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How to Bulk Edit Featured Images in WordPress

Recently, one of our users asked us for a better way to bulk edit hundreds of featured images on their site. Featured images, commonly known as post thumbnails, are an essential part of many WordPress themes. Adding or removing featured images for a single post can be easily done by editing a post however changing or editing them for multiple posts can be a bit cumbersome. In this article, we will show you how to easily bulk edit featured images in WordPress.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Quick Featured Images plugin. Upon activation, the plugin adds a new menu item labeled ‘Featured Images’ in your WordPress admin bar. Clicking on it will take you to plugin’s configuration screen.


Quick Featured Images allow you to quickly set, remove, or replace featured images. You can also set default featured images and display featured image column on the posts screen. We will walk you through each of these functions.

Bulk Set, Replace, Remove Featured Images

If you want to quickly set, replace, or remove featured images, then you need to visit Featured Images » Set, replace, remove.

Bulk Replace Featured Image

The first option on the page allows you to perform certain actions using a single image. You can set a single image as featured image for all published posts which will also replace existing featured images. The second setting allows you to replace existing featured images with the selected image. The third setting looks for the image on your website and removes it as featured image.

You can also use multiple images and set them randomly as featured images on all your existing posts. Simply upload the images you want to use under ‘Actions with multiple images’.

Use random images as featured image on your posts

The last section on the page is labeled ‘Action with no images’. Under this section, you can use the first image in a post as featured image or remove featured images from all posts on your website.

Preset Featured Images Based on Taxonomy

You can easily set a default featured image for each post, or a default featured image based on category. Quick Featured Images provides you a graphical interface to set a default featured image. You can also choose preset featured images for each taxonomy term on your site.

Featured image presets

Start by going to Featured Images » Preset Featured Images to set the rules for default featured images.

The first rule on the page will override any featured image set on a post when the post is saved or published. If you want to set the featured image, then the plugin will use the rules you describe on this page.

You can activate this setting if you run a multi-author WordPress blog and don’t want your authors to set featured images. You can also use this rule if you want to use featured images based on the post’s taxonomy.

The second rule on the page allows the plugin to use the first image inside a post to be used as a featured image. If no image is found, then the plugin will use the rules you describe on this page.

The last option allows you to set your own custom rules. You can add multiple rules by clicking on the Add Rule button. This allows you to set featured images based on categories, tags, or any custom taxonomy you may be using on your site. Simply choose an image, and then choose a taxonomy term.

Don’t forget to save your changes once you are finished setting up featured images.

Adding a Featured Image Column on Posts Screen

When you see the list of posts on your WordPress admin area, you wouldn’t see a featured image next to post titles. If you want to see whether a post has featured image or not, then you will have to edit the post. Quick Featured Images allows you to add a featured image column on the posts, pages, or any custom post types screen.

Displaying a featured image column on posts screen

Simply click on Featured Images » Image Columns and choose the post type where you want to enable this feature. This is how featured image column will appear on your posts screen:

Featured image column on posts screen

That’s all for now. We hope this article helped you learn how to bulk edit featured images in WordPress. You may also want to check out our guide on how to fix common image issues in WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

10 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Great article,

    Saved me lots of time!!!

    Really appreciate it.

    Thank you very much & Stay safe :-)

  2. i imported my post from blogspot, about 600 posts and the posts don”t show featured image on home, category and archive pages, please how can i make the first image on the posts featured image without editing the hole post

  3. Is it possible to have a rule that pulls the featured image from the featured image of another page that is linked to in the post? I’m trying to generate a blog archive based on pages on another of my sites. If I can do it in bulk it would save me a fortune in time.

  4. I was using a theme in which it was necessary to set featured image separately. Now i changed the theme and there are two same images on the top of every post. one is featured image second is first image of the post. Is there any way to remove these featured images from the posts? An early reply will be highly appreciated. Thanks

    • You need to install a plugin called Remove Featured Image….
      It sounds like you would not want to remove featured image but this plugin removes just that extra image….the one you don’t want. I use it and it works great.

  5. Is there a way to remove featured image from my product page. I want to set a custom image inplace of featured one. Even if i remove it shows standard icon as a place holder along with the image i want.

  6. I’ve been researching this topic for months now because I really want to know the real essence of the featured image. Specially how to bulk edit, now I know. Tons of thanks!

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