Who Can Delete Media Files in WordPress?

Delete Media Files

WordPress is very restrictive when it comes to deleting files from your site's Media Library.

By default, only users in the “Administrator” role are able to delete images and files in WordPress.

Users in the Subscriber, Contributor, Author and Editor roles are not allowed to delete.

However, you may want to give the delete option to more users. The solution to deleting files is to install the PublishPress Capabilities and the PublishPress Permissions plugin.

First, we will make a change in the Permissions plugin:

  • Go to “Permissions” then “Settings”.
  • Click the “Core” tab.
  • Check the ” Enforce distinct edit, delete capability requirements for Media” box.

Next, we will make a change in the Capabilities plugin:

  • Go to “Capabilties” in your WordPress admin area.
  • In the right sidebar, check the “Media” box under “Type-Specific Capabilities”. This will allow you control the permissions for the Media Library. Click “Update”.

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).

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 under “Editing Capabilities” and “Deletion Capabilities”.

Edit Delete Media
Edit Delete Media
  • Click “Save Changes” .
  • When user in the “Editor” role goes to the Media Library, they now see a “Delete permanently” option for any file they see:

Also check our our tutorial on users having issues with editing images and our tutorial on uploading images.


More PublishPress Capabilities tutorials


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Tags: Administrator Role, Author Role, Contributor Role, Editor Role, Media Library, Subscriber Role, Type-Specific Capabilities


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