Exclude Image Thumbnails From UpdraftPlus Backups


A small plugin to exclude WordPress generated image thumbnails from Updraft backups, saving space. The original, full-sized image is included in backups, so if a restoration from backup is needed, WP CLI or a plugin can be used to regenerate thumbnails using the original, full-size images.


  • Works for all image types and includes both native and custom image sizes added by themes and plugins.


This section describes how to install the plugin and get it working.

  1. Ensure UpdraftPlus Backup/Restore is installed and activated
  2. Upload the plugin to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  3. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ screen in WordPress


10 June 2022
I found the code in your plugin via a tip in the #sustainability channel of WP Slack, so I tested it on a website that wasn’t able to do a full backup for over a year now (due to a bad host). By filtering the thumbnails out, I was finally successful in making a full backup again. For sustainability this should actually be an option in UpdraftPlus. Thank you for saving time and disk space!
26 July 2021
I was attempting to reduce my sites backup sizes, to ease day to day administration, and from a sustainability perspective. All data transfers and hot storage uses energy – there is a carbon footprint to those backups. Excluding themes and plugins that I might as well get from WordPress.org in a rare restore situation, helped a lot. But those many WordPress image variants were a real eyesore. Even with a lean theme, there is at least 6 different variants/thumbnails of each image. Exclude Image Thumbnails From UpdraftPlus Backups did away with those images unnecessary in the backup, making it so much smaller, faster to backup and friendlier to the enviroment. Bonus tip: I chose to exclude all webp images from the backup as well. Those are in my case generated from the original jpg or png images, for even speedier load times. I would be able to re-generate those easily if restoring my site. Obviously you shouldn’t exclude webp if you upload these manually to the media library… Highly recommended.
06 May 2021
This is a great plugin. I always had Updraft complaining about resources, and lots of backups that failed partly or completely. Now it runs smoothly and without errors. The feaure this plugin adds to Updraft should be a standard feature of Updraft itself. It’s a must have, simply as that. I was considering to stop using Updraft, although I use it on dozens of sites. But now I can continue using it. Thanks to this litle gem!
10 March 2021
Literally a miracle. Was next to impossible to reliably create backups for one of my sites due to so many images. This plugin makes using Updraft possible. THANK YOU!
15 December 2020
Didn’t try to restore and recreate thumbnails but for now I’m happy with the space savings. Thanks!
Read all 11 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Exclude Image Thumbnails From UpdraftPlus Backups” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.




  • IMPROVED – Support WebP and AVIF fieltypes, props @josklever.


  • IMPROVED – Regex update to prevent files with dimensions at the end of the file name from being filtered.


  • IMPROVED – Regex filtering.
  • FIXED – README content.


  • Initial release.