How To Easily Download WordPress Media Library

download wordpress media library

How To Easily Download WordPress Media Library

I recently needed to download the entire media library from client’s WordPress website without access to FTP. If you search WP directory you’ll see that there aren’t many free plugins available for this.

And if you manually want to download images from wordpress site it can take your hours downloading them individually. There a a couple quick solutions.

Solution 1 – Export Media Library Using WordPress Plugin

One of the most popular plugins for downloading WordPress library is downML – Download Media Library.

Unfortunately it hasn’t been updated in a while and many people are getting an error when they try to download the library using this plugin.

Here is the error message: “Sorry Sonny! Something went wrong. Reason: zip open failed. “

After some research, I found a solution on one of the forums. (Credit).

Step 1.

Simply go to your plugin list after downloading downML. Then click edit right under downML – Download Media Library plugin title and find following file: downml_settings_page.php

fix downML error

Step 2.

Find and replace following line:

if($zip->open($destination,$overwrite ? ZIPARCHIVE::OVERWRITE : ZIPARCHIVE::CREATE) !== true) {

with this

if($zip->open($destination, ZIPARCHIVE::CREATE) !== true) {

That’s all you need. You might also need to change plugin permission folder to 777, but for me, it worked without it.

Final tip: Once you download the library, don’t forget to deactivate and delete this plugin. Any plugins you’re not using should be removed, to ensure your WordPress website loads fast. Also be careful with any plugins that haven’t been updated for awhile, they’re more likely to have security bugs and issues.

Solution 2 – Download from your Hosting Control Panel.

If you have access to hosting where the site resides you can simply navigate to wp-content folder where you will find uploads folder with all your images and media files categorized by year they were uploaded. Rightclick upload folder with all its content and select download.

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How To Easily Download Wordpress Media Library 1
download Uploads folder containing media files

Solution 3 – Use FTP Plugin to Get Access to Your Media Library

If you have neither access to the website hosting nor ftp information, there is another easy way to export media library inside WordPress. You need to download File Manager plugin.

The nice thing about this plugin is that you don’t need FTP info. It accesses wordpress folders and files without asking for FTP logins.

How To Easily Download Wordpress Media Library 2
Access WP Files without FTP info

After you install this plugin inside your WordPress, you’ll be able to access all your files and folders. Navigate to wp-content > uploads. Right click and download the entire “uploads” folder to your hard drive or wherever you need to save it. This plugin will help you download all your files without getting access to hosting control panel or knowing ftp, which can be extremely useful in situations when you’re missing essential login information.

Hopefully, one of these methods will speed up a process of getting all the images and help you download your entire WordPresss media library.

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5 Comments
  • Angu Ransom
    Posted at 08:06h, 24 December Reply

    Thanks for the post. How can this be done via FTP?
    I moved the content of my site to another host , but it seem all the images were not transfer. I still have access to the old cpanel.

    • Gene Armstrong
      Posted at 12:17h, 26 December Reply

      If you want to download your images using FTP, all you have to is login to your website folder, then navigate to wp-content > uploads folder inside your WordPress directory. All images are there. Simply download these folders and images and that’s how you do it. Good luck.

  • Akhand Pratap Singh
    Posted at 09:36h, 21 September Reply

    informative article, thanks for sharing.

  • Justin Mayhall
    Posted at 09:01h, 24 March Reply

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve been trying for like an hour to figure out how to get my media library downloaded. Every tutorial out there says to use downML but it hasn’t been updated in 3 years. This worked like a charm an SO easy!

    One quick note in WP vs 4.9.4 there is no longer an edit button under the plugin. Instead you will need to go to Plugins > Editor and then select the plugin from the dropdown list at the top. You will then see the file: downml_settings_page.php on the right. From there it’s as easy as copy and paste.

    Thanks again!

    • Jenya Armstrong
      Posted at 09:37h, 26 March Reply

      Thank you, Justin, for pointing it out. I published your comment so others can see it and take note.

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