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How to Export Your WordPress Media Library

Anna Fitzgerald

Anna Fitzgerald

Updated: May 10, 2022

Posted: April 15, 2022

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

Site owner exporting WordPress media library via Filezilla FTP client

Whatever the reason, there are several ways to export your media library without having to download each image individually to a folder on your computer. Doing it manually would be cumbersome and nearly impossible on a media-rich site.

In this article, we’ll explore four ways to export media from your WordPress website seamlessly.

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How to Export Your WordPress Media Library

There are four methods to export 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 upload your media files remotely, but it may take some time. You can use cPanel file manager for faster download. Or you can use a plugin to automate the process.

Let’s discuss each method below so you can choose 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. Next, we’ll walk you through how to use this tool to export your media library. 

1. Login to your WordPress dashboard. 

2. Click Tools > Export

Navigate to Export Tool from WordPress Sidebar

3. Sélectionnez le bouton radio intitulé Média

Export media using native export tool in WordPress dashboard-1

4. Sélectionnez une plage de dates si vous avez uniquement besoin d’exporter des fichiers qui ont été téléchargés au cours d’une période spécifique.

5. Haga clic en el botón Descargar archivo de exportación .

Esto creará un archivo XML para que lo guarde en su computadora. Una vez guardado, puede iniciar sesión en otro sitio de WordPress y usar la herramienta de importación de WordPress para importar el archivo XML. 

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.

Ouverture de la fenêtre Filezilla pour démarrer le processus d'exportation de la bibliothèque multimédia WordPress

Image Source

2. Click on the wp-content directory.

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

Téléchargez le dossier dans le répertoire wp-content de 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.

dossier public_html dans cPanel File Manager surligné en rouge

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.

Flèche rouge pointant vers le bouton de compression dans le gestionnaire de fichiers cPanel

Image Source

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

Flèche rouge pointant vers l'option Fichier compressé dans le gestionnaire de fichiers cPanel

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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.

Botón de descarga en el Administrador de archivos de cPanel resaltado en rojo

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.

Haga clic en Complementos> Agregar nuevo en el panel de WordPress para iniciar el proceso de instalación del complemento

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

Usuario buscando e instalando el complemento de URL de exportación de medios en el tablero

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

_Exportar la página del complemento de URL de medios en la pestaña Herramientas del panel de WordPress

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. 

URL de medios y archivos de todos los autores seleccionados en la página de configuración de complementos de URL de medios de exportación

6. Then select CSV file for Export Type. 

Archivo CSV seleccionado como tipo de exportación en la página de configuración de complementos de URL de medios de exportación

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.

Botón Exportar ahora resaltado en rojo en la página de configuración de complementos de URL de exportación de medios

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

When you use the native export feature in WordPress to export a specific post type, any related media files are not exported by default. That’s where Export Media with Selected Content comes to the rescue. When installed, it will add a checkbox labelled “Export media with selected content.” When checked, this plugin will locate the featured image and attachments of a post and export them.

Casilla de verificación etiquetada como "Exportar medios con contenido seleccionado" agregada a la configuración de exportación nativa cuando se instala el complemento

This plugin does have limitations. Since the plugin searches for “attached” media in the body of the post, if the theme or plugins on your site use different ways of referencing media, then the plugin will be unable to find and export them.

Exporting Your WordPress Media Library

If you change themes, hosts, or websites, you may need to upload all images and media files from 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 match your technical skills, file management tools, connection, and the size of your media library.

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

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Export media library

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The description

Permet aux utilisateurs d’exporter des fichiers de bibliothèque multimédia sous forme d’archive zip compressée.

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screenshot-1Exporter la page d’administration de la bibliothèque multimédia

Exportar página de administración de la biblioteca de medios

Installation

  1. Téléchargez et activez le plugin via l’écran ‘Plugins’ dans WordPress.
  2. Go to Media -> Export via the admin menu to access the Export Media Library page.
  3. Adjust form options before proceeding with the export.

FAQ

I am unable to open the generated zip file

Please try using the 7-Zip extractor utility if you are having trouble extracting the downloaded zip file. It’s free and open source.

Reviews

c890204ea4e4d166318f3fb06a798152

It does its job.

Marco Panichi August 29, 2022

The plugin is very simple, not invasive and works perfectly.

090603a618e00277ca86d1d31172384b

Zip corrupted.

doble cabeza73 July 13, 2022

Not really complaining (free plugin, thank you!) But this happens on my servers. Latest php, lightningbase hosted. Tried 4 unzip programs. I have really fast internet so it downloads in seconds… Bummer, great tool.

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Simple y effective!

Vera May 25, 2022

Hace lo que tiene que hacer. Simple and effective

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works

casa doce January 24, 2022

Simple, fast, perfect.

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Yes Yes Yes

January 3, 2022

thank you all

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I am still working

phil December 28, 2021

Thanks!

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Contributors & Developers

“Export Media Library” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

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  • 63042c90be09ee74ed0067463c013659Andre Pavlovic

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Traduisez « Exporter la bibliothèque multimédia » dans votre langue.

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4.0.0

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  • export zip filename now incorporates blogname and utc date for better consistency and organization
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How to Download Your Entire WordPress Media Library

Last updated on February 14th, 2021 by Editorial Staff | Reader DisclosureDisclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

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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 toda su biblioteca de media de WordPress 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 the WordPress media library 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.

Método 2. Cómo descargar la biblioteca multimedia de WordPress con UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus est le meilleur plugin de sauvegarde WordPress que vous pouvez utiliser pour créer des sauvegardes automatiques de votre site Web.

Vous pouvez également utiliser UpdraftPlus pour télécharger manuellement la médiathèque WordPress.

La première chose que vous devez faire est d’installer et d’activer le plugin UpdraftPlus.

Une fois que vous avez activé UpdraftPlus, allez dans Paramètres » Sauvegardes UpdraftPlus et vous verrez l’écran suivant :

Haga click on the seguridad copia button Click the save button

Click the Backup Now button and a pop-up window will appear.

New save settings New save settings

You need to check the box next to “Back up your files” and make sure to click on the “(…)” link to expand the settings. Since we want to download the media library, we will just have to check the box next to “Downloads” here.

You can then click on the “Back Up Now” button and you will see the following:

Click the download button Click the download button

Click on the “Download” button and you will see this screen:

Download your media to your computer Download your media to your computer

Now click “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’s 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, 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 media library).

However, most backup plugins don’t have an easy way to only download downloads and media library. These plugins offer a much faster way to do this.

You can also use the file manager of your WordPress or FTP hosting account, but we don’t show those solutions here because it usually takes longer.

We hope this article helped you download your WordPress media library. You can also check out our tutorial on how to speed up your WordPress website and our comparison of the best webinar software to boost your sales.

If you liked this article, please subscribe to our YouTube channel for WordPress tutorial videos. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Video Export wordpress media library

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