Instant Images – One Click Unsplash Uploads


Instantly upload photos from Unsplash to your website without leaving WordPress!

Instant Images is the fastest and easiest way to upload high quality FREE photos from directly to your media library.

The perfect tool for users who want to save time and frustration by uploading images directly inside their WordPress installation and for developers who want to prototype and develop using real world imagery.

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  • Image Search – The Instant Images search let’s you quickly find and upload images for any subject in a matter of seconds!
  • Time Saver – Quickly upload amazing stock photos without leaving the comfort of your WordPress admin.
  • Theme/Plugin Developers – A great tool for developers who want to prototype and develop using real world imagery.
  • Edit Image Metadata – Easily edit image filename, alt text and caption prior to uploading to your media library.
  • Easy to Use – It couldn’t get much more simple, just click an image and it’s automatically uploaded to your media library for use on your site.

Tested Browsers

  • Firefox (Mac + PC)
  • Chrome (Mac + PC)
  • Safari (Mac)
  • IE 11 >



  • Dashboard - Browse, search and upload images to your WordPress media library
  • Search - Find and upload images for any subject in a matter of seconds!
  • Image Metadata - Easily edit image filename, alt text and caption prior to uploading to your media library.
  • Post/Page Edit - Unsplash images in a lightbox on your post edit/new/post pages.


How to install Instant Images.

Using The WordPress Dashboard

  1. Navigate to the ‘Add New’ in the plugins dashboard
  2. Search for ‘Instant Images’
  3. Click ‘Install Now’
  4. Activate the plugin on the Plugin dashboard

Uploading in WordPress Dashboard

  1. Navigate to the ‘Add New’ in the plugins dashboard
  2. Navigate to the ‘Upload’ area
  3. Select from your computer
  4. Click ‘Install Now’
  5. Activate the plugin in the Plugin dashboard

Using FTP

  1. Download
  2. Extract the instant-images directory to your computer
  3. Upload the instant-images directory to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  4. Activate the plugin in the Plugin dashboard


Can I legally use these photos on my website?

All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.
Learn More

Can I search for individual photos by ID?

Yes! You can enter id:{photo_id} into the search box to return a single result.
e.g. id:YiUi00uqKk8

I’m unable to download images, what is the cause of this?

Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why Instant Images may not work in your current hosting/server environment. Please read through the FAQ on our website to view some potential causes.

Are the images upload to the Media Library?

Yes, once clicked, the images are processed on the server then uploaded to the Media Library into the various sizes set in your theme.

Are raw uploads stored on the server?

No, once an image has be uploaded and resized the raw download will be removed from your server.

Are there server requirements?

Yes, this plugin is required to write temporary images into an /instant-images directory within your WordPress uploads directory for image processing prior to being uploaded to the media library.

Some hosts lock down their servers and you may be required to update your php.ini or .htaccess in order to use this plugin.


It just doesn’t work

I installed it in all my websites, it would be great if it would work but it doesn’t, it just says “resizing…” forever when downloading a picture. Very frustrating.

Saves me trouble -twice

this is utility gives the comfort searching unsplash photos from WordPress dashboard(1) and it automatically resize the dimension you decide which shortens the time of this labour.(2)

My thanks goes to people behind of this plugin.

Can not recommend right now

Sorry to say, but I can not recommend this plugin right now. For one, like for some other reviewers, it did not work for me. After clicking a photo on Unsplash, it tells me it is downloading, than it goes to resizing. Then it stays there forever without anything ever turning up in my media folder. I had set it to 705×400 as that is what I need for a header photo for new posts.

So it’s back to using Unsplash manualy. I deleted the plugin. Today my WP-Backup plugin threw me an warning saying: `WARNUNG: File “/var/www/web9/htdocs/wp-content/uploads/instant-images” is not readable! After checking it out, I saw that your plugin had not deleted that file. I consider this harmful for security reasons. Maybe you can fix that. If there is a clue, why the plugin does not work for me, I would give it another try, because the idea is great and I use Unsplash almost every day. Happy to give any other information needed.

A waste of my time

I sent 3 hours and a dozen keywords looking for at least 1 file I could use,and couldn’t find anything. Uninstalling this plug-in.

Read all 19 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Instant Images – One Click Unsplash Uploads” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.



3.2.1 – September 25, 2018

  • NEW – Added Instant Images to media upload tabs. You can now upload a photo and insert it into a page or page immediately. Please note, this is currently not working with the Gutenberg editor.
  • UPDATE – Better cURL error handling (hopefully).

= 3.2 – July 31, 2018
** NEW – Added functionality to edit image details (filename, alt text and caption) prior to uploading – edit image detail by clicking the options icon in the top right corner of each image 👍.
** UPDATE – Improved error handling and messaging for common REST API and cURL issues.

3.1.1 – June 15, 2018

** NEW – More stable image uploading 🎉.
** NEW – Added instant_images_user_role filter to allow for control over user capability.
** FIX – Fixing permission issues with uploads when using basic HTTP authentication on domain.
** UPDATE – Better error handling
** UPDATE – Added permission 755 to the uploads/instant-images directory created on activation.

3.1 – January 2, 2018

** NEW – Adding support for searching individual photos by ID. Prefix a search term with id: to search by Unsplash ID. e.g. id:ixddk_CepZY.
** UPDATED – Updated to meet revised Unsplash API guidelines.
** UPDATED – Better Error messaging for upload/resize errors.
** NEW – Added clear search button to remove search results.
** FIX – Fixed JS error that occured when SCRIPT_DEBUG was set to true.

3.0 – September 21, 2017

** NEW – Instant Images has been completely re-built using React and the WordPress REST API.

2.1.1 – June 6, 2017

** NEW – Added infinite scroll while viewing Instant Images on large screens.
** FIX – Fixed missing js file error in browser console.
** UPDATE – Updated Masonry/Imagesloaded image load functionality.

2.1 – May 12, 2017

** UPDATE – Remove App ID setting – Unsplash API is now open for everyone without API limit restrictions.
** UPDATE – Updating default image upload from ‘Full’ to ‘Raw’. Raw files are significantly smaller size and should make uploads quicker on slower connections and help to reduce upload errors.
** UPDATE – UI/UX tweaks and updates.
** FIX – Updating media_buttons hook. Was causing issues with other plugins.

2.0.1 – January 12, 2017

  • FIX – Update to instant_img_resize_image function to remove unnecessary function arguments. These args were causing issues on some servers.
  • NEW – Refresh Media Library content when uploading images through the Instant Images uploader on edit screen for posts and pages.
  • UI Enhancements


  • Initial Commit
  • Updating plugin from UnsplashWP to Instant Images