How to Unattach Images (and Media) in WordPress

This tutorial describes how to quickly and easily unattach media from a WordPress post or page.

Some WordPress themes use a post or page’s attached images (or other media) to trigger certain actions, like, for example, a rotating header image gallery or similar.

This is a great way to quickly and easily add images to a post.

But what happens when, away down the track, you want to remove one (or more) of those media items from that post, but, because you know you’ve used the image elsewhere, you don’t necessarily want to delete the file in question from your WordPress media gallery.

You might be thinking: isn’t there some way to un-attach this picture?!?!?

The answer, since WordPress version 4.2, is yes.

The tutorial below will get you there. Remember, you need WordPress version 4.2 or higher to use this. If you are not at WordPress 4.2, upgrade WordPress, seriously. That’s quite old now. I don’t recommend carrying old and potentially insecure software. Remember the Panama Papers? Old software. Bad idea.

How to Unattach Images (and other media) in WordPress

  1. Login to your WordPress Admin (yoursite/wp-admin)
  2. Visit the Media Library (Admin > Media – at /wp-admin/upload.php)
  3. IMPORTANT make sure you are viewing in List View (click the list icon top left – picture below)
  4. Navigate (or search) to the image in question, and under “Uploaded To” click “Detach” (picture below)
  5. That’s it!

Too easy!

Finding the List View Icon

The list view icon looks like this, in your WP Media Library:

Finding the “Detach” Button

Got questions? Did this help you out of a fix? Leave a comment below.



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