I have a Wordpress install that's using about 10,000 images. I'd like to export all filenames used in Wordpress to a file, filenames.log

filenames.log would look like this:

car.jpg boat.jpg milf.jpg car2.jpg other.jpg


The reason I'm doing this is that I have orphaned images in /uploads, and I want to run a delete operation and exclude these filenames that are actually in use.

What command could I run to generate such a file?


2 Answers 2


Pure MySQL, be sure to correct it for your desired filepath /tmp/filenames.log: (Thanks Phil for the select query)

"SELECT meta_value AS filename
FROM wp_posts p, wp_postmeta pm
WHERE p.id = pm.post_id
AND p.post_type = 'attachment'
AND meta_key = '_wp_attached_file'
INTO OUTFILE '/tmp/filenames.log'
  • Thank you, and thank you Phil! I ran the above query and got this: MySQL returned an empty result set (i.e. zero rows). (Query took 0.7480 sec) Probably needs some tweak?
    – location
    Feb 22, 2015 at 21:25
  • Just checked the /tmp folder and saw that it did in fact generate the file, but the output looks like this {s:4:"file";s:72:"Diamond-ring-gold-ring.jpg";s:5:"width";s:3:"290";s:6:"height";s:3:"180";}}s:10:"image_meta";a:10:. I'd like it to output just the filenames without all the extra stuff, how could I do that? Thanks!
    – location
    Feb 23, 2015 at 20:35
  • Ok I did some digging around and I found out how to fix it: By adding AND meta_key = '_wp_attached_file'. Big thanks to you and Phil!
    – location
    Feb 23, 2015 at 20:48
  • @location ok, I've updated answer, feels good to get it figured out, doesn't it?
    – webaholik
    Feb 23, 2015 at 21:50
  • It's the best feeling ever. Exporting these names was part 1/2. Now onto part 2/2, which is deleting all images in /uploads except files matching filenames.log.
    – location
    Feb 23, 2015 at 22:29

Looking at the Wordpress ERD and googling a little, attachments are in the wp_posts table, as follows:

select *
from wp_posts 
where post_type = 'attachment';

Join with wp_postmeta, which is a key=>value store, on meta_key = '_wp_attached_file' to get the filename (meta_value).

So we end up with:

select meta_value as filename
from wp_posts p, wp_postmeta pm
where  p.id = pm.post_id
and    p.post_type = 'attachment';

Obviously you can filter meta_value in the WHERE clause to just return .jpgs, or whatever.

  • I got this when running the code: MySQL returned an empty result set (i.e. zero rows). (Query took 0.7480 sec) (I don't know if you'll be notified of my comment above. I apologize if this creates a duplicate)
    – location
    Feb 22, 2015 at 21:26

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