Grey Thumbnails in Media Library – Solved!

Today while I was working on Christian Concealed Carry, I ran into an error uploading images in WordPress and grey thumbnails in Media Library. Apparently I wasn’t the first to discover this irritating bug.

Symptom: Image uploads appear to fail resulting in grey thumbnails in Media Library

The issue began with WordPress appearing to fail uploading images. I selected the images, chose Upload and the upload progress bar would “progress” fully, but then simply stall. This resulted in an error message displayed for each image I attempted to upload. Then, the image would show up in Media Library but as a generic grey thumbnail icon.

Media Library upload error message
Media Library upload error message

Media Library grey thumbnails
Media Library grey thumbnails

Troubleshooting: Eliminating possible causes

At first, I assumed it was a network or server related glitch, especially since I was accessing the internet this day using Exede Satellite Internet and it was snowing pretty heavily. But the more troubleshooting I did, I soon realized my internet connection was fine, and the server was performing as expected.

I then Googled the issue and found a solution that worked for me.

Solution: Steps needed to repair thumbnails and reset Media Library

It appears the issue has something to do with WordPress uploading the image but having trouble generating thumbnails.

The solution is to install the Force Regenerate Thumbnails WordPress plugin, activate it, and apply it.

Now, you have two options when using the Force Regenerate Thumbnails plugin.

  1. Force Regenerate ALL images in Media Library
  2. Regenerate only a few images in Media Library that are displaying the generic grey thumbnail. (I chose this option and it worked!)

To Force Regenerate ALL thumbnails, go to your WordPress Dashboard > Tools > Force Regenerate Thumbnails.

Force Regenerate Thumbnails dashboard location
Force Regenerate Thumbnails dashboard location


However, to only regenerate select thumbnails, you will need to go the Media Library and select the image(s) you wish to regenerate. The easiest way to do this is to choose the List View selector in the upper-left corner of Media Library:

Media Library "list view" button
Media Library “list view” button


Let us know how it works for you

I hope this works for you, as it did for me. Using Force Regenerate Thumbnails appears to reset the image uploading process.

Let us know if this works for you, or if you’ve found another solution by commenting below.


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