Editing Images In WordPress

WordPress has a great image editor built in that users typically don’t take advantage of. This is a fantastic tool to resize, crop and otherwise manipulate images after you’ve already uploaded them to your media library. Just follow the steps below to and and edit your images right in your dashboard!

Step1 : Select Your Image

First things first – you need an image. To upload a new image navigate to Media > Add New. Or use image you already have by going to Media > Library and selecting an image from there. Click on the image title to open it.

Step 2: Open The Editor

Once you’ve chosen an image and opened it, you should see a page similar to this one.


From here you can give your image a title, description and a caption. But what we’re interested in is the “Edit” button just below the image preview.

Step 3: Edit Your Image

When the editor opens you’ll have a few options to alter your image.



To crop the image, simple use your mouse cursor to set your crop selection. You can adjust the cropping size by drag and dropping the edges of your selection. Once you’re happy with the cropping border, just click on the icon to crop your image to its new size.

Rotate Counter-Clockwise

Use this to rotate your image counter-clockwise. Each click will rotate the image 90 degrees (or a quarter turn) to the left.

Rotate Clockwise

Use this to rotate your image clockwise. Each click will rotate the image 90 degrees (or a quarter turn) to the right.

Flip Vertical

Flip your image vertically, so the bottom of the image will now be at the top.

Flip Horizontal

Flip your image horizontally, so the left side of the image will now be on the right.

Undo Edit

Click to undo any changes you’ve made. Click back one change at a time.

Redo Edit

Click to redo a change you’ve undone. Click forward one change at a time.

Scale Image

scale-imageUse the scale image option to proportionally resize your image. This is a great tool if you like the image, but just need it to be a certain number of pixels or wide or tall. Just type in the pixels you want (width x height) and click the “Scale” button to resize.

Crop Image

image-cropIn addition to the drag and drop cropping tool, you can also use this section to crop your image to a specific dimension. Enter in you cropping ratio (width by height). Then hold down shift as you click and drag to make your cropping selection. As you drag your cursor the crop selection size in pixels will be displayed below the ratio you set. You can also set your aspect ratio after you have already made your cropping selection.

Thumbnail Settings

thumbnail-settingThe last image edit option is the thumbnail settings. You can choose to apply your changes to all variations of the image, just the thumbnail, or everything except the thumbnail.

Save Your Changes

Don’t forget save your changes! You don’t want to have to go back and redo all your edits do you?


restore-imageJust in case you are an indecisive person, or if you accidentally edited the wrong image, there is a built in WordPress safety net. After you’ve saved you changes you will be taken back to the media item page. Just click on the edit button again. You will not notice a new option for “Restore Image” just to the right of the image preview. Click this button and you image (and it’s thumbnail) will be reverted back to the way it was originally.

Now that you know how to use all the WordPress image edit features and options, go try it out! It’s a super handy and useful tool when adding images to posts or pages, and can even save you a few seconds (compared to opening up image editor software/apps on your computer).

  • Updated on:
  • Posted Under: Tutorials
Post Author: Kyla

Hi! My name is Kyla, and I'm the VP at WPE. Although I'm still new to WordPress, I love every bit and I have fun sharing what I learn with all of you!

Got something to say? Join the discussion.
  1. Martin Harvey says:
    Nice tutorial Kyla ;) I always forget that you can do basic editing of images directly in WordPress. Such a timesaver over messing about with Photoshop. Thanks
  2. Jake Love says:
    Great article! Nice breakdown and detailed summary.
  3. Hi Kyla - Good article. Strangely, I don't see that "Restore" option at all, ever, and I looked really thoroughly. I'm wondering if they might have taken it out on a recent WP update.
  4. Hi I am not seeing the image cropping options. Can you tell if I have to enable anything in default wordpress installation?
    • AJ Clarke | WPExplorer says:
      AJ Clarke | WPExplorer
      Make sure you are using the latest version of WordPress and you have the GD library installed and active on your server.
  5. WordPress create new files everytime we finish editing. Is there a way to make WP just replace the original files?
  6. Otyan Mckiny says:
    That's great ididnt update my wordpress blog yet so ididnt know that, because i only edit my big images on online image tool imagesizereducer.com website. Thanks WPexplorer.com
  7. hartfordclimate says:
    I can open the Media Library and all the images are displayed. But all I can do is select one; no menu of options appears and does nothing. I'm supposed to be an administrator. What am I doing wrong?
    • Kyla
      You're almost there! If you're using self-hosted WordPress (from WordPress.org) then you click on an image in your media library it should open larger in a lightbox window. Click on the link for "Edit Image" below the image preview and edit away!
  8. Roger Twose says:
    Thanks a lot for sharing such a fantastic tutorial about image editing in WordPress. I appreciate your idea. Keep posting more update on your page.

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