How to download images from wordpress media library

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How to Download Your Entire WordPress Media Library

Last updated on February 14, 2021 by Editorial Team | Reader Disclosure Disclosure : Our content is endorsed by the reader. This means that if you click on some of our links, we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it’s important, and how you can support us.

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¿Desea download images and media archives from your WordPress website?

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

Dans cet article, we will show you how to download your entire WordPress media library, step by step.

How to Download Your Entire WordPress Media Library How to Download Your Entire WordPress Media Library

Method 1. How to download the multimedia library from WordPress with the Exportar biblioteca multimedia add-on

Lo primero que debe hacer es instalar y activar el complemento Exportar biblioteca multimedia . For more details, see the new guide on installing a WordPress add-on.

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

Download WordPress Media Library Download WordPress media library

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

If you choose ‘Nested Folders’, your media will be placed in separate folders based on upload time.

Once you’ve chosen your settings, simply click on the ‘Download Zip’ button and your entire media library will be downloaded as a zip file to 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 upload the WordPress media library.

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

Once you have activated UpdraftPlus, go to Configuration » UpdraftPlus Backups and you will see the following screen:

Click the backup button Click the backup button

Haga clic en el botón Hacer copia de seguridad ahora y aparecerá una ventana emergente.

New backup settings New backup settings

Debe marcar la casilla junto a ‘Incluir sus archivos en la copia de seguridad’ y asegurarse de hacer clic en el enlace ‘(…)’ para expandir la configuración. Dado que queremos descargar la biblioteca de medios, solo marcará la casilla junto a “Cargas” aquí.

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

Click the upload button Click the upload button

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

Download your media to your computer 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.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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How to Export Your WordPress Media Library

Anna Fitzgerald

Anna Fitzgerald

Actualizado:10 de mayo de 2022

Publicado:15 de abril de 2022

There are a few reasons you might need to export your WordPress media library. Maybe you used a backup plugin that backed up everything but your media files. Maybe you just created a new site and only want to transfer the images from an existing site to the new one.

Site owner exporting WordPress media library via Filezilla FTP client

Whatever the reason, there are multiple ways you can export your media library without having to download every image individually to a folder on your computer. Doing so manually would be tedious and virtually impossible on a media-rich site.

In this post, we’ll explore four ways you can export media from your WordPress website painlessly.

Download Now: How to Launch a WordPress Website [Free Guide + Checklist]

How to Export Your WordPress Media Library

There are four methods for exporting your WordPress media library. You can use the native export tool to move your media to another WordPress site. You can use an FTP solution to download your media files remotely, but this can take a long time. You can use cPanel’s File manager for a faster download. Or you can use a plugin to automate the process.

Let’s walk through each method below so you can pick the one that best suits your skills, file management tools, and media library.

How to Export Your WordPress Media Library Using the Native Export Tool

WordPress has a built-in export tool. This tool allows you to export your posts, pages, custom post types, comments, custom fields, categories, tags, custom taxonomies, users, and media. We’ll walk through how to use this tool to export your media library below. 

1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard. 

2. Click Tools > Export

Navigating to the export tool from the WordPress sidebar

3. Select the radio button labeled Media

Export media using native export tool in WordPress dashboard-1

4. Select a date range if you only need to export files that were uploaded within a specific time frame.

5. Click the Download Export File button.

This will create an XML file for you to save to your computer. Once saved, you can log in to another WordPress site and use the WordPress importer tool to import the XML file. 

This process is so incredibly simple that it seems like the obvious choice. If However, if your media library is very large or you have a slower connection, then the download might time out before it completes. If either is true for you, then try one of the methods below.

How to Export Your WordPress Media Library Using FTP

FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, offers users direct access to their website’s files from their computers, without the use of a browser. Since FileZilla is one of the most widely used FTP solutions and is officially recommended by WordPress, we’ll use it in this demo. If you’re using another FTP solution, the steps will be similar.

1. Open FileZilla. It should say Remote or Local Site in the top left-corner of your screen.

Opened the Filezilla window to start the WordPress media library export process

Image Source

2. Click on the wp-content directory.

3. Find the folder labelled “uploads” and drag it to your desktop.

Uploads folder in wp-content directory of FileZilla

Image Source

This is another incredibly simple option. However, the major disadvantage of using FTP is how slow the download process is. Each media file will be uploaded to the FTP queue and downloaded one-by-one.

