Media Export not Exporting ALL Media

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    Media Export not Exporting ALL Media

    So I’ve exported ‘all’ of my media library over to my new blog, but some of my media (which is attached to my posts) does not appear in my new media library and I cannot for the life of me get it to export from my current blog.

    It’s completely random too, and when I export media from certain months – even with a range as large as December 2018 – May 2019, the exported folder is empty with no .xml file.

    If anyone has any solution, I’d be so grateful. I also cannot install plugins in my blog so that’s out of the question.

    Thank you.

    The blog I need help with is



    Hi there,

    The media export file should be a .zip archive and not a .xml file. Please make sure you’re exporting your Media Library from the following page:

    If this still doesn’t work or you have more questions, just let me know and I’ll be happy to help!


    Oh it’s a zip file but when I open the zip file I find an xml file to upload into the importer.

    Is there any way that I can have someone from WordPress to export all of my media for me??



    @jasperandspice, when I click “download” here I start to download a large tar file:

    It’s 4.9GB, so certainly not XML. We can’t really email a file that large to you, but we can help you troubleshoot if you’re not getting the same thing we are.

    Are you clicking “Export All” there, or “Download” ?


    So when I export it that way it is:
    1. A .zip file, yes
    2. There is only a “Download” option for media, not an export option. The export option is for all content which does not include media.
    3. It only downloads to 1GB then fails every time, no matter what internet I am using. So I always go onto the wpadmin site and export it through that way.

    Any way you can help would be amazing.



    It only downloads to 1GB then fails every time

    Ah, I must have missed that. Does it give a specific error?


    No not at all.

    Irregardless of that, I’d like to obtain a .xml link to import into by blog and not just the files themselves.

    A lot of those media files that I am missing are post headers that are attached to the posts but for some reason are not being imported when I import my posts “with attachments”.

    It’s quite puzzling.



    Hi there, hope you don’t mind me adding to this discussion.

    Have you searched for “unattached” files in your WP Admin Media Dashboard? If you find unattached files, you can attach them to an existing page or create a special page just for those files and attach them to it. Then create a new export file of your site content, not just the Media files.

    The Media export available is a backup file for you, but you won’t use it to “import” your image attachments to your new site.

    What happens at the import end is that the exported XML file contains pointers to all your Media files so when you import it to another site, your Media files will be pulled over as long as your old site is online and Public.

    Hope that helps too.


    Thanks for the help.

    I’ll try that, but the images I want are attached aha.
    It’s so random I’m just going to have to go through all 300 posts and add the images manually. It’ll be a pain but I have no other choice, seems like this has never happened before.

    Thanks anyways



    Hi there,

    What @justjennifer said above is correct.

    The Media Export option is simply a download of everything in your media library as a .tar archive. That is so you can bulk-download all your images to your own computer, but that file cannot be imported anywhere else.

    If you have a lot of media, that download can sometimes “time out”, and there’s not anything we can really do about that at this point.

    If you want to migrate to another site, you don’t want the media export. For that you have to export your content itself, which will generate a .zip folder containing several .xml files for your site.

    That .zip folder you can then upload to another site at My Site ->Tools ->Import, or you can unzip it and import the individual .xml files in WP-Admin on any WordPress site. As long as the original site you exported from is still online and set to public, the images should be transferred to the new site as part of the import process.

    If all the images are not being imported correctly, we’ll need to know the URL of the site you’re importing to, so we can check things on that end.


    Thank you!

    That second half of your message is what I need to hear! Okay so only some of my photos are being imported, I am assuming its an error on the export end but it could be an import error.

    I am moving media from to, is there any way you can check things out?



    Right, the problem here is is not hosted on our servers, so we have no control over the importer on that site, and no access to your site dashboard or your server, so if the problem is with the import, process, we’re not able to help here.

    And I’m afraid that’s likely where the problem is – importing media on WordPress is known to have this issue. On the importer we’ve been putting in a lot of work to improve how this works, but the importer on your self-hosted site is still the original, basic WordPress importer that hasn’t changed much in years.

    Just to make sure, did you select the full export option? That is typically the most reliable to ensure all images are also transferred – if you use a date-range, or one of the other partial exports, especially unattached media won’t be migrated.

    Looking through the forums, it does appear there are some alternative import plugins you can try instead of the default WordPress import plugin, so I’d suggest you try that next. These two threads in particular contain several suggestions and links with additional info:

    For more help on the import side of things, please post in those forums instead.


    Yeah I tried the full export option.

    Thank you for the help. I am just going to do everything manually now I have answers. You’ve been a great help.



    You’re very welcome :)

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