| WordPress

How to Allow WordPress Users to Delete Images and Files

By default, WordPress is very, very careful about who can delete files in your site's Media Library.

Only users in the "Administrator" role are able to delete images and files in your Media Library. Anyone who is in the Subscriber, Contributor, Author and Editor roles is not allowed to delete images.

However, on some sites you may want to allow other users to clean your Media Library. Perhaps you have private files, or just have a cluttered Media Library with too many files.

The solution to deleting files is to install two plugins, Capability Manager Enhanced and Press Permit. Working together, these plugins will give you the permissions you need.

Video guide to the Capablity Manager Enhanced plugin


Once both those plugins are installed, go to Permissions > Role Capabilties in your WordPress admin area.

role capabilities to delete WordPress images and files

In the right sidebar, check the "Media" box under "Force Type-Specific Capabilities". This will allow you control the permissions for the Media Library,

force type to allow people to delete WordPress images and files

In the top-right corner of the screen, load the user role that you want to customize permissions for. In this image below, I've chosen the "Editor" role (click here to read about what permissions Editors have).

select role

In the center of the screen, you can now set your permissions. If you want to allow people in this role to delete anything in your Media Library, check all the boxes in the "Media" row.

delete WordPress images and files

Click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the screen.

It's as simple as that. Now whenever a user in the "Editor" role goes to the Media Library, they'll see a "Delete permanently" option for any file they see:

to delete WordPress images and files permanently


About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.