This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Import external attachments


Makes local copies of all the linked images and pdfs in a post, adding them as gallery attachments.

Source & support:


This plugin is based on the work done in the “Import External Images” plugin by MartyThornley.

HTTPS support added by IvanDoomer:

PDF support added by bengreeley:

Most of the JavaScript was rewritten from the original plugin, to reduce the
number of global variables.


  1. Download the “Import external attachments” zip file.
  2. Extract the files to your WordPress plugins directory.
  3. Activate the plugin via the WordPress Plugins tab.


How does this plugin work?

The plugin examines the HTML source of your post when you save it, inspecting each IMG tag, and processing them according to the options you have selected.

Under the default settings, it will find IMG tags with links to images on other web sites and copy those images to your web site, updating the IMG src to point to your copy.

PDF functionality was added by bengreeley.

Does it work with MultiSite?

Yes! It was developed and built (and is used everyday) at – a multisite install.

What if i don’t want to import images from a third party image hosting site?

You can make it ignore any domain you want on the settings page, in case you work with a CDN or photo hosting site and want to keep those images where they are.


Works well 4.9.6

I've read of some people having issues with this for larger files but I haven't encountered any issues yet and have dealt with fairly large PDFs and images. Maybe it's your server configuration that's causing issues. Can download attachments on a per post/page basis (via meta box in sidebar) or site wide (Media > Import Attachments from the menu). It's great how it stands out in the editor sidebar so it's obvious the post you're looking at has external content. If there is no external content then the panel isn't visible.

Working on 4.9.4 Like a Dream!

This should be a premium plugin really... only thing on the market which is working after testing various others. Currently running on a site with over 250 posts all from the old URL and has only had to be "refreshed" once so far. Around 2-3 images per post as far as i'm aware. It's updating the URLs too (the odd post it's missing separate href links) but hey, saving a lot of time.

Best Image import plugin on the market

Many folks are complaining about the plugin only importing a few images and then stopping ... I think the issue is the webpage timeout, not the plugin's fault. I change my firefox webpage timeout to NONE: I also changed my Wp-config.php timeout to 240: I had the issue of the plugin not completing the job before I made these changes. After the changes, it downloaded over a few hundred images on over 70 posts.

Only works with small files or few images

This plugin is great IF you only have a few images to import and they are small file sizes. If you have images above about 800 pixels wide then you are going to have to edit the plugin to reduce the number you bring in each time - sometime severely. I've had it down to 2 at a time to import images 1200x900 pixels. Otherwise the plugin WILL fail, returning a blank page or a 404 error, and make a right mess of things in the Media Library when it does. It will actually import some of the files, but doesn't realise it has, so the next time you try you get "-1" suffixes on the file names, then if that fails, "-2" and so on until you have multiple copies which you then have to go in to delete and clean up the references in your post. Right now I have a post with 80 images in it and have to import them 5 at a time, so 16 attempts. That's after trying 20, 12 and 8 at a time, all of which failed and produced duplicates. Not quick, easy or fun to clean up afterwards. Plus you have to give it a few seconds after each try or it will just return having done nothing. If you only have a few relatively small images it will do the job just fine, but be prepared to put some work in if it fails.
Read all 21 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Import external attachments” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.




  • Adds support for pages.
  • Adds support for .doc and .docx files.
  • Fixes security issue by not directly echoing $_GET['post'] but casting it to int.
  • Adds support for filenames with spaces in them (by removing the space from the exclusion in the regex).
  • Makes the regexes slightly easier to read by making them case insensitive.


Add .jpeg support.


Remove duplicate README.


Fix some typos.


Add GitHub link.


Fix naming.


Make import_images_start_time a function. Hopefully it works now. :^)


Make import_images_start_time globally accessible.


General cleanup.


Merged upstream pull requests from bengreeley and IvanDoomer and changed to ‘Import external attachments’.
Now supports PDFs and HTTPS!


Fixed case sensitivity, thanks to
Fixed duplicate EXTERNAL_IMAGES_DIR notice


Fixed title in readme.