that your website and all of the media content will work smoothly and gives the best performance.

Here, in this article, we will discuss some of the best ways to clean up your WordPress media library easily. After that, we will discuss some of the best image cleanup plugins that can help to make the process easier. The WordPress plugin adds new functionality to a WordPress site. So without wasting any time let’s start this beautiful journey.

Working of WordPress Media Library

In WordPress Image cleanup, Although if you want to better optimize the WordPress media library. Then first of all you need to understand that, what is the function behind this? or how these media library of WordPress website works? Well, when you upload any image file to your websites Media Library. Then there are some processes initiate and a few things happen.

Basically, after uploading an image file, the file gets stored automatically on the file system of your web server. Therefore a similar entry gets saved in the database of your WordPress website. However, after that WordPress is able to generate a lot of versions of that same image in many different sizes.

Therefore you can just pull those entries out from your database, with the help of your WordPress admin panel when you are going through your media library. Because all those files are simply stored on the file system, and the database system just has a record of those files that where they are stored.

In addition, at the time you insert an image you have different sizes available such as small, medium, large, thumbnail, etc. Therefore all of those sizes also remain on the file system as well. Because also it happens sometimes that plugins and themes define their own custom image sizes too.

Therefore, the chances are high that for every image you upload they might turn into 5 or more separate files of different sizes behind the scenes. However, most of the time, these unnecessary custom image sizes are not even used. Then also, they remain there in the file system and take up your disk space on your server.

Besides that, if you like to keep an eye on such files or take a look for yourself. Then all you need to do is log into your web server via FTP. Where FTP File Transfer Protocol is a “means of transport” i.e it is used to transfer files from one local computer to a remote website, such as a WordPress blog. It is also used to download files from your WordPress website to your computer or to change files and directories permissions on a remote website. Also, you can use your web host file manager. After successful login, you should navigate to the folder for your site that called “/wp-content/uploads/”.

Well, after reaching that folder usually you will see a list of various folders arranged by year. Similarly, inside each of the year folder, you will have folders for months. And finally, inside each of those folders, you will find the actual image files.

Why Need To Clean Up Media Library?

Well if you don’t know then we would like to tell you that when you upload the image to your website. WordPress creates several copies of each of them. In addition, plugins and themes of WordPress may also need some other image sizes. Besides these image sizes, you can also prevent yourself from uploading a lot of unnecessary images.

Which will not really be used anywhere else on your website. Because if you do so then your Media Library section will collect a lot of unused files. Also, you may not be aware of them either. However, sometimes this can let down your entire website. Because all those images use up space on your web server.

Besides that, the other problem is oversized website backups. Which may occur from a cluttered Media Library. Because these media files take up disk space on your WordPress hosting server. Although if you have configured an automatic backup process on your website.

Then they can increase your WordPress backup sizes and your backup files may become very large and heavy. This means it will take a longer time to backup, transfer, and restore your website. Although it also depends on your web hosting plan. Because all those additional files may cost you more money each month.

In addition, it can create an overall slowdown on your website. Therefore it is very important to make at least one extra copy of your current website before doing a Media Library cleanout. However, this is good because most cleanout processes mean you are deleting some of the files for good.

Besides, if you have been running a website for a long time. Then you can benefit from cleaning up the WordPress media library. Also, to do that process you should know how to easily clean up the WordPress media library.

But must remember that you will clean up unused media files by deleting them forever and this action cannot be undone. So make sure that you have a complete WordPress backup in place before proceeding further.

Why It’s Necessary To Reduce The Amount of Used Storage

In WordPress Image cleanup, The amount of storage available to store your data and files depends only on hosting service. It will describe how much data and files you can store online over the internet. Some limitations are being set according to which you can store only a particular amount of data.

Meanwhile, it is also very important to set these limitations as the huge amount of media uploaded to your website can decrease the functionality and performance of your website.

If you upload more and more files to your website then it will also take a huge amount of time to access all those files which help in decreasing the page loading speed of your website. Your website will take a very long time to open which will also bother the visitors and drives them to visit the next site. It can also interfere with user experience (UX).

How To Resize The Images?

The size of the image is the most common factor that leads to consuming media space usage. Our media storage library is usually getting full because of the larger image size. We can optimize our media storage library by uploading smaller images to our media library.

