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How to Disable Image Attachment Pages in WordPress

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Do you want to disable image attachment pages in WordPress?

Image attachment pages often look incomplete, and if a visitor views these, then it can leave a poor impression. Many visitors will simply leave rather than try to find the attachment itself or its parent post.

In this article, we will show you how to disable image attachment pages in WordPress and redirect them to the parent post.

How to Disable Image Attachment Pages in WordPress

Why Should You Disable Image Attachment Pages in WordPress?

By default, WordPress creates a single page for every media attachment you have on your site. This includes images, audio and video files, PDFs, and more.

Some users might find this functionality useful, but most WordPress websites don’t need it.

For example, photographers may find attachment pages useful. A photography theme could use the attachment page to display EXIF data. This could show the camera model used, the camera settings, and even the image’s location data.

Many WordPress blog owners will accidentally link their images to the attachment pages instead of the image itself, or they don’t like the way it looks because many themes don’t have special templates for the image attachment pages.

Sometimes, an image on your website can become popular, and people might start landing on the attachment page directly from Google. Ideally, you want visitors to land on your post and see the image in the context you have used it.

To help solve this problem, we will show you two different ways to disable image attachment pages in WordPress so you can choose the best one for you:

Method 1: Disable Image Attachment Pages in WordPress (With a Plugin)

The easiest way to disable image attachment pages is by using All in One SEO (AIOSEO). It’s the best SEO plugin for WordPress, used by over 3 million sites.

The first thing you’ll need to do is install and activate the free All in One SEO plugin. To do this, see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once the plugin is installed and activated, you’ll have a new menu item called ‘All in One SEO.’

Navigate to All in One SEO » Search Appearance. Next, click the ‘Image SEO’ navigation tab.

All in One SEO search appearance media setting

The first setting is ‘Redirect Attachment URLs.’ You can disable the setting entirely or redirect to the attachment page or the attachment parent page.

We recommend redirecting to the ‘Attachment Parent’ page. That way, when a user lands on the image attachment page, they’ll be redirected to your article instead.

Note: If a media or image does not have a parent page, which means that it is not uploaded to a post or a page, then AIOSEO will display the image’s attachment page.

Once you select your preferred setting, just click ‘Save Changes’ before exiting the screen.

Method 2: Disable Image Attachment Pages in WordPress (With a Code Snippet)

Another option is to add a code snippet to WordPress. We do not recommend editing your WordPress files directly, so we are going to use WPCode for this tutorial.

To get started, you will need to install the free WPCode plugin. For more details, see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you will need to go to Code Snippets » Add Snippet in your admin dashboard.

Then, simply type ‘attachment’ into the search field. A snippet titled ‘Disable Attachment Pages’ should appear on the right.

When you hover over it, click the ‘Use Snippet’ button.

Using WPCode search to remove attachment pages

You will be taken to the ‘Edit Snippet’ page, where all of the settings are set for you automatically.

All you need to do is toggle the switch to ‘Active’ and click the ‘Update’ button.

Clicking the toggle to activate a code snippet in WPCode before hitting update

Now, when a user lands on your image attachment page, they’ll be redirected to the parent post. If there is no parent post for the image, then the user will be redirected to the site’s homepage.

We hope this article helped you disable image attachment pages in WordPress. You may also want to see our beginner’s guide to image SEO and our guide on how to fix common image issues in WordPress.

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Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

75 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Dayo Olobayo says

    I followed the instructions in the article to create an image.php file with the provided code. The guide was clear and easy to follow. Everything works perfectly. Thanks!

  3. Hajjalah says

    Surely, most of the new bloggers face the issue of attachment pages being indexed. When i read this article, i went straight to google search and found very many attachment pages when i searched for my website domain. Luckily, this article clearly guided me throughout the entire process of stopping the useless practice. But when i tried to remove the indexed pages from Google Search Console, the only option was to temporarily remove the pages for six months . i don’t know why i can’t use the permanent removal feature.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      When Google recrawls your site it will see the markup to not index those pages and not include them in search results.


  4. Mrteesurez says

    I want to ask if the image attachment page affect SEO in the sense that some page like tags and some taxonomies are showing on Google with no contents.
    This makes search engine thinks the blog has little contents on his blog ?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It can affect SEO, if you are not specifically using the attachment pages for some reason then we would recommend disabling them.


  5. Matt says

    Worked perfectly! I used the code method of setting up an image.php file with the code snippet. Works perrrfect.

  6. SHUBHAM GARG says

    Why don’t you update this article ?

