How to Upload Large Files in WordPress (Step-by-Step Guide)

Are you struggling to upload large files in WordPress and hitting a snag? It can certainly be a challenge, especially when the files surpass your WordPress media limit.

Anyone who’s attempted to upload a hefty file into WordPress will understand how aggravating it can be. The core issue lies in the fact that WordPress, by default, isn’t equipped to manage large files. Consequently, we need to boost the maximum file upload size.

In this blog, we’ll explore how to upload substantial files in WordPress without impacting performance. I will guide you through various methods that will enable you to upload large files to your blog effortlessly.

So, let’s get started with the guide!

Why Upload Large Files in WordPress?

By default, each web hosting provider sets a limit for the maximum file size you can upload to your site, which typically ranges from 2MB to 500 MB.

For most WordPress blog owners, this limit is more than sufficient. However, for some, it falls short of their requirements, and they need to increase the maximum file upload size to avoid upload errors.

There are numerous reasons why you might need to upload large files in WordPress. Below are a few examples:

  • If you’re a photographer or graphic designer, you may need to upload high-resolution images to your website.
  • If you run a business, you might need to upload PDFs or other large files for your customers to download.
  • You might want to install a large plugin or theme.
  • If you have a blog where you sell products such as photos, videos, eBooks, and more.
  • If your site requires regular updates like uploading new photos, videos, or audio that exceed your current file upload limit.

How to Find Maximum File Upload Size in WordPress

Before uploading large files to your WordPress blog, it’s important to be aware of the default WordPress maximum file upload size. Identifying the file upload limit is quite straightforward.

find file size under media library
Find File Size Under Media Library

First, go to “Media Library > Add New.” Just below the “Select Files” option, as shown in the previous image, there’s a note about the maximum file upload size.

In our case, the limit is 64MB.

How to Upload Large Files in WordPress

Uploading a large file is not a complex task; there are several methods that allow you to upload files as large as you desire. In this guide, I will discuss the three most popular and widely used methods that are also easy to implement. You can upload large files by:

  1. Using FTP
  2. Editing .htaccess
  3. Using a Plugin

Let’s explore each method in detail.

Method 1: Upload Large Files to WordPress Using FTP

The first method for uploading large files is by using FTP. FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is a standard network protocol utilized for transferring files between a client and a server. FTP is based on a client-server model architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server.

FTP is a commonly implemented protocol for transferring files over the internet and is supported by all major operating systems. It provides a simple and efficient means of transferring files between computers, often being used by web developers to upload and download files to and from a web server.

filezilla: free ftp solution
FileZilla: Free FTP Solution

The initial step is to connect to your website server via FTP and upload the large media file.

There are several excellent FTP software options available, but “FileZilla” and “CyberDuck” are two of the most commonly used. I recommend you use FileZilla. You can download it from here. Make sure you only download the “FileZilla Client“.

enter details under "quickconnect" in filezilla
Enter Details Under “Quickconnect” in FileZilla

Next, open FileZilla and input the host, username, and password, then click on the “Quickconnect” button, as displayed in the previous image. Also, leave the “Port” field empty.

Wondering where you’ll find all this data? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. To obtain the host (your website IP), username, and password, you need to log in to your “cPanel” and look at the right sidebar under “General Information”.

find "general information" in cpanel
Find “General Information” in cPanel

As shown in the preceding image, I have my username (Current User) and host (Shared IP Address). In the password field, enter the password for your hosting’s cPanel.

select year and month under remote site
Select Year and Month Under Remote Site

After you have successfully connected to your website via FTP, you have to navigate to “public_html > wp-content > uploads > year > month”. Here, you can select a year and month as per your requirements.

For example, I want to upload my file in the first month of the year 2023, so my path will look like this: “public_html > wp-content > uploads > 2023 > 01”.

drag and drop file under empty directory listing
Drag and Drop the File Under Empty Directory Listing

Next, you have to simply drag and drop your file under “Empty directory listing” as shown in the above image. After successfully uploading the file, you can see it under the folder.

wordpress media library
WordPress Media Library

Uploading the file doesn’t complete the process, as your file won’t appear in the media library unless it’s added using the default native WordPress media uploader.