It will help to increase the storage space in your media library. It also helps to improve the page loading speed of our website, both from the front and back ends.

You can use image scaling technique to resize your images without losing the image quality. By using image scaling you can minimize the number of pixels in your image without affecting the image quality. By minimizing the number of pixels in your image you can reduce the size of your image to some extent.

Use JPG Images Instead of PNG

The type of image file you use in your website also affects the media space usage. Usually, people save two types of pictures in their library i.e., jpg, and png image. Have you ever thought about which image type is best for saving space?

On comparing both of the images we can say that png image is better as the quality of the image, but it is also true that PNG images cover very large storage space. It is not always good to use these images as many websites don’t accept it on their website. PNG images are usually needed in those places where you need a transparent image background.

So it is more beneficial for us to use JPG images instead of PNG as it doesn’t cover very large space in our media library. You can also compress a JPEG image of larger size and convert it into a file of a smaller size.

Remove Duplicate Images From The Media Library

Sometimes in WordPress Image cleanup it is most common that you uploaded multiple copies of the same image. It can also be caused by WordPress’ automatic creation of multiple image formats (like Thumbnails, Medium, and large).

Multiple copies of the same images can lead to filling up the available storage space. This may result to decrease the page loading speed of your website.

You have the authority to easily remove the multiple copies of the same images in WordPress.

You just have to follow these given guidelines to put a stop to this:

  • Go to the admin panel of your WordPress site.
  • Within the WordPress dashboard section just go the settings option.
  • Then go to the Media section of your WordPress Dashboard.
  • A dialog box will appear where different options are available.
  • Then all you have to do is to change the values in each box to 0. This will help to prevent the creation of multiple image sizes.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to press the Save button.

Without any dimensions in place, WordPress will not accept multiple sizes of the same image.

Optimizing The Media Files

Well, if you have a lot of media files already on your website media library. Then it is necessary that you should take care of the duplicate images on your website. However, optimize your existing media files is also an important step to make some more space. It will help you to run your website fast and optimized.

Because due to unawareness or by the habit a lot of new bloggers or beginners directly upload images from their cameras or smartphones. Although these high-quality images are often very large in size. Therefore these images can increase the backup sizes, take up disk space. Also, they can affect your WordPress website speed and performance.

In addition, to overcome this problem you can use a WordPress image compression plugin. Basically this plugin can automatically optimize your media files without losing their quality. Besides that, you must aware of such tips and tricks on how to optimize images for web performance before you upload them on your site. It will be much better for you.

Delete Unwanted Files and Images

WordPress Image cleanup, You can easily free up space in your library by deleting all the unused and unnecessary files and images from our media library. This will help to optimize your website and also helps in increasing the loading speed of your website.

You can delete the unwanted files and media by following the guidelines given below:

  • Open your WordPress dashboard and go to media>>library. If you want to delete a single image then all you have to do is to press the delete button.
  • A popup window will appear on the screen. To remove the file from your media library just click the ‘OK’ option.
  • You can also delete multiple files and images at the same time. All you just have to do is to click on “Bulk Select at the top” from the media library page.
  • Click on all the files that you would like to delete, then choose the delete selected option.
  • Again a pop-up menu will appear on the screen and then press “OK” option to delete the images.

It is not always necessary to delete the images and files regularly from your media library. You can delete it according to your preference.

Now bending toward the point, we will explain to you how to cleanup the WordPress media library with and without plugins. Firstly, let’s see’

How to clean up WordPress media library manually

Some people often choose to clean the media library files manually, rather trusting in any Media cleaner pro plugin. Meanwhile, it’s your decision to clean the media library manually and automatically.

You can manually clean the WordPress media library by following the given steps:

First of all, switch all your Media Library to the ListView>>go to the uploaded to column option.

Uploaded to column option enables you to determine which page or post are being uploaded to the media library. But it will not help you to determine the pages and posts that are not being used.

In the list view open the “File column” it will help you to see all the files and images used in your website.

Whenever you upload an image to WordPress, it automatically creates several copies of different sizes. This will use more space in your Media Library.

Now, click on each and every section of your site (includes Posts, Pages, products, etc.). Now it’s time for using the search box in the top right.

