If you go into your uploads folder which is inside your wp-content folder, you might be shocked to see so many different sizes of every image you have uploaded in WordPress.
If you only want WordPress to store 1 original copy of each image you upload, you can.
Simply follow these simple instructions:
Go to Settings > Media and change all sizes to 0 like you see in the following screenshot:
Now that you have set your thumbnail, medium and large image sizes to 0, WordPress won’t create a copy for each size however there’s more you need to do.
Depending on your theme, you may find PHP code has been added in your functions file which generates more sizes.
Here’s a typical example found in a child themes functions file:
add_image_size( 'properties', 500, 300, TRUE );
If you don’t remove this custom code which adds a custom image size, WordPress will store both your original image size and make another copy based on the width and height values in the above code.
Once you remove all PHP code which uses the
add_image_size function as well as configure your Media Settings sizes to 0, WordPress will only store one copy of each image you upload at the original size you add it.
Make sure you don’t need the custom sizes first before you remove the code which generates that specific size.
Archive Thumbnails – Genesis
If you’re using a theme like Genesis, you might be using the Genesis > Theme Settings > Content Archives like this:
In this case, you might want to keep one custom image size for archive images using the
add_image_size function or the native WordPress Media Settings like this:
WordPress will only store the original image and one copy for your content archives.
Set Post Thumbnail Size – Parent Themes
In themes like Twenty Fifteen and other default themes, you’ll find PHP code like this in the functions file which generates a post thumbnail size:
set_post_thumbnail_size( 825, 510, true );
You’d probably want to leave that code as is otherwise your post thumbnail image sizes might be not to your liking.
These tips will help reduce the size of your uploads folder, make it easier to find images and reduce the size of your backups.