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Whenever you upload a PDF file on your WordPress library, it will generate a thumbnail preview automatically from your PDF file. This may not be a problem for a user who uploads a pdf once in while. But on some sites, the users may upload multiple PDFs at a time, and it won’t look good to have some random thumbnail generating for your PDFs. In that case, it is better to disable PDF thumbnail previews on your WordPress site and set a common display for all the PDFs. To disable the thumbnail preview in the right way, read the upcoming article and follow the procedure stated in it.

Methods to Disable PDF Thumbnail Previews in WordPress

All the WordPress guides probably have a minimum of two methods one is with the plugin and another method is without the plugin. The same method is applicable for disabling PDF thumbnail preview too.

  • Disable with Plugin
  • Disable Without Plugin

How to Disable PDF Thumbnail Previews in WordPress with Plugin

[1] From your WordPress dashboard, go to the Plugins section and choose Add New.

[2] Search for PDF Plugin you wish to have on your WordPress site.

Some of the popular PDF Plugins for WordPress are

[3] Choose any of these Plugins and click on Install Now to add the plugin.

[4] After installation, click on Activate button to activate the plugin.

[5] Now open on Plugin page from the dashboard and handle the PDF thumbnail preview with the help of the plugin settings.

How to Disable PDF Thumbnail Previews in WordPress with Plugin

[1] Login to your WordPress site cPanel and choose File Manager under the file section.

How to Disable PDF Thumbnail Previews in WordPress
[2] Navigate to your WordPress folder and select the wp-content folder.

[3] Inside that wp-content folder, select Theme and open your current WordPress Theme Folder.

[4] Find the function.php file and click on Edit from the command bar on the top.


Note: You can also right-click on the file and choose the Edit option from the context menu.

[5] In the editor, add the following line of codes

function disable_pdf_previews() {
$fallbacksizes = array();
return $fallbacksizes;
[6] Once the code is added, click on Save changes to apply the added changes.

[7] Now upload any PDF file to your WordPress library and it does not create any preview thumbnail to it.

How to Disable PDF Thumbnail Previews in WordPress

Important Note: If you make any changes to the theme of your WordPress website, then it is important to repeat the step again by adding the code in the wp-content >> Theme >> Current theme folder >> function.php. It won’t be carried over while you change the theme. Also, if you want to generate PDF thumbnails using a plugin or something it won’t work if the code is in use.


These are some of the possible ways to disable PDF thumbnail previews in WordPress with and without the plugin. Hope this guide helped you disable the thumbnail preview and if we had missed any methods let us know in the comments section below. Also, this does not require making a backup of your WordPress site before performing this but if needed you can make one as a safety protocol. If you have any queries make use of the comments section below. For more WordPress guides articles, and insights, explore our blog.

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