How to Regenerate Thumbnails in WordPress in 2017

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How to Regenerate Thumbnail Images in WordPress

There are some tutorials that we make simply because we have had our readers ask us about it, and then there are other tutorials like this one that we make because it’s a problem that we just encountered ourselves and we thought others might find a step by step guide helpful.

Which brings us to this tutorial of how to regenerate thumbnails in WordPress. In our situation, we had to do this after recently changing themes on our blog and realizing that the thumbnail image size settings for the new theme was a tad different from the previous settings. Another reason you need to do this function is if you recently changed your media settings for your thumbnail sizes. While changing your thumbnail size settings fixes the issue for all new uploads after this change, what about your older images that are still in the old sizes of your previous settings? This is where things can get a bit complicated as you might need to regenerate different thumbnail sizes for hundreds or even thousands of images on your WordPress site.

And no, we don’t expect you do go in and change each image one by one hence the reason we highly recommend using the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin. Below is a beginner’s guide for this very easy task.

How to Regenerate Thumbnails in WordPress with Plugin

  1. First you need to download the ‘Regenerate Thumbnails‘ plugin from WordPress. Once the download is complete you need to activate this plugin. If you need a refresher on how plugins work, you can check out our earlier tutorial on how to add plugins in WordPress.
  2. You should navigate to the ‘Tools‘ section in your WordPress admin dashboard, and then click on ‘Regen. Thumbnails‘.
  3. Now you click on the ‘Regenerate All Thumbnails‘ button similar to the screenshot below.
  4. That’s it! Yes it’s truly that simple. Upon completion, you should see a message telling you the thumbnails regeneration has been successful. The amount of time it takes depends on how many images you have on your site. In our example, we had less than 200 images and the process took about five minutes or so.

How to Regenerate Thumbnails With Select Images

So what if you only need to regenerate thumbnails for just a few images on your site rather than your entire image library? Well fret not as there’s a simple way to do just that as well.

  1. The first step is to click on ‘Media‘ from your WordPress admin dashboard, and then click on ‘Library
  2. Once here, you want to make sure you are viewing your media library in the list format, and not grid. The grid format doesn’t show you the option to regenerate thumbnails.
  3. Now find or select the image(s) you wish to get new thumbnails for and click on the ‘Regenerate Thumbnails‘ link similar to the screenshot below.

We do hope this tutorial has been helpful for you. The decision to regenerate thumbnails for your WordPress blog typically depends on the type of theme you are using. Some themes don’t require it while others do. It’s recommended you read your new theme documentation to see if this is necessary.

Additionally, while this process is not reversible, you are able to go back and change your thumbnail images to the previous sizes, and then redo the ‘Regenerate Thumbnails’ function which will then give you back your previous thumbnail sizes.

Finally, using the regenerate thumbnails plugin does not delete your previous image uploads nor does it delete the previous thumbnails already created. It simply creates new images based on the new thumbnail sizes.

If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to leave a comment below as we do check it regularly.

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