Search all the posts, pages, products, etc in the search box. This will help to give you an idea about which product is being used or not in your media library.

If you cannot find the specific result after searching in the search box, it means that the particular object is not in use in our media library.

Meanwhile, now you can easily delete the given object if it is not in use.

If you have any doubt related to any of the articles then you can leave the file in the media library or you can also take technical help.

How To Make An Efficient Media Library?

Well, this is the most concern thing that to better use your WordPress media library first you should make it more efficient and well optimized. Because this is the best option for keeping your media library clean and nice. However, if you want to do so then here we are giving you some good tips, to begin with.

Well, all of these tips and tricks are very helpful and yet important for your website’s load time and also for Search Engin Optimization of your website. However, this is not just a matter of free disk space. unnecessary images can slow down your website. Although it means Google is liable to downgrade your potential search rankings and penalize your website.

Image Optimization Is Better With Plugins

Although It is very helpful to use a plugin that will help you to automatically optimize some of the images for you. However, there are a number of plugins available for you to do so. All such useful tools will optimize the images for you at the same time as you upload them to your website.

Although they do a great job even if you have uploaded the proper format and maintained a reasonable image size. They will still go in and optimize that image to make it as efficient as possible. Also, they can shrink the image files without making them look any different.

Use The Correct Image Formats

Well, using a PNG file is one of the most common mistakes. However, you have many types of image files, like GIF, PNG, JPEG, etc. But a PNG file sizes are bigger because it uses less compression. Although PNG files are best used if you need a transparent background. Therefore if the uploading image does not have a transparent background. Then upload it as a PNG is will be going to make it large unnecessarily.

However, JPEG is always the preferred image format. Because it has higher compression, that means a lower file size. But JPEG does not support transparent backgrounds. Therefore when you need a transparent background then only you should use a PNG. In addition, GIF image used to be quite common earlier time. But today you should only use it if you want an animated GIF image.

Do Not Upload Multimedia In Media Library

Well, if you want to upload images then It is fine. But uploading a few PDF or multimedia files in Media Library is not a good idea. We don’t suggest to upload any video or audio files to it, but the video is most problematic. Because videos are not only very large. But also these are likely to much in demand on some web host to serve them.

However, your web host may not optimized for that. Hence if they catch you doing it, then they are likely to complain. Therefore never host any videos from your WordPress media library. Also, it is good to upload them to some suitable video streaming services such as YouTube. Then you can embed them into your posts from those places.

Similarly for audio files, it is not ideal to host them from the media library, either. However, they are not in demand the same as a video. Therefore if you are talking about a public audio feed such as a podcast. Then you should use the remote podcast hosting such as Libsyn. Also, you should avoid uploading episodes to your WordPress media library.

Reduce Image Dimensions Before Upload

Another thing is that people took a photo with their camera and simply upload that image to their website with full-size. Although you should not do that. Because most cameras including phones can take big size photos, that can be 3,000 to 5,000 pixels wide. These photos look nice but you can also make them appear on your website any size you want.

But, In WordPress Image cleanupthe large dimensions are far bigger than you will ever need on your website. Therefore it is a massive amount of bloat to upload it that way. In most cases, you are probably never going to need to display a photo on your blog bigger than the full-width of your blog post. So, you should reduce the image size to something reasonable before you upload it. It is an extra step, but worth it.

Use File Names That Make Sense

A lot of people just upload images to WordPress and insert it into their post and that’s it. No thought whatsoever to actually making that Media Library useful. Problem is that you can not find anything later. Not only that, but you’re also sacrificing the SEO benefit of those images.

That is because when you can search your media library for images you want. But it will use the file name, description, and title to search. It obviously can not search the contents of the file. Only what you put into your database. When you insert an image, the filename and title go into the HTML code of the post.

Therefore Google spiders that and you can actually help your rankings and get more traffic just through proper image SEO. So, to make your Media Library useful. Give your images a meaningful file name before you upload it.

Best WordPress Image Cleanup Plugins – 2021

Now, see how to cleanup the WordPress media library with plugins;

The WordPress media library is a very unique and beneficial approach where you can save all your media files and images relevant for your website. It allows you to edit, view, and delete media which you had uploaded to your website previously. The media library also provides you the facility to select multimedia objects for deletion. It also offered search and filtering ability to find the desired media.

