By default, media uploaded through the Wordpress dashboard goes into a folder determined by the current date. For example: /wp-content/uploads/2011/09/. Once the media is uploaded I'm not seeing any options in Wordpress to change the location of my file to something else.

Can I tell Wordpress to place my media in a separate folder? Not all my media. Just ones that I specifically select.

7 Answers 7

  1. Go to Dashboard -> Settings -> Media
  2. Enter the desired location in Store uploads in this folder
  3. Uncheck Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders

This will specify the global upload location. To specify a per-file upload location, you'll need to use a Plugin, such as WP Easy Uploader (not an endorsement, per se; it was just the first one I found).

  • Thanks! That answered my question and that plugin you posted looks absolutely perfect. Unfortunately it hasn't been updated since 2009. I guess I should probably see if there's anything available that's more up-to-date.
    – jkupczak
    Sep 30, 2011 at 23:14
  • 1
    For anyone else looking at this, the plugin still works on WordPress 3.5. However, it's kind of limited in that you have to manually type in the path (you can't browse for it), you can only upload one file at a time, and you have to go to the plugin to upload, it doesn't override the basic upload functionality. But it's probably still the best file uploading plugin out there.
    – gsingh2011
    Dec 20, 2012 at 16:31
  • WP EASY Uploader is not updated anymore. I found custom upload dir plugin
    – user9
    Oct 5, 2015 at 19:53

I would advise against un-ticking 'Organize Media' unless in a situation where you are handling storage elsewhere.

Having a large amount of files in one directory is flawed for many reasons, though there is some situations where this is unavoidable but for a website this is always unavoidable.

I inherited a Wordpress website and was tasked with moving it to another host. This proved to be a problem since all uploads were in one folder, over 93,000 files - yes 93 thousand.

No FTP client was able to index that many files and simply would not navigate into the folder.

I had no shell access to the system.

I couldn't do a full dump using the hosting control panel as there was no option to do so.

I had to rely on the hosting company to do a dump for me, which was a task in itself tying to get them to do it.

Apart from these potential issues, indexing thousands of files is slower than indexing tens or hundreds of files - simply, performance is effected with large amounts of files in one directory.

  • 8
    Unfortunately, the date organization structure, which is very useful for blogs, isn't so useful for CMS sites that don't incorporate blogs. Seems like there should be an easy way to create an upload file structure based on things like post type (ie, page uploads go in different folder than CPT uploads).
    – Ray Gulick
    Feb 4, 2014 at 20:16
  • I'm experiencing the same problem at the moment. Did you ever find a good way of splitting up the folder after moving hosts, or did you just leave the existing 93k files as they are and turn on Organize Media?
    – patrickzdb
    Jun 19, 2014 at 15:10
  • in the scenario above, you may opt to write a function to incrementally move the files (assuming you have the ability to modify php files within the WordPress install)
    – ljs.dev
    Jun 3, 2016 at 14:07

Another solution to this problem:

  1. Go to Dashboard → Settings → Media and uncheck "Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders". So now every file you upload will be placed in "wp-content\uploads" [optional step, but recomended to find easily new uploads for moving to another folder].
  2. Install "Media File Manager" plugin.
  3. Go to Dashboard → Media → Media File Manager.

Here you can create all folders you wish to organize your contents. The two divided window is just for moving content between different folders, you create a folder in one side and it'll be refreshed in both. Use two sides to navigate to current and destiny folders of your content, then use left or right arrow to move it, it's easy!

Notice DB is updated also, so if for example you move an image you're currently using elsewhere in your web, you'll have to reselect this image from Media Library or it won't appear in your web.

Hope you'll find this info useful. Regards!


A 'quick hack' solution for the occasional situation where you want to upload a media file to the directory for a particular year/month in the past:

  • add a temporary draft post (don't save)
  • change the publishing date to the year and month you want and [Save Draft]
  • [Add Media] in that post - WordPress will save it to the folder for that year/month.
  • go back to Posts and delete the draft post.

As long as you didn't publish it, the post will never appear on your site, or in feeds etc. but the media file will be left in that directory.

I appreciate that this is for a very specific case of the question above, but it helped me, when adding to a set of downloads that needed to be kept together. No good if you actually wanted them outside the chronological tree.

  • Finally a simple and intuitive answer that can be understood in terms of WordPress's own internal functionality. The simple task of (a) Damn, these few media files are missing (b) I have the originals (c) can I upload them to their original folder... is made crystal clear by this hack. To me (Wordpress newbie, experienced programmer) everything else is confusing overkill that does not seem to answer this particular specific case of the question.
    – omatai
    Jun 6, 2021 at 1:29
  • A shame it seems this functionality has disappeared - I tried it within "Instant WordPress" both without upgrade (WP 4.7.1) and after upgrade (WP 5.7.2) and both placed uploaded media in the 21/06 folder corresponding to today's month/year :-(
    – omatai
    Jun 6, 2021 at 7:33

This is what you are looking for: Media Library Plus

I used it and it did the trick. Here is the guide on how to use it.


Use this 'FileBird' free plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/filebird/, and you will see how to upload files to a specific folder like this the image below.  image

  • I'm downvoting FileBird because it does not address the question (as I read it). If I want to restore files uploaded into .../2021/06 today back to their original location of .../2018/03, then there is no obvious way to do this in FileBird. To me, it seems to give you no folder structure that you do not create yourself, and no access to the native WordPress one. If that's not true, then its design hides this native structure, and that is worth a downvote alone.
    – omatai
    Jun 6, 2021 at 1:26

Just use http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/nextgen-gallery/ Nextgen Gallery. You can upload groups of images there, use it to display galleries, or upload a single image from there in the WP image insert window.

  • 1
    How exactly the plugin applies to the situation asked in the Question?
    – brasofilo
    Feb 9, 2013 at 20:33
  • Yeah, I don't see how nextgen-gallery does what the OP wants.
    – Jason
    Jul 13, 2013 at 19:17
  • This doesn't answer the question, it's specific to galleries in NextGen, rather than general media uploads. Aug 7, 2013 at 21:32

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