How to Disable the Media Attachment Pages in WordPress

>How to Disable the Media Attachment Pages in WordPress
  • How to Disable the Media Attachment Pages in WordPress

The post was last updated on 4/3/2018

When you upload a media file, like an image or a video, WordPress will create its own attachment page, just like a normal page.

The bad news is that this page will be published by default, which means that it can be accessed by the general public. You don’t need to attach the media file to a post or page in order for it to be visible.

Most of you will want to prevent that from happening, either because you have a media file that you don’t want to be accessed by everybody, or because the attachment page looks pretty bad, since theme developers don’t pay any attention to it.

Here’s an example of how it looks like:

WordPress attachment page

It looks pretty weird, no? Just the file, its title, your sidebar, comment area…

Therefore, in this article, I’ll show you how to disable the attachment pages in WordPress with one of these two plugins.

Disable media attachment pages with the “Yoast SEO” plugin

For those of you which are using the Yoast SEO plugin — and all of you should use it because it will make your life so much easier, not just for SEO; it’s a must-have plugin — you just need to activate an option.

  • Go to SEO -> Search Appearance;
  • Select the Media tab;
  • Select the Yes option under Redirect attachment URLs to the attachment itself?;
  • Click the Save Changes button.

Disable media attachment page with Yoast

The versions prior to 7.0, would have redirected the attachment page to the parent post.

Starting with Yoast 7.0, it will redirect the attachment page to the media file itself, which is much better.

Disable media attachment pages with the “Attachment Pages Redirect” plugin

For those of you that don’t have Yoast installed, and don’t want to have it either, especially for just one feature, then install Attachment Pages Redirect, which handles just that.

Once activated, it will perform a 301 redirect (permanent redirect) from the attachment page to the parent post, if the media file is attached there. If it’s not attached, then it will perform a 302 redirect (temporary redirect) to your homepage.

The plugin doesn’t have any settings. You just have to activate it, that’s it.

That’s a wrap

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By | 2018-04-03T15:48:56+00:00 September 12th, 2017|Plugins, Tips|11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Turrican December 20, 2017 at 11:39 AM - Reply

    It works but the following page has a normal url like ?page_id=647 and not the permalink like /pagename/. Any ideas?

    • ThemeSkills December 21, 2017 at 6:36 PM - Reply

      I didn’t quite understand what you’re trying to say.

  2. Sumit March 8, 2018 at 9:27 PM - Reply

    Thanks for useful information.

  3. Devoo Banna March 22, 2018 at 11:05 PM - Reply

    Thank You, This post is very useful! I have implemented the same on my blog.

  4. lukasz March 24, 2018 at 10:55 PM - Reply

    But You can still go to these media pages if you know their URL. Is it possible to completly turn off creating these pages?

  5. Evaldas April 26, 2018 at 2:56 PM - Reply

    My images was indexed in Google Search. I selected the Yes option under Redirect attachment URLs to the attachment itself?

    But how to solve this situation with indexed old pictures?

    • ThemeSkills April 27, 2018 at 3:27 AM - Reply

      Using that option won’t prevent Google from indexing the actual images, unless you just upload them without actually adding them anywhere on your website (e.g. posts or pages). If you add images somewhere on your site, then they will automatically get indexed by Google. To prevent images from appearing in Google’s search results, follow this guide – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35308?hl=en.

  6. James May 5, 2018 at 8:45 AM - Reply

    Hello , thanks for your help.

    Unfortunately google indexes like 2000 pages of media, precisely like the Locomotive example.

    I must have turned that Yoast option off on by mistake, so it happened. This was 3 weeks ago. Now it’s been a couple of days that I set it back ON.

    Is this all I should do? The media pages are still indexed, do you think they’ll be removed automatically? I also resent the site for indexing on webmaster tools.

    Many thanks will read your site again, you saved me!!

    • ThemeSkills May 6, 2018 at 10:21 AM - Reply

      Hello! Setting it back on won’t remove the pages that were already indexed by Google. Usually, when 301 redirections (permanent redirects) are in place for quite some time, Google will automatically start removing the pages that are being redirected, from the search results, because it thinks that they’ve been moved permanently, therefore there’s no need in showing them. If you wish to remove those that appear in the search results, try this – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1663419

  7. Jyoti May 30, 2018 at 3:14 PM - Reply

    Thanks a lot!

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