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The WordPress built-in upload functionality has its pitfalls. Chief amongst which is the restriction on file size upload and sometimes a number of simultaneous file uploads. A way around this problem is to use the FTP tool to bulk-upload your media files into the WordPress media library. 

Bulk uploading files to your WordPress media library enables you to upload files with large sizes likewise allowing the simultaneous upload of a large number of files. This is quite a simple process when working with FTP. A few added steps would be required if you want these uploaded files to be available in your WordPress media library. In this article, we will be looking at how to go about this process.

When do you need to bulk upload files to your WordPress media library? The regular WordPress media library upload feature would be just fine as long as you are not trying to upload:

  • Large numbers of individual files (say in hundreds) simultaneously 
  • Files of large sizes beyond the max upload size of your host site. (some host sites have a max upload size as small as 3mb by default)

An easier alternative will be to upload the files using FTP. However, WordPress doesn’t recognize files uploaded via FTP; these files will not show inside your WordPress media library. 

Fortunately, there is a way around that. In this article; the entire steps are broken down for you from start to finish.

So, for the files you want to bulk upload to appear in the media library, you need to complete the following process:

  • Upload the files to your uploads via FTP
  • Use a free WordPress plugin to enlist the files you uploaded with your WordPress media library.


First, you need to connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client. For this illustration, we will be using the Filezilla program. You will need your FTP login credentials for your FTP connection. Once you are connected to your website via FTP, go to “/wp-content/uploads” folder

You can confirm your connection status by looking at where your status is pointing. If it points towards your website; you are good to go.

In the uploads folder, the folders are arranged accordingly in years and months. By default, this is how WordPress stores media files. From here, upload your media files to the current year and month, respectively. In a situation where you cannot find the current year and month, you should create it manually. For example 2019 for the current year and inside that folder you can create a new folder 10 for October. 

Uploading your files could take a while and its dependent on the file size likewise your internet speed. After successfully uploading your media files (image, audio, video, or any other file format) supported by WordPress, you are good to go. Now the next step would be to import them into WordPress.


Once the FTP uploads are done, your files are now live on your server. But if you navigate to your WordPress media library, you will notice that the files are not there just yet. This is because WordPress doesn’t automatically recognize files uploaded via FTP.

When you upload a file using the default WordPress media uploader, the files and associated information are saved in the database from where it is fetched for display in the WordPress media library.

To fix this issue, we will need to download, install, and activate the Add from server plugin. Once activated, go to your Media >> Add from the server, then click the uploads folder from the list of folders that are displayed.

From here you will be able to locate a list of the files you just uploaded via FTP. Tick the checkbox accordingly to select to import single files individually or select all to import everything. After making your selection, click the import button at the page bottom to initiate the import

The plugin will then start enlisting your imported media into the WordPress media library. You will see a live progress report on the screen as it goes through each file.

Once it is done, navigate back to Media >> Library and you will see all your imported files.

That’s it! You are done. You can now proceed to add those images, audio, video, or any other media files to your live WordPress posts.


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