Beginner's Guide for WordPress - Start your WordPress Blog in minutes.
Choosing the Best
WordPress Hosting
How to Easily
Install WordPress
WordPress Plugins
View all Guides

How to Import/Export Widget Settings in WordPress

Last updated on by
Special WordPress Hosting offer for WPBeginner Readers
How to Import/Export Widget Settings in WordPress

Sometimes when moving WordPress sites, you may need to save and reuse widget settings from one WordPress installation to another. If a site has just a few widgets, then you can probably do that manually. However, if there are many widgets in multiple sidebars and widget areas, then you need a better solution. In this article, we will show you how to import/export widget settings in WordPress.

Video Tutorial

If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then continue reading.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Widget Settings Import/Export plugin. Upon activation, go to Tools » Widget Settings Export and select the widgets you want to export and click on Export Widget Settings Button. The plugin will now export all your currently active widgets in widget_data.json file.

Exporting widget settings

To restore these widgets in another WordPress installation, you will need to install and activate the Widget Settings Import/Export plugin on that site as well. Once you have activated the plugin, go to Tools » Widget Settings Import and click on the Select File button.

Importing widget settings

Locate the JSON file you downloaded earlier and then click on the Show Widgets Settings button. The plugin will now load widget data from the imported file and will show you the list of widgets. Select the widgets you want to import and click on Import Widget Settings to proceed. All your widgets will be restored to appropriate sidebars.

Please note that if you have active widgets added to your site by a plugin, then you may not be able to import those widgets until you have those plugins installed on the target website as well.

We hope this article helped you quickly export/import widgets settings in WordPress. Share your experiences of moving moving widgets between WordPress sites by leaving a comment below.

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

WPBeginner's Video Icon
Our HD-Quality tutorial videos for WordPress Beginners will teach you how to use WordPress to create and manage your own website in about an hour. Get started now »


  1. Mahfooz says:

    i took backup of my site yesterday every thing is ok but widget content is disappeared so my question is how can i get content with out copy and paste procedure in WordPress

  2. Amir Arif says:

    Export Woocommer Product only with image?
    need very urgent help here, i want to know that how to export only woocomerce product only with their images?

    please reply, Thanks

  3. Mohit says:

    Is there some plugin using which I can also replicate the plugins, i.e. at the click of a button, export all plugins and if possible their settings as well, and then import the same on another wordpress site?

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      We doubt that, because there are thousands of WordPress plugins and many of them use different techniques to store their settings. It would be difficult to program a plugin that could guess the settings for all plugins.

  4. Richard says:

    Great article, I’ve been wanting something similar but for plug-ins. Any suggestions?

    I have about 20 plug-ins and all of their associated settings, like amember, and I really don’t want to start from scratch

    • Hardeep Asrani says:

      Nope, you can’t!

      Each plugin have your own type of configurations and only with a export and import of a mysql database can pass your settings from one site to another.

      WordPress saves all widget settings only in one table, so it’s more easy to download widget settings.

  5. Liz says:

    Oh no! I wish this post had dropped in my email alerts yesterday! I just migrated a site live from the test url and lost ALL my widget setting and all my plugins- genesis ones with content were lost completely. Thankfully, it was a smallish site, and I’ve managed in a morning to re-do all the settings and craft any custom widget content again. But I’ve bookmarked this to make sure it doesn’t happen again as I’ve more complex sites to do soon.

    Thanks for this! I live and learn!

Add a Comment

We're glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and all links are nofollow. Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.