    Yoast doesn’t have this feature in free version anymore.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      We are updating our articles as fast as we are able. For the moment you may want to check under Search Appearance > Media


    • Dave says

      My Yoast SEO does have this option under MEDIA. It is the first option, and it says Yoast suggests YES to “Redirect attachment URLs to the attachment itself?”
      March 2021 is when I checked.

  7. Abhishek says

    i post images and link them to media file on my site
    should i disable the attachment media pages?
    if i do, will it affect seo?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      That would depend on your personal preference and if the main content of your site is images rather than posts and pages.


  8. Tommy says

    Thank you! For some reason I have never experienced this issue using yoast until today! One of my sites kept redirecting to the image instead of my attachment page. Wasted an hour trying to figure out if it was a function issue I had created. Turns out it was the Yoast plugin. Easy fix thank yoU!

  9. Esther Roche says

    Yoast has now changed all the settings, they keep doing this and honestly they’re driving people mad.
    This “Redirect attachment URL to parent post” was very handy and understandable, but now it doesn’t exist.
    Instead, we have a Media tab where the instructions seem, at least for me, a bit unclear. This is the explanation they give:

    When you upload media to WordPress, it doesn’t just save the media, it creates an attachment URL for it. These attachment pages are quite empty: they contain the media item and maybe a title if you entered one. Because of that, if you never use these attachment URLs, it’s better to disable them, and redirect them to the media item itself.

    What this seems to provoke is that now Google is showing image attachment URLs in the SERPs results. But there is no option, as before, to redirect the attachment URL to the parent post. What do we do then?

    Am I not understanding correctly the use of the new Media tab? What should I do so that Google doesn’t show those attachments as results in the SERPs that are not image search? Am I not understanding correctly the use of the new Media tab? What should I do so that Google doesn’t show those attachments as results in the SERPs that are not image search? What is it that I’m getting wrong?

    H E L P!!

    • Sevda says

      Hi Esther,
      The current function in Yoast removes the attachment urls by redirecting them to the direct url of the media file (instead of to the parent post). If you are turning it on just now, it’s normal to still have attachment page urls in the index. Selecting the option would lead to the attachment urls eventually disappearing from search engines’ indexes and being replaced by the media files’ direct urls (blabla.jpg for example).
      If you want to speed up the removal of the attachment urls, you can do so in Google Search Console.

  10. Max Dai says

    This post needs an update because Yoast has made a lot of changes to its features on new update.

    • Amanda Formaro says

      I agree. Not only did Yoast update, but they also removed the very option you are recommending in this post (unfortunately). And now all that’s left is to redirect to the actual attachment. :(

  11. Colin says

    The link is out of date now as the permalinks can be found under Advanced on the latest version.

    Thanks anyway as I have just updated it.

  12. Jeff says

    So if we aren’t linking to these attachment pages, is there really any reason to redirect these so google doesn’t index them? The reason I ask is for videos directly uploaded, we have the transcript in the description field so google indexes that.

    If we redirect would it still index that transcript or should I leave as is?

  13. beginner says

    i was using all in one seo plugin and i found “Redirect Attachments to Post Parent:” in my seo General settings, and i mark it.

    So, is that same and worked?

  14. Michael Peters says

    Question: How can I keep WP from creating an attachment in the database?
    What I mean is that I have roughly 40k actual posts, and over 100k rows in the wp_posts table. After running a query, it seems that there is ~100k posts with post_type “attachment.” Are all of these rows necessary?

  15. Laurence Cope says

    But how do you actually disable attachment pages? This post doesn’t disable them but puts a redirect in place. We have issues where the redirects is conflicting with actual page names. We dont want any attachment pages and therefore no need for redirects.

  16. paul says

    I would like to keep the attachment pages but within the attachment pages that display the image in a bigger size to disable links to prev next and full size image as this is where they can copy images or see images that I dont want non registered users to see etc. How can we do that?

  17. Whitney says

    Oh wait, I just realized something… if I no index the media files, does that mean all my media is not indexed or just the attachment pages?

  18. Whitney says

    Is the duplicate content issue only solved if I “no index” the pages or will the 301 redirect to parent take care of that too? I’m assuming I’d need to no index them…. but just want to make sure I’m assuming right :)

  19. Muhammad Furqan says

    Hello i also disabled attachments pages in sitemap. will this technique prevents google to index images?

  20. marco says

    Great solution!
    May I add that after the modification on Yoast I had to go to Settings->Permalinks and save settings (no need to change anything).
    Your mileage may vary, this worked for me, thanks!

    • Jodi says

      I’m having the same issue and I don’t think it’s the cache. I installed the plugin mentioned and that works fine.

    • Adrian Thompson says

      I had to go to Settings > Permalinks and click Save Changes (without making any changes) in order for it to work after the Yoast setting change.