As we have seen the media library is very useful for all whether a person is a professional or a newcomer. But it is also very necessary to provide sufficient help and support to our media library management as it helps in optimizing our website.

Here in this article, we will learn about some of the best WordPress plugins for WordPress image cleanup. Let’s discuss them thoroughly.

1. Automatic Image Compression

Automatic image compressor theme for WordPress image cleanup
WordPress Image cleanup

Automatic Image Compression is a responsive and multipurpose WordPress theme that can be used to compress all the large images, files that occupy very much space on your website. It is one of the most trusted themes by the customers.

It helps in managing space in your WordPress site and help you to conserve space so that you can add more crunch to your website. The theme fits perfectly for all the photography WordPress sites where a user has to uploads tons of photos regularly. It helps them in managing space in their elegant WordPress site without affecting the image quality of your WordPress site.  

The theme helps in the better optimization of your webpage and helps to increase the page loading speed of your website. So, if you really want your WordPress site to be more precise and attractive then you should the Automatic Image Compression theme.


  • Automatically compress JPEG/PNG/GIF images on upload
  • Bulk Image Compression
  • Improve website performance
  • Boost SEO rankings
  • 24*7 customer support is available

Pricing: The regular pricing of this theme is $29 only.

2. Smart Image Compressor

smart image compressor plugin
WordPress Image cleanup

Smart Image Compressor is another versatile WordPress theme that can be very helpful in managing space for your beautiful WordPress website. You can easily compress all your images and enhance the speed of your website. 

You can optimize all your images by choosing the image quality. It supports the Website speed test tool through which you can easily get a list of all the images that need to be compressed.  

You can easily reduce the size of the image by a single click. 

It fits perfectly for all photography and Portfolio WordPress themes. This responsive plugin will help you to increase the page loading speed of your website. You can save a lot of space on your WordPress site and give your WordPress website an elegant look. 


  • Very user-friendly theme.
  • Check your Current Size of Large Media Pictures or Images.
  • Gives the Option to compress a single image quickly by choosing image quality.
  • Compress bulk Images in single clicks
  • Very helpful in speeding up your WordPress website.
  • Compress PNG images without losing transparency.
  • 24*7 customer support is available.

Pricing: The regular license price of this theme is $25 only.

3. Media Cleaner

media cleaner plugin
WordPress Image cleanup

Media cleaner is a smart media library management tool for In WordPress Image cleanup that helps to remove all the unused files and images from your media library. It helps to clean all your media entries as well as your broken entries.

This multipurpose plugin is very easy to install. After the installation, it will add all the unnecessary files which are not being used on your website to a temporary trash bin. You can also retrieve all your files from trash bins or you have the authority to delete them permanently.

Any kind of media entries are compatible with this plugin. This media library plugin is retina ready. It is integrated with Gutenberg as well as WooCommerce Support. It is also available in the pro version which helps to deal with complex plugins.


  • Clean every type of media entries as well as broken entries.
  • Uses the smart analysis for specific WordPress themes and plugins.
  • All the unused files are being saved in the trash area.
  • Compatible with Gutenberg and WooCommerce support.
  • Also comes in the pro version.
  • Helps to handle the complex plugins.

Pricing: The theme is available for free on

4. Image Cleanup

image cleanup theme
WordPress Image cleanup

Image Cleanup is a responsive library management plugin for In WordPress Image cleanup. It also stores all the unused files and images in the trash bin of this plugin. Image Cleanup helps to index all the unused and unreferenced images. It also helps to determine the images without those with the incorrect metadata.

You can remove all the unwanted and unnecessary data from your website. This will help to increase the storage space in your media library. It also helps to increase the page loading speed of your website.


  • Indexed any unused images and move them to the temporary trash folder.
  • Determine images without metadata or with incorrect metadata.
  • Helps in fixing incorrect metadata (sizes).
  • Backup facilities for images are available.
  • Easy installation is available.
  • 24/7 customer support is available.

Pricing: You can easily download this theme form the WordPress.


DNUI plugin
WordPress Image cleanup

DNUI stands for ‘Delete Not Used Image’, is WordPress Image cleanup as the name suggests, it does exactly the same work. It will help you to determine which image is being used in either any post or page.  The new version of this plugin is also released which supported the AngularJS framework.

