Function and usage of remove_image_size() in wordpress


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    The remove_image_size() function in WordPress is used to remove previously defined image sizes. This function is particularly useful when you want to stop WordPress from generating thumbnails of a specific size. Here's a detailed explanation and an example of its usage:

    Function Definition:

    remove_image_size( string $name ): bool


    • $name (string, required): The identifier of the image size you want to remove. This is the same name you would have used in add_image_size() or one of WordPress's default image sizes (like 'thumbnail', 'medium', 'large').


    • bool: Returns True if the image size was successfully removed, False on failure.


    When you add a new image size in WordPress using add_image_size(), WordPress creates images of that size whenever a new image is uploaded. If at any point you decide that you no longer need this image size, you can use remove_image_size() to stop WordPress from creating images of that size for new uploads.


    Suppose you previously added a custom image size called 'custom-size' using add_image_size(). To remove this size, you would use:

    if ( function_exists( 'remove_image_size' ) ) {
        remove_image_size( 'custom-size' );

    This code checks if remove_image_size() function exists (to ensure compatibility with all versions of WordPress) and then removes the 'custom-size' image size.

    Important Notes:

    1. Does Not Affect Existing Images: Removing an image size does not delete existing images of that size that have already been uploaded. It only prevents WordPress from generating new images of that size in the future.
    2. Regenerating Thumbnails: If you want to remove the files for the removed image size from your server, you'll need to use a plugin to regenerate thumbnails. This will delete all existing thumbnails and recreate them, excluding the sizes that have been removed.
    3. Use in Theme or Plugin: This function is typically used in the functions.php file of your theme or in a custom plugin.


    The remove_image_size() function is a powerful tool for managing image sizes in WordPress, especially useful for optimizing performance by reducing the number of image sizes WordPress generates.

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