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How to Automatically Remove Default Image Links in WordPress

WordPress makes it super easy for you to upload images and create image galleries.

However, older versions of WordPress automatically linked the image to the media file.

In this article, we will show you how to automatically remove default image links in WordPress.

Removing default image links in WordPress

Note: WordPress no longer adds default image links when you upload images to your posts or pages. However, if you are still using an older version or see this behavior on your website, then you can try the following steps.

Why You Should Disable Default Image Links in WordPress

By default, WordPress links images to themselves. A user sees that the image is a link, clicks it and they are then taken to the image file.

From this page the user has two options: click the ‘back’ button in their browser or move on to another site.

Usually, it is the latter. It also affects your image SEO traffic because search engines could redirect users to the link used for the image instead of your post.

Overall, it creates a bad user experience and affects your site’s bounce rate.

One solution is that you simply select the option to disable the link each time, but it is not feasible because sometimes you simply forget.

Removing image link

Removing Default Image Link in WordPress

It is very simple to disable the default image linking behavior in WordPress. However, you’ll need to add some code to your WordPress website. If you have not done this before, then take a look at our guide on how to copy and paste code snippets in WordPress.

All you have to do is add this code snippet in your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function wpb_imagelink_setup() {
	$image_set = get_option( 'image_default_link_type' );
	
	if ($image_set !== 'none') {
		update_option('image_default_link_type', 'none');
	}
}
add_action('admin_init', 'wpb_imagelink_setup', 10);

This code basically tells WordPress to update the image_default_link_type option and set it to ‘none’. This option is then stored in your WordPress database.

After adding this code, go ahead and add a new image in WordPress. You’ll notice that it no longer links to the image file or the attachment page.

Hopefully, this will make adding images in WordPress a little less annoying specially if you never link to images.

If you want to learn how to add links to an image or gallery images, then follow our guide on how to add custom links to gallery images in WordPress.

New WordPress users may also want to see our tutorial on how to add and align images in WordPress posts and pages.

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Reader Interactions

68 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I am looking for this kind of tip for my IMAGE SEO. The default image links create web image search results which have very low CTR. I used a plugin option, but still my web image search results impressions are very high.

    • If you mean you used a plugin to try to update the old links and they are still on search engines then that would be because search engines need to clear their cache which takes some time before the links are crawled again to remove them from search results.

      Admin

  2. Hello, I’m a novice WP user, and I took over an established WP Pratt theme webpage. On the bottom of the page, there is a “call to action” button and this text: “This is just an example text widget. You can add text widgets here to put whatever you’d like.” I’ve searched all widget and theme info and cannot find where this came from. How do I remove it permanently? Thank you.

    • It would depend on the specific theme. If you know the theme’s name and reach out to the support for the theme they should be able to let you know where to modify that. Two possible locations it could be under are Appearance>Widgets and Appearance>Customize

      Admin

      • The WP theme is Pratt, as I mentioned. I scoured the Pratt support and could find no info. I can’t find anything that appears to show why this call to action button showed up uninvited, including in the sections you mentioned. I’ll await an answer from the Pratt support. Thanks.

    • The closing bracket on line 7 contained the code within the function. Unless you added another closing bracket that may cause issues later on.

      Admin

  3. I Have Updated Yoast on one of my website from an early version of yost to the last version i did not see fro the begining that has change my image link from postes from none to attachment page and it`s showing example.com/post-title/post-title/. This is a big problem how can i change all attachment page img link to none ?

    Thank You

    • Hi Cezar,

      We are not quite sure that got your question right. If you want to remove the attachment links and point them to the image file itself, then you can try this.

      In Yoast SEO settings go to SEO > Search Appearance and click on the Media tab. Make sure that “Redirect attachment URLs to the attachment itself?” option is checked to Yes. Click on save changes button and then check your posts with attachments.

      Admin

      • Thank you for your answer, i already did this (the dev from yoast have made a topic were appologies for the problem created also made a plugin…) but the problem remain even with that option set on yes images have that problem example.com/topic-name/topic-name/ (i can`t change manually on all topics since i have 16.000+ posts) i look for sometfing to change all image link at once from attachment/media/custom to none

        Thank you again

      • This code can help remove all curent links from post images ??? cause after that update most of my images gone crazy and i have 12k 404 pages on ga after a few days i updated that yoast…..

        Many thanks

  4. I have Created the website, and I have created page and named it Home. But there is one more page namely home that appears in website, which is not seen in the page column in dashboard. how to remove this extra home page

    • Hi Benjamin,

      Most likely your theme has a built-in homepage template. Please review your theme settings or contact theme author for support they be able to help you set it up.

      Admin

  5. Read in one blog that writing description about image and linking to attachment page is good for seo. Is it correct?

  6. Hey there,

    Just want to mention the following. I wanted to try this to disable linking for the pages’ featured image, and so I copy/pasted the code snippet on my websites functions php page (appearance -> editor), clicked update and received this exact message “Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘$image_set’ (T_VARIABLE) in /home/reikibok/public_html/wp-content/themes/Avada-Child-Theme/functions.php on line 16”

    I removed the code snippet to bring it back to default settings, and the same message pops up. Any other link I click on the dashboard now leads to a blank page with this error message :-D. Thought it would be helpful to mention (would also appreciate advise on how to fix this). Thanks!

  7. Hi
    Does the php code snippet only apply to images uploaded to wordpress gallery itself or to all images?

    i use some images hosted in flickr and pinterest and add the link to my post so clicking the image takes someone to the flickr/pinterest account – which i’m quite happy to happen.

    What about jetpack’s cdn?

    Thank you for your time

  8. Is there any way to change the image link to none in uploaded images. My site has over 1000 posts and I do not want to do it manually.