It also uses Angular UI and Bootstrap framework. It usually comes in two versions: Basic and Pro.

The Pro version provides more support and help to the users. In Fact, it is also compatible with WooCommerce support. It automatically backup all your deleted so you can easily retrieve them when needed and is one of the WordPress Image cleanup. But it is also very necessary to create your own backup of files and media.


  • Translation ready theme.
  • Easy to download and install.
  • Automatically backup your files and images.
  • Supports AngularJS, Angular UI and Bootstrap framework.
  • Provides WooCommerce Support in Pro version.
  • Search for all types of file and folder on your website.

Pricing: Available free on WordPress.

6. Media Deduper Plugin

media deduper plugin
WordPress Image cleanup

Media Deduper is highly advanced and responsive WordPress plugin used for cleaning up your media library for In WordPress Image cleanup. It will help you to eliminate all the duplicate files and images in your media library. It helps to delete all the duplicate files and media and also prevents future duplicates.

This WordPress media cleaner plugin is very easy to set up and install. After the installation basically performs two major tasks i.e.

Manages the duplication of all your media files. It helps to delete all the duplicate files and objects in your WordPress media library. The list saved in the media library is sorted in ascending order of the file size so that you can easily delete the unnecessary file according to your choice.

Prevent new duplication of files and media. It will perform a regular scan of media files uploaded by the admin. This will help to prevent the duplication of media files in your media library and also helps to guard against new duplicates.

Media deduper plugin offered many different options for making your media library compact and easy to use. It really offered you to improve the performance and page loading speed of your website.

You can keep all your media files clean and tidy. Due to its high efficiency, it is also considered as one of the smartest tools for cleaning the WordPress media library.

Pricing: Easily download it from WordPress.

7. WP Cleaner Plugin

Although WP Cleaner is also one of the best In WordPress Image cleanup. However, this plugin is multi-function and it does have some specific media-related features. Such as you will be able to review the total weight of your all stored media files. In addition, this plugin can help you to identify the unused media files.

Also, with the help of the user-friendly dashboard you are ble to delete them in bulk or individually. However, this WP Cleaner plugin can also identify such media files. Which include or added through any major page builder plugin.

8. WP-Optimize Plugin

WordPress Image cleanup

Basically the WP-Optimize plugin is used for automatic cleaning of the media library. Therefore this plugin provides you many useful features. These features are related to optimizing and cleaning files on your website.

In addition, you are able to set this plugin for an automatic cleanup process in In WordPress Image cleanup. Thus you can clean out ‘orphaned’ images or some images sets of certain sizes. Besides that, you are allowed to configure an optimization schedule that best fits your website.

WP-Optimize plugin is all in one plugin. Because it compresses all the images on your website, It cleans up your database and caches pages on your website for fast loading performance.

Because this plugins cache feature is built around the world’s fastest caching engine. WP-Optimize is a popular, simple, and highly effective image optimizing tool. This plugin has everything you need to keep your website fast and thoroughly optimized.


  • Optimize database tables.
  • Check your database size.
  • Delete post revisions.
  • Clean spam comments.
  • Remove all auto-saved draft posts.
  • Clean unapproved comments.
  • Clean and optimize your database.
  • Cache pages for super-fast load times.
  • Option to compress your images.

Pricing: Available free on WordPress.

Some different ways to download & backup your media library

Media library offers you the facility to download and backup all your website’s content. This is very important to In WordPress Image cleanup

.as if somehow in the future if you need to clean up your media library then all your data and credentials will be closed and cannot be retrieved back. Hence, it is really necessary to create a backup for all of your files and media.

In former days we use to back up the data manually but nowadays different plugins are available to do this job. You can use the BackUpWordPress plugin to backup all your data and files.

This can also be done via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or you can simply download the WP-content folder from the server. You can save this data to a safe location like cloud storage.


I hope the information provided in this article is relevant to you. As there are many WordPress Image cleanup plugins are available in the market, so it is very difficult to explain each of them.

If you have any queries and suggestions related to WordPress Image Cleanup plugins then you can mention it in the comment box or you can contact us by dialing our toll-free number +1-855-945-3219.

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