How to Download the WordPress Media Library

Updated on May 12, 2023

Do you want to download all of your WordPress website's images and media files?

There are several methods for downloading all of your WordPress media library files. One method is to use an FTP client, but this is not the most user-friendly for beginners.

In this article, we'll walk you through the process of downloading your entire WordPress media library.

This post includes:

Why Download the Media Library?

Since the WordPress Media Library stores all media files you have uploaded to your website (images, videos, etc.), it is a good practice to have a local backup of it. In case you don't want to have a full local backup of your website, we recommend you at least back up your media library, since that is typically what the majority of a website's content is: media files.

You can also use a fully automated WordPress backup solution to backup your entire WordPress site (including plugins, themes, posts, and the media library). You could also use your WordPress hosting account's file manager or FTP, but those solutions are generally more time-consuming.

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.

  • After you've enabled Export Media Library, navigate to the Media → Export section in your admin area to see the following screen.
  • 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.

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 on the Backup Now button, and then you’ll get a pop-up.
  • 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 Uploads button and you’ll see this screen.
  • 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.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the method you use, downloading your WordPress media library is a simple process. You can quickly complete this procedure with any of the three options above, whether you want to keep an extra copy of your media library for backup purposes or transfer your images to another site.

Do you have any questions about downloading a WordPress media library? If so, please leave your questions in the comments section below.

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