Media Library

These instructions are referring to the WP Admin interface. To view this interface, click the View tab in the upper right corner and select Classic view.

Table of Contents

WP Admin Media Library
Upload Space
Edit an Image
Unattached Files
Reattach Files

WP Admin Media Library

The Media menu can be used to manage your existing media files, such as images, audio, videos, and documents. You can also upload new files to your Media Library using Media  Add New.

WP Admin - Media Add New

The default screen for the Media menu is the Media Library. By default, the Media Library will display images in a Grid View.

Media Library - WP Admin
The WP Admin Media Library

In Grid View you can sort your media types by Images, Audio, and Video files by selecting the drop down menu at the top that says All Media Types. You can also filter by dates through the All Dates drop down.

Media Library - WP Admin - Filter
Filter in the WP Admin Media Library

You may also see two additional categories.

Unattached – Unattached files mean that the media file was uploaded directly to the media library, and not from within a post or page. If a media file was then added to a post or page after uploading to the media library, it is still considered Unattached. Even if a file is Unattached, it doesn’t mean that the file isn’t being used somewhere on your site. More details on Unattached media.

Mine – if your site has multiple admins, you can filter to the media files only you have uploaded.

If you wish to Delete multiple media files, click Bulk Select and click the files you want to delete. Then, click Delete Selected. This will permanently delete the files from your account and site.

Media Gallery - WP Admin - Delete Multiple Files
Deleting multiple files. Files that are deleted cannot be recovered.

If you wish to switch the images to display in a List View, select the List view icon on the top left menu bar to change the display mode.

List View

The List View mode will display your files in a list, where you can see when the file was uploaded, what page or post the file is attached to and who uploaded the file.

Media Library - WP Admin - List View
WP Admin Media Library List View

If you wish to bulk delete your images, check the box next to each image you wish to delete, and then select the bulk actions drop-down menu. Then select delete permanently, and select apply.

As with other dashboard pages, you can use the Screen Options in the upper right to configure which columns are shown in the table.

WP Admin - Screen Options
WP Admin Screen Options

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Upload Space

Under the title Media Library, you can see how much upload space you have used and how much is remaining. If you find that you need additional space, you can upgrade your plan to add more storage.

Media Library - WP Admin - Upload Limit
Your Upload Limit

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Edit an Image

In the Grid View, you can edit an image by moving above an image with your cursor and selecting the image.

In the List View, place the cursor over a file name to see the Edit, Delete Permanently, and View action links appear. Then select the Edit link.

Media Library - WP Admin - Edit File

After you select Edit in List View (or select the image in Grid View) the Edit Media page will load, allowing you to change the default Title, Alternate Text, Caption, and Attachment Page Content.

You can enable or disable comments for an individual image lower on the page in the Discussion section. If you don’t see this section, click on Screen Options in the top right to enable it.

Remember to click the Update button after making any changes.

Media Library - WP Admin - Edit File
Different file types will have specific editing options. Image sizes can be changed, while audio files allow you to add metadata like Artist and Album.

If you click on the Edit Image button on this page, you will be able to perform some basic image editing functions on the image.

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Unattached Files

When viewing your site’s Media Library in Classic View, there is a filter that shows your Unattached files.

Media Library - WP Admin - Unattached Files
Filter to Unattached Files

Unattached mean that the media file was uploaded directly to the media library, and not from within a post or page editor.

Note that there are cases where files may be Unattached but used on the site, when:

  • Files are referenced in a widget or sidebar.
  • Files are uploaded to post A, then reused in post B, and then deleted in post A.
  • Files are uploaded directly to the media library, then later added in a post, they will still be considered as Unattached.

Using the Unattached filter can help narrow down which files to delete to clear out some storage space, but be careful to only delete Unattached media files that you are certain are not in use somewhere on your site.


Deleted media files cannot be recovered, so it is recommended to download a backup of the media library before doing some spring cleaning.

Attaching files (images, specifically) to a post is not always necessary, although some themes use attached images for slideshows or other theme-specific features.

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Reattach Files

Switch to the List View and filter to the Unattached files. Hover over the file you want to attach and click the Attach link.

Media Library - WP Admin - Attach
List View → Unattached Files → Attach

You can also attach multiple files at once: check the box next to each file name that you would like to attach, then select the Attach to a post option in the Bulk Actions drop-down menu, and finally click the Apply button. This will only work if all the files selected are unattached.

Media Library - WP Admin - Attach Multiple
Attaching multiple files to a page or post

When attaching items, this screen will pop up:

Media Library - WP Admin - Attach to Post
Select which page or post to attach the file to and click Select

You can type some text into the search box to narrow down the list of pages and posts. Click Search to filter the list.

Media Library - WP Admin - Search for Attach
Or, search for a specific page or post.

Then, click the radio button next to the post or page you would like to attach the files to, and then click the Select button.

You will then be returned to your Unattached file listing and receive the following message, letting you know that the reattachment was successful.

Media Library - WP Admin - Successfully attached
Media Files Attached Success Message

↑ Table of Contents ↑


  • It’s not possible to un-attach an image from a post or a page. If you’d like to use the attached image with another post, please try uploading it again directly from the Media Library. Please note that the newly uploaded image’s URL will be different.
  • It’s only possible to attach items that are unattached. It’s not possible to attach one image to multiple posts or pages.

Pages: 1 2 View All

Still confused?

Contact support.

Not quite what you're looking for?

Get Help