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Bulk update featured image > NONE

There’s a few topics on bulk updating the featured image, but my need is slightly different. We have several hundred posts that have garbage thumbnails, and need they to be deleted (not replaced).

I can automatically set new Featured Images with a different plugin, if there isn’t one set. But, I have to first remove them (bulk update with no new value / no image).

Is there a way to do this? My only work around would be to bulk replace the featured image and select a dummy image, and then delete that image… but, that’s definitely not the preferred/ideal method.


And on that note, and as our media library is nearly 6gb in size… we’re also trying to bulk delete images that are less than 10k. I can generate the list of those media files w/ ACP, but am only able to delete them page by page. Any chance you folks could incorporate Select All > Bulk Delete into ACP?

Loving ACP so much… I naturally want to check the ‘select all’ box (selecting all of the items on the page), click ‘bulk select all’ (to select everything) and ‘quick edit/delete’… but, that only deletes the items listed on the page (using WP’s native bulk delete feature).

Any suggestions there?

2 years, 7 months ago
Stefan van den Dungen Gronovius

Thanks for your input.

1) We don’t have a way to unset a value with Bulk Edit at this moment. But I totally agree that this is a useful feature and in fact, this is already on our backlog (not on the roadmap yet though). You workaround works but as you say it is a bit of an unnecessary workaround. You could extend your workaround by adding one placeholder/dummy image and use the following hook to check for that specific image and then unset the featured image programmatically. (before save)
You can use this hook to set the value to null or false (not sure what to use without testing) to store no image at all.

Or you use this hook to unset the feature image after it is saved.

2) Yes, also this feature is on our backlog. We need to find a place to put the bulk delete option though instead of overwriting the default behavior in the bulk action dropdown. I think it would be counterintuitive to change that behavior since it would only change that option in the list. Better in my option would be to add useful actions in the bulk edit row where all other ACP logic for Bulk Edit is done.

2 years, 7 months ago

@stefen Any update here? 🤞🏻

1 year, 9 months ago
Stefan van den Dungen Gronovius

Hi Zack,

Not a solution in the (Feature) Image editing modal itself, but there is a workaround.
It is possible to ‘unset’ values for columns now.
You can add the custom field column and set the key to ‘_thumbnail_id’ which is the key used for the custom field.
When using this with bulk edit, you can enter an empty value for multiple items, thus unsetting the featured images.

1 year, 9 months ago

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