How to Download Media Library from WordPress

Recently, one of the bloggersignal reader’s sent me an email asking how he can download the entire media library in WordPress to the local computer as he wants to store a copy of the library locally.

Though you can always fully backup your entire WordPress site to Google Drive or Dropbox or any other cloud services, downloading the entire media library from WordPress isn’t anything hard.

In case you don’t know, any and all the media or files uploaded through the built-in media uploader will be stored in the /wp-content/uploads/ folder.

The Uploads folder is further categorized into years and months for easy management.

So, if you ever need, here is how you can easily download entire media library from WordPress using the traditional method and a free plugin.

Download Media Library using FTP

Using the regular FTP client to download media library in WordPress is pretty easy and straightforward.

To start off, open up your favorite FTP client and login to your sites FTP account. As you can see, I’m using Cyberduck FTP client to login to my account.

download-media-library-select-wp-content-folder

Once you are in, navigate to the folder /wp-content/.

Here, you will see different folders like Plugins, Themes, etc. Since all the uploaded media items are stored in this folder, all we need is the Uploads folder.

download-media-library-select-uploads-folder

Now, simply drag and drop the folder onto your desktop and the FTP client will automatically download the folder and its contents.

download-media-library-download-uploads-folder

Depending on the media library size, the download may take a while.

So, wait until the download is complete and you will have your media library folder on your local machine.

download-media-library-download-complete

Alternatively, if you have access to the cPanel, then you can zip the entire Uploads folder using the cPanle’s file manager and then download it using the FTP client.

This action actually speeds up the download process.

That being said, don’t try to download the zipped file directly from the cPanel as most web hosts don’t support resuming and the download time and speeds are pretty limited.

Download Media Library Using a Plugin

Update: the plugin discussed below doesn’t work reliably anymore, especially on big sites with a lot of images. So, use the above FTP method to download media library. Alternatively, you can also backup your site to Google Drive or Dropbox and extract images from those backups.

If you don’t want to use the traditional method of using the FTP client, then you can use the plugin DownML – Download Media Library.

Just download and install it like any other WordPress plugin. Once installed, activate the plugin.

download-media-library-activate-plugin

Being a simple plugin, there are no settings or configurations to mess around. Simply, open the DownML page by clicking on the menu item “downML.”

download-media-library-downml-menu-item

The above action will open the DownML page. The plugin will automatically create a zip file with all your media library. Simply click on the link “medialibrary.zip.”

download-media-library-click-download-link

The above action will start the download. Again, depending on your media library size, the download may take some time to complete.

download-media-library-downml-download-complete

That’s all there is to do and it is that simple to download media library from WordPress using the FTP client or a plugin like DownML.

You may also like to know how to automatically add title attribute to images in WordPress. So, do check it out.

Hopefully that helps and do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above methods to download media library from WordPress.

11 Comments

  1. I am without my own computer, using a shared computer. Want to download a huge media library from wordpress but the plugin downML times out and ftp requires me to install on a shared computer (this is a traveller nomad problem it seems)… So, hoping actually there is a way the get the plugin to simply download a quater of the library at a time so it does not time out. Surprised that its not an option from the start.
    Cheers from Colombia

  2. You need to do your due diligence. The plugin you so strongly recommend has not been updated in over 2 years, does not work reliably with new WP updates, does not work well with large media libraries, and has several other issues.

    I regret I gave you a click.

  3. DownML doesn’t work for me and apparently a lot of other people But then I’m placing a huge demand on the server with my 61 files totaling 4.5 MB.

  4. I found this great plugin that can download to a zip file and automatically rename it according to the post title (if you want).
    Check Bulk Attachment Download plugin
    To save time, go to screen option (on your WP media library dashboard) and change to max number of post to 100 before you download.

  5. If you guys use “Downml – Download Media Liblary plugin”
    You need to replace some codes using cpanel coz its outdate plugin.

    1. Go to wp-content -> plugins -> downml
    2. And find this “downml_settings_page.php”
    3. at the line 26 of it’s code where you can find this entry:

    f($zip->open($destination,$overwrite ? ZIPARCHIVE::OVERWRITE : ZIPARCHIVE::CREATE) !== true) {

    4. Replace it with this codes

    if($zip->open($destination, ZIPARCHIVE::CREATE) !== true) {

    5. Save changes and reload wordpress dashboard, its should work now.

    I’ve tried it before i leave a coment coz i need backup iamges from my website.

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