If you have hundreds or thousands of files in your media library, consider one of the other methods below.

How to Export Your WordPress Media Library Using cPanel

cPanel organizes all the files on your WordPress hosting account into folders and lets you manage and edit them with File Manager. Since File Manager is a simple and popular tool, we’ll walk through how you can use it to export your media library. If you’re using another file manager, the process will be similar.

1. To start, log in to your control panel and open the File Manager.

2. Click the public_html folder.

Public_html folder in cPanel's File Manager outlined in red

Image Source

3. Click the wp-content folder.

4. Find the folder labelled “uploads.”

5. Select it, then click the Compress button in the top toolbar.

Red arrow pointing to compress button in cPanel's File Manager

Image Source

6. Under Compression Type, select the Zip Archive option.

Red arrow pointing to Zip Archive option in cPanel's File Manager

Image Source

7. By default, it will be named “uploads.zip.” You can leave as is or rename it.

8. Click Compress File(s).

9. A new window will automatically open with the “Compression Results,” showing how much the compressed files were reduced in size. Click Close.

10. Back in wp-content, select the uploads.zip folder and click the Download button in the top toolbar.

Download button in cPanel's File Manager outlined in red

Image Source

11. Once the download is complete, you can move the file from your Download directory to your desktop or any folder you wish.

If you’d like to simplify this process further, you can use a plugin.

How to Export Your WordPress Media Library Using a Plugin

We’ll walk through how to export your WordPress media library using the Export Media URLs plugin. If you’re using another plugin, check out its documentation for exact steps.

1. First, log into your WordPress dashboard.

2. Click Plugins > Add New.

Click Plugins > Add New in WordPress dashboard to start plugin installation process

3. Search for “Export Media URLs.” When the search result appears, click Install Now.

User searching for and installing Export Media URLs plugin in dashboard

4. Click Activate. You’ll automatically be redirected to Export Media URLs plugin page. 

_Export Media URLs plugin page under Tools tab of WordPress dashboard

5. Now it’s time to configure the Export Media URLs plugin settings. Select the data you want included in the export, in addition to the file URLs. Also select if you want media files by all authors, or specific ones. 

Media URL and files by all authors selected in Export Media URLs plugins settings page

6. Then select CSV file for Export Type. 

CSV file selected as Export Type on Export Media URLs plugins setting page

7. Once you’ve made these selections, click Export Now. Your entire WordPress media library will be downloaded as a CSV file into your Downloads directory.

Export Now button outlined in red on Export Media URLs plugins setting page

WordPress Plugins to Export Your Media Library

While any of the methods described above will allow you to export your media library, WordPress plugins can automate the process to save you the most time. Take a closer look at the Export Media Library plugin and another highly-rated option below.

Export Media URLs

Export Media Library is a free WordPress plugin that allows users to extract the URLs of their media library files and export them as a CSV file (or view them within their dashboard). You can also choose to export the ID, title, type, and date uploaded of these media files. 

Since this output format is more helpful for setting up redirects than the XML file format that the WordPress export tool uses by default, this plugin is ideal for exporting your WordPress media library when migrating web hosts. 

URL de medios exportados por el usuario con ID, título, fecha de carga y tipo de medio a través de Exportar URL de medios

Export Media with Selected Content

You can use the native export function in WordPress to export a specific publication type, the associated media files are not exported in the default way. That’s where Export Media with Selected Content comes to the rescue. When installed, it will add a checkbox labeled “Export media with selected content”. When checked, this plugin will locate a post’s featured image and attachments and export them.

Checkbox labeled "Export media with selected content" added to native export settings when plugin is installed

This plugin has limitations. Since the plugin looks for “attached” media in the post body, if the theme or plugins on your site use different ways to refer to the media, then the plugin will not be able to find or export them.

Exporting WordPress Media Library

If you share the themes, host the Web sites, it is possible that you download all the images and multimedia files of your WordPress site. You can do this in several ways: you can use the native export tool, an FTP client, cPanel or a plugin. The method you choose should best suit your technical skills, file management tools, connection, and media library size.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated for completeness.

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