In my situation, I’ve visited my WordPress media library, but I can’t see the file.

add plugins and activate it
Add Plugins and Activate It

That’s why you need to install a plugin called “Add From Server”. Navigate to “Plugins > Add New”, search for this plugin by name, and simply install and activate it.

multiple website directories present in media
Multiple Website Directories Present in Media

Now, navigate to “Media > Add From Server,” and you will see multiple website directories. In our case, we need to select “uploads/” (as we previously uploaded a file to this folder).

choose year and month folder
Choose Year and Month Folder

After that, you have to choose the year and month folder wherever you have uploaded your file. In my case, it’s “2023 > 01”.

choose year and month folder
Select Uploaded File Before Import

In this step, you have to select the file that you uploaded earlier and click on the “Import” button, as shown in the above image.

see uploaded file in media library
See Uploaded File in Media Library

Now, visit the Media Library, and you will see your uploaded file. You can use it anywhere on your website, similar to other files.

Method 2: Upload Large Files to WordPress By Editing the .htaccess File

In this method, you’ll need to edit the .htaccess file to increase the maximum upload file size in WordPress. This is quite simple to do and requires minimal effort.

The WordPress .htaccess file is a crucial part of the WordPress website. It is utilized to manage various aspects of the site, including security, caching, and redirects.

Given the importance of this file to your blog, it’s recommended to backup your site before making any edits, as changes can potentially disrupt your website. Due to the significant role this file plays, some web hosting providers limit user access to it. If you encounter issues accessing the .htaccess file, I advise you to reach out to your web hosting company.

upload large file by editing ".htaccess" file
Upload Large File by Editing “.htaccess” File

To access the .htaccess file, you can use either cPanel or FTP software. In this instance, I’ll use cPanel provided by my web hosting service. Simply log into cPanel and open the “File Manager”. Here, you need to open the “.htaccess” file and add the following code:

Method 3: Upload Large Files to WordPress Using Plugin

All of the above methods require access to the website’s server. However, if you’d prefer to avoid such technical steps, don’t worry. I’ll show you how to upload large files to your WordPress blog without needing to access the backend or server.

big file upload plugin
Big File Upload Plugin

The Big File Uploads plugin is an excellent WordPress plugin that makes it easy for you to upload big files in the media library without hassles. More than 70,000 WordPress blog owners also use this plugin.

The standout feature of this plugin is that it divides large files into smaller pieces and uploads them, preventing any timeout errors. Additionally, you can set the maximum file upload size for each user individually. To begin using this plugin, navigate to “Settings > Big File Uploads.

Here, you’ll see that the plugin automatically detects the default file upload size of your blog.

custom file upload size in "big file uploads"
Custom File Upload Size in “Big File Uploads”

However, you’ll see an option to input a custom file upload size (in MB). After entering your desired size, click on the “Save” button, as shown in the previous image. As depicted in that image, I’ve entered 512MB, meaning I can upload large files of up to 512 MB.

Wrapping Up!

Now you know how to upload large files to WordPress. It’s your time to make the best use of your blog by uploading big files to your website. The methods and suggestions I’ve shared should help you do this.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope it has been helpful and has guided you on how to handle larger files on your WordPress site.

If you have more doubts or concerns, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Stay connected for our next post where we will continue to share useful tips and insights.

Sunny Kumar

Number of posts: 159

Hi, I'm Sunny Kumar, a passionate tech enthusiast and a blogger from New Delhi, India. With a degree in IT from IIT-D and expertise in SEO, Cloud Computing, Telecom & Networking, and CEH, I specialize in various technical fields, including SEO, WordPress Development, and PC Building. And being a proficient WordPress user, I’m dedicated to delivering quality content and a remarkable user experience.

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