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How to Download Your Entire WordPress Media Library

Do you want to download all the images and media files from your WordPress website?

There are multiple ways to download all your WordPress media library files. One way is to use an FTP client, but that’s not the easiest for beginners.

In this article, we’ll show you how to download your entire WordPress media library, step by step.

How to download your entire WordPress media library

Method 1. How to Download WordPress Media Library with Export Media Library Plugin

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Export Media Library plugin. For more details, see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once you’ve activated Export Media Library, go to Media » Export section in your admin area, and you’ll see the following screen:

Download WordPress media library

In the Folder Structure dropdown menu, you can choose ‘Single folder with all files,’ which means all of your media will be downloaded into one folder.

If you choose ‘Nested folders,’ then your media will be placed into separate folders based on the time of upload.

Once you have chosen the settings, simply click the ‘Download Zip’ button, and your entire media library will be downloaded into a zip file on your computer.

Method 2. How to Download WordPress Media Library with UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is the best WordPress backup plugin that you can use to create automatic backups of your website.

You can also use UpdraftPlus to manually download the WordPress media library.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the UpdraftPlus plugin.

Once you’ve activated UpdraftPlus, go to Settings » UpdraftPlus Backups, and you’ll see the following screen:

Click the backup button

Click on the Backup Now button, and then you’ll get a pop-up.

New backup settings

You need to check the box next to ‘Include your files in the backup’ and make sure you click the ‘(…)’ link to expand the settings. Since we want to download the media library, you’ll only check the box next to ‘Uploads’ here.

Next, you can click on the ‘Backup Now’ button, and you’ll see the following:

Click the upload button

Click the ‘Uploads’ button and you’ll see this screen:

Download your media To your computer

Now, click on ‘Download to your computer’ and select where you want the zip folder to go. We chose the desktop but you can choose any folder on your computer hard drive.

Why Would You Want to Download the Media Library?

If you want to store a copy of your media library on your computer, then these plugins work well.

You can always use a fully automated WordPress backup solution, and it will back up your entire WordPress site (including plugins, themes, posts, and the media library).

However, most backup plugins do not have an easy way to download just your uploads and media library. These plugins provide a much quicker way to do that.

You could also use your WordPress hosting account file manager or FTP, but we are not showing those solutions here because it’s generally more time consuming.

We hope this article helped you download your WordPress media library. You may also want to see our tutorial on how to speed up your WordPress website, and our comparison of best webinar software to grow your sales.

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Reader Interactions

45 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. before it hit download, I have a silly question, does the export media library copy or remove my photos from my site? I just want to save a copy. Nowhere did I read that part???

    • Thank you for letting us know, we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for plugins ot methods we would recommend.


    • Thank you for letting us know, we’ll keep an eye out for alternatives we would recommend.


    • Thank you for letting us know, we’ll keep an eye out for alternatives we would recommend.


    • There are normally multiple plugin options people can use, our recommendation is one we tested on the publish date of the article :)


  2. Yep, the plugin recommended here has violations and is NOT available for downloading. Alternatives?

    • We do not have a recommended alternative at the moment but we will be sure to update our article once we find a plugin we would recommend.


  3. For the first time, wpbeginner has failed me. The plugin downml is deprecated and is not available for download any more. can you please update the post.

  4. so why don’t people use the built in import/export tool from WP ? why use a plugin when functionality is already there ?

    • The built-in tool does not export the media library, it saves links to where the media is located and when you import the file it will have the option to download the media from where it was previously hosted :)


  5. “This plugin was closed on October 23, 2018 and is no longer available for download. Reason: Guideline Violation”… please suggest us any other plugin…

    • Thank you for letting us know, we’ll be sure to look into alternatives for downML


    • Thank you for letting us know, we’ll be sure to look into alternatives for downML


  6. I also had problems with this plugin. The website for it is no longer alive, and the email contact offered bounced back.

    I have used WP File Manager to do this successfully, although it takes more steps.

    All-in-One WP Migration also lets you choose to only capture media files.

  7. I have a huge media library of 680 MB and the downml plugin displays an error. Is there a way to override tis or is there a plugin that can do this?

  8. So how do you import them and have it show up in the database? What plugin do you use for that?

  9. Hi , My wordpress media library having 771 files while exporting media library using downML plugin error occurs as – Media Library contains 771 files in excess of 174.46 MiB…Now how i export my media files is any other plugins there if anyone know the solution please let me know thanks in advance..

  10. Does not keep foder structure. Does not support öäå charachters (wordpress with utf-8mb4 sql)

  11. Thanks for the article. Does anyone know if I can download my entire media gallery via ftp, optimise all photos on my PC and then re-upload without messing up the site? I’ve tried using some WP plugins for optimisation of photos, but I’m still not entirely happy with the result, so I’d like to do them on my PC. But then, I’d like to avoid having to edit all posts and pages in order to add the photos again.

  12. Just used the downML plugin after reading this post. The good news: it worked… the bad news, the zip folder is just the files i.e. it removes the folder path structure. If you need to quickly move things FTP or a better clone plugin is best.

  13. You can also use wp clone which makes a .zip file. If you only want the media just open the zip file and go to the wp-content folder and then uploads. It will all be in the folders that wordpress puts them in

  14. Please do you know of a way to download the Media Library from a WP.COM install?? It is crazy they say to do it manually.

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