      Hope it works for you.

  21. Henry says

    A nice informative article but oh my what a misleading title!
    The post title and the last sentence (after the comma) of the first paragraph are totally off!!!

    This is NOT disabling attachment pages/nor stopping WP from creating them (as the title implies) but redirecting links to it to somewhere else, and that is something real different!

    Disabling is stopping some from to be happen, and whatever code is shown in this article (even used by named plugins) it is not stopping WP from creating these attachment pages. This article is about how to redirect , which is okay ofcourse but not as implied by the post title and article as it. Such a shame because that would be a scoop!

    • Jesse says

      Henry has pointed out an important distinction.

      I am building a site that requires members to upload sensitive/private information via registration form. We absolutely can not have these files accessible to the public and need minimize any chance that these files will be indexed and publicly visible. Preventing the creation of attachment pages would seem the way to go, but I supposed redirects would work as well. We wouldn’t want to outright disable all attachment pages as we do want some uploaded files to be indexed, however, as WP Beginner Support pointed out, these files can still be indexed if they are contained within other posts.

      Think I will try enabling the attachment page redirects via Yoast SEO plugin as well as change the default directory where registration form uploads are stored (ie. will no longer be in default ‘/uploads’ directory) and disable indexing of that directory via robots.txt.


  22. Angela says

    Hi, thanks for the info!

    What about older images which were previously indexed by Google?

    I have had the setting on in Yoast for “redirect attachments” for at least 6 months now, but my older images are still being found.

    What would anyone recommend to do with these images? It concerns me because I get some critical errors on the ahrefs tool:

    duplicate title tags
    duplicate meta descriptions

    Shall I just go and add all the tags?

  23. Simon G.Proudfoot says

    Putting the line in my image.php file worked perfectly. It was giving me a bad SEO score beforehand as the links to the images weren’t mobile friendly. This has fixed it. Thanks :)

  24. Raleigh Leslie says

    Thanks this post helped me explain to someone why you would want to redirect media attachment pages to the actual post of page containing to media. re: “Sometimes an image on your website can become popular and people might start landing on the attachment page directly from Google. Ideally you would want them to land on your post and see the image in the context you have used it.”


  25. Catherine says

    Thank you so much for helping me solve the problem of image attachments. I inserted the code

    post_parent)); ?>
    into my image.php file and it worked like a charm.
    So will Google now de-index my attachment page url’s?

  26. Chris Cox says

    Ok. Using the php code (no plugin) what happens if there are two pages/posts using the same image?

  27. ashar says

    I just checked the redirect in SEO as these things were driving me nuts. so glad I found you. thanks – best ashar

  28. Jorge Pinto says

    I tryed the code you suggest, it works with the images associated with posts os pages, but.. all the other images uploaded that are no assigned to any post, for that images your code does not work.

    • Ogier Schelvis says

      I also had this issue. The Yoast! setting seemed to be ignored. Whether or not it was cache, I like the fact about the image.php solution that you have more freedom to determine what is going to happen. I just wanted to show a 404 for example if the post parent was not set. I solved it like this:

      if($post->post_parent != 0):
      include( get_query_template( ‘404’ ) );

  29. philip says

    Hello a user called Sam posted this issue – You write “Simply check the noindex, nofollow tag for ONLY the attachment post type.” but I do not see such an option. Are you referring to the “media” section? If I click no index under media will that no index my images or attachments? I would like to no index my attachments but I don’t want to lose traffic from Google images.

    I would also like to know the answer as I have the same issue

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Philip, no this should not affect your Google Image Search traffic as the option redirects users landing on attachment page to the parent post URL where your image is available for search engines to index.


  30. Sam says

    You write “Simply check the noindex, nofollow tag for ONLY the attachment post type.” but I do not see such an option. Are you referring to the “media” section? If I click no index under media will that no index my images or attachments? I would like to no index my attachments but I don’t want to lose traffic from Google images.

  31. Mark Law says

    Thanks for the heads up, I got a bit of a shock when I saw absolutely everything had been indexed, including elements of the template such as image backgrounds and so on. I’m using Yoast so it is an easy fix – I wonder though if it is worth still having pdf attachment pages indexed – I’ll look into it.

  32. Junaid Abbas says

    Is this possible to stop attachment pages to be indexed??? I do not want to redirect them to the home page. I just want to stop indexing them.

  33. Mark says

    I love the Internet, within 2 mins of discovering an issue, I had found this post and resolved the problem! Thank you

  34. Shannon says

    Will this also fix the issue with creating duplicated content where the image holds the same title as the associated post?

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