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How to Import Images from External URLs to Magento?

There are occasions when you do not have images saved locally or on your servers. You might be receiving the file with information from your supplier with reference to images as an external URL. You might also need to export data from one platform to another and image URLs can be a part of your file.


Problem: Magento itself does not allow extract image from remotely hosted http link. How to upload images in this case?


Admin Import& DataFlow

Since import means of back-office cannot fetch remote images from the URL, you need to do it on your own.

  1. Open each image in the browser, right-click on the picture and press ‘Save image as...’ and load it to the local folder at your PC.
  2. After all the images are in this folder, you need to connect to your FTP server and copy images from folder at your computer to media/import directory of your Shopping cart instllation.
  3. In your csv import file in column for images indicate image name with slash at the beginning (corresponding to image titles in media/import folder) in front of appropriate product SKU, like this -
  4. Run Import/Export of DataFlow Profile to link images to corresponding products via import and see them at the front-end.

Import from URL, Bypassing Media Storage

There are the applications that allow grab image from remote location, download it to your own server and assign it to the correct item - all of these right in the process of import.

Store Manager application has exactly the desired functionality, if you want to avoid manual images download and bypass media storage library.


The following steps will ensure quick and successful images upload by URL:

  • The http links to images should be in your file in column(s) for images. Shopping cart allows you to add one and the same or different pics to product, making them base, small, thumbnail or adding extra pictures to the gallery.

  • TIP: Images should accessible, not be zipped and not direct php-requests (with extension at the end), like - http://some_remote_site.com/image_name.jpg

  • If you want to add multiple images to product, you need to separate URLs with symbol that server as data delimiter

  • TIP: As delimiters to differentiate images can be used such symbols as pipe, back-slash, semicolon etc. Used in the file images separator need to be indicted at the appropriate step of Store Manager Import Wizard:

  • Before going over to import procedure itself, you need to make sure that you have granted the software access to upload images to your server.

  • TIP: To upload images via Store Manager for Magento application you need to set up FTP connection within the software. To do that go to Preferences (F12) and input access details in FTP tab.

  • After Products Import Wizard running, important thing to “let the software know” that you need to upload images by checking the appropriate box at this step -

  • TIP: For remote images there is no need to indicate local image directory. Additional options allow on-the-fly avoid duplicates by re-generating image name if there already exists exactly the same. You can also clear already present product images if necessary (e.g. if they were uploaded incorrectly previously)

  • Map column with images from your file to database fields where image records should be saved.

  • TIP: If you have one image for all image types, you need to assign one and the same CSV column to database fields for small, base, thumbnail images and also to media gallery.

  • After import is reported to be successful, check your images at the front-end.

  • TIP: Images import is pretty time-consuming process since images are being uploaded to your server and linked to the products on-the-fly. Thus, even when import has showed you ‘Finish’ screen, the pictures might still be loading. Check if there are any in FTP tasks queue.

Open for yourself new experience in images upload to Magento, uploading remote (external images from supplier) using their URLs. Try it free right now -

Try FREE remote images import via Store Manager for Magento Try Import

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