Need to download all of the images you uploaded to your Media Library?
There are plugins that can help, but honestly, they’re unreliable and have very mixed reviews. And you know what?
You don’t need a plugin or anything fancy to download all of your images. You just need an FTP client to access your site, and then you can simply download the media folder onto your computer.
What is an FTP client?
If you’ve used FTP to connect to your site before, you can skip to the next section.
FTP stands for file transfer protocol, and it’s basically just a method of transferring files between a client (your computer) and a server (your site). For this reason, it’s the perfect solution for transferring image files from your site to your computer i.e. downloading them.
If you need to learn how to use FTP to connect to your site, please follow this FTP tutorial for WordPress. You’ll learn the fundamentals and be up-and-running in just a few minutes.
Where to find your images on your server
Once you know how to connect to your server via FTP, you just need to know where to find the images so you can download them.
The media library is located here on your server:
The “wordpress” folder may be named something like “public_html,” but the rest of the folder structure will always be the same.
Every time you upload an image to WordPress, a new folder named after the current year will be added if it isn’t present already, and a folder named after the month (integer) will be added inside. For instance, if I uploaded an image in May of 2018, it would be located here on my server:
Here’s an example where you can see a folder for each year an image was uploaded:
As you can see, there are some other folders added by plugins too. You can simply ignore these folders when downloading your Media Library.
How to download your images
If you want to download all of the media, then you can simply download each year’s folder one-at-a-time. In FileZilla, you can right-click a folder and then choose the Download option.
Make sure you use the left-pane in your FTP client to navigate to the folder where you want the images downloaded to first.
Depending on how many images you have, this could take a while. However, the process is pretty simple and doesn’t require a new plugin or any additional tech besides an FTP client. It’s the most straightforward method possible for downloading files from your server.
One more thing to keep in mind is that every time you upload an image to WordPress it will also create a large, medium, and small version (if the image is bigger than all three sizes). There are probably about 4x more images on your server than listed in your Media Library.
Downloading your images is pretty simple if you follow this process.
If you’ve never used an FTP client before, then make this your reason to learn! Knowing how to use FTP is an essential skill for WordPress users in my opinion, and you’re sure to put it to good use in the future.
If you have any problems downloading your media or have any questions, please post in the comments below.