    Thanks

  9. Hi,

    I have added this code into functions.php as per your instructions but images link URL is still running.

    Thanks
    Swadesh

  10. Heya, I just tried doing this and my website totally crashed. It took me forever to figure out how to adjust the functions.php file back to normal using cPanel, and then I had to recreate my child theme. Any suggestions as to how I could unlink all my images at once without using php? The No Image Link Plugin seems to be fairly old now (last updated 1 year ago).. Cheers!

  11. Thank you thank you thank you! I saw this post ages ago and have always been terrified to attempt any coding. Finally took the plunge and it worked like a charm! Such an amazing time saver!

  12. I can’t even find a “Link To” option for individual images in WordPress 4.3.1. Why does WordPress insist on making the image link a default in the first place?

  13. i very really need this tutorials to remove all link that’s in images post in wordpress.
    But, i have one question, is it work for the snippet of excerpt image ? eg. in homepage / archive, thanks. i need it to my blog

  14. Is there anyway to remove image links, those are already done? Actually, I have around 500 pages in which I have image links. So, doing manually it’ll take time. So, please tell me is there anyway I can remove image links automatically?

    Thanks

  15. Should adding this code & clicking the blue ‘Update file’ button at the bottom of the window make the change instantly? I have added this code & clicked ‘Update file’, but after opening my site in a new browser window (as if I was a member of the public visiting my site) – making sure I’m not logged in with WP – the images are still ‘clickable’.

    Going back to the functions.php page where I added the code, after all the existing text, the code is not there!
    Looking closely at the content of the functions.php page, it appears to just be a page of instructions. There is no coded text on this page that actually appears on my site?

    • Functions.php file is a place where your WordPress themes stores functions or code it need to execute. Many of these things do not directly appear on your site but they support several features of your WordPress theme.

      Try to add the code again. When you click on the blue Update button, wait for a while to see the confirmation that file edited successfully.

      This code does not make links already added to images disappear. It will however, make it possible that when you upload an image next time in WordPress posts, they are not automatically linked. To remove the links from images you will still have to edit your posts and unlink the images.

      Admin

  16. Hi there, I just added this code to my functions.php file and I can’t access my site now. I removed the code and still can’t access my site. Very scared. Please help.

  17. please i want to edit the gallary navigation because have downloaded a theme and have change the pictures in the gallary but if i click on the navigation button it goes to the theme website pictures not my website so i want you to help me find where i can located the gallary navigation to change it

  18. Hello, I’ve added the code and now I can’t access my site. Can you please help me remove it. Thnaks.

  19. You should paste this code at the bottom of your functions.php file. If your functions.php file has a ‘ ?> ‘ which is the closing tag for PHP, then paste the code before ‘?>’.

  20. Man I really can’t find the answer to this question anywhere. Instead of using the media manager to handle my images I was wanting to put another folder inside my root domain, place all my images and videos inside it and then instead of uploading them from the post just link to them in that folder. For example in my root WP directory place an additional folder, say titled cdn, and if it was an image, say located at mywproot/cdn/image/imageiwanttoembed.jpg. Ive read that having a lot of image attachments pages is bad so that parts solved but would my images still be indexed by Google? Would my Yoast plugin still create a sitemap for my images? Does this even make sense? It would just be so much easier to manage as my site has a lot of images???

  21. Dear, I have I think the dumbest question.
    Where in functions.php shoud I paste the code?

    under or above something in particular?
    Or I just can paste it at line 1?

    Thanks :)

  22. Great, thank you. One more numpty possibility removed from the fingers of the user….

    A question; is it possible to do this in retrospect. ie is there a way of removing all links from all images blogwide?

  23. Hi, I’m a WP beginner and I used it in my child-theme functions.php and it works fine. Is there any way to apply the same in conjunction with tablepress cells containing? Any image that is inside of a tablepress cell still shows complete url. If you have any suggestions I would really appreciate it.

  24. Another option is to use plugin: Page Links To. This is handy for posts with featured image.
    There’s an option on every page to change the link to the target url or change to #.
    “Drawback” is, it changes not only the image link but also the post title link.

  25. Thanks man, it is labor intensive when I have to unlink all images I attach to a post due to WordPress automatically linking to the images. The fact that you mentioned it also affects SEO is shocking, no wonder i have been getting little image search traffic. Most people were being taken to the image directly and not the actual pages that images are on. Almost an problem I search for on Google comes up wpbeginner.com at the very top page. Syed Balkhi should be named KING OF WORDPRESS as he has tons of valuable tips and tutorials on wordpress.

  26. Syed, thanks for the article. I copied and pasted your code into my functions.php file and it broke my site. Is there a syntax error in your code that you know of?

  27. It’s a great tip as I often choose “none” for the images on the page unless I want to link them externally or they are part of a gallery.
    Will applying the code to the theme disable the other options of linking images or it’s just for the default case in which you don’t specify a different option for the image on page?

  28. I have been using the following line of code to do the same thing:

    update_option(‘image_default_link_type’,’none’);

    Why/how is your code snippet better?

    • Necessary? It all depends upon your theme/need in the website. This snippet does not deal with the featured image. It refers to images added into the doby/content of the post/page.

    • Yes it cvould be an alternate. But a lightbox could also cause slow page load, search engines would still redirect users to attachment pages, lastly not all people are fan of lightboxes.

      Admin

  29. I would actually like it to do the opposite – ALWAYS link to the image file. I use a lightbox gallery for all image links so readers can view the full sized version. Often, I forget – or my writers forget – to select ‘link to image file’ which my lightbox requires to work.

  30. Can the site owner still enable image link on a per-use basis? On occasion, a client will want to make an image-style button and flipping over to the text editor to hand code the url into the image is a little out of reach for a few of my clients.

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