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How to add folders to the WordPress Media Library

Last Updated on July 28th, 2023

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Struggling to organize your WordPress Media Library? When you first launch your site, it’s easy to keep track of all your image and media files because…well, there just aren’t that many of them.

However, as your site grows, it gets a lot more difficult to keep a handle on everything because the WordPress Media Library just throws everything together in one bin.

In our FileBird review, we’ll take a look at a freemium plugin that helps you wrangle your Media Library by adding drag-and-drop folders to your Media Library. Yes – you’ll be able to organize and move your WordPress media files just like you do on your computer.

Keep reading to learn more about FileBird’s features and get a hands-on look at how it works on our own test site.

FileBird Review: The Feature List

As we mentioned in the introduction, the core feature of FileBird is that it adds folders to the Media Library. With FileBird installed, you’ll be able to create and view files in a list on the left. Then, you can use drag-and-drop to move files around as needed:

filebird review example

These are virtual file folders, which means the plugin doesn’t actually change the location of the files on your server – it just helps you visually organize files inside your WordPress dashboard. This is an important clarification because without this feature you would break all the existing instances of an image if you changed its folder.

However, this is not the case with FileBird – you can safely move files around as much as you want without any danger of causing issues with posts where you’ve previously used that image/file. You can even include one file in multiple folders if needed.

In addition to working inside the native WordPress editors, FileBird also works with other plugins, including WordPress page builder plugins. Really, it works anywhere that opens the Media Library inserter.

Beyond that, you can:

  • Drag-and-drop files to move them between folders
  • Bulk select files and move them around
  • Nest folders inside of one another, including drag-and-dropping folders
  • Include files in multiple folders
  • Use various sort options to find the right files/folders
  • Use right-click to interact with folders

Let’s go hands-on and I’ll show you how it works in more detail…

Hands-On With FileBird

Note – I’m using the premium version of this plugin for the hands-on section. However, you can also get most of these features using the free version at WordPress.org – the main differences are that you’ll be limited in how many folders you can create with the free version and the free version doesn’t include the advanced sort options for files/folders.

Creating Your Folders

Once you install and activate FileBird, you can get started right away. When you go to Media → Library, you’ll see a new Folders sidebar to the left of the original Media Library interface. If you want, you can use drag-and-drop to resize the size of the sidebar.

To get started, you can click the New Folder button to create your first folder:

create new folders

You can also create sub-folders inside of parent folders. And to move folders around, you can use drag-and-drop to rearrange the order or move a folder inside of another folder.

Here, you can see the Logos folder inside of the WPLift Brand Images folder:

nested folders

Moving Files Around

Once you’ve created your folder(s), it’s super easy to move files around. All you do is click and drag them – just like you do on your computer:

filebird review example

If you want to move multiple files, you can also click the Bulk Select button to select multiple files. Then, you can drag-and-drop all of those files in one action:

bulk select

Using Folders in the WordPress Editor

In addition to using your folders in the main Media Library interface, you can also access them while working in the WordPress editor (either the new Block editor or the older Classic editor).

When you add an image block in the Block editor, you can click the Media Library option to open the full Media Library.

There, you’ll be able to access all your folders. You can even create new folders and move files around from this interface:

Using Folders in Other Plugins (e.g. Page Builders)

Beyond working in the native WordPress editor, you can also use your folders in other plugins, like WordPress page builders. Basically, if the plugin lets you open the regular Media Library interface, you should be able to access your folders.

To test this, I activated Elementor, our favorite page builder plugin here at WPLift (and the one we use). Then, I added an Image widget and clicked to select the image from the Media Library.

And…voila – I have the exact same access to the folders (you can see the Elementor interface peeking out behind):

Media folders in Elementor

Using Right-Click to Interact

Another neat feature is that you can use right-click to interact with your files/folders. You can use right-click to:

  • Create new folders
  • Rename folders
  • Cut a folder
  • Paste a folder
  • Delete folders

Using Sort Options

Finally, with the premium version, FileBird also gives you sort options for both your files and folders, which you can access from a button in the interface.

For folders, you can sort by the folder name in either ascending or descending order.

For files, you get some additional options:

  • Name – ascending or descending
  • Date uploaded – ascending or descending
  • Last modified date – ascending or descending
  • Author (uploader) – ascending or descending
filebird sort options

FileBird Pricing

FileBird comes in both a free version at WordPress.org as well as a premium version.

The free version is pretty generous with its functionality – it gets you all of the features except for the sort options. However, the key limit is that you can only create 10 folders with the free version. If you can fit within that limit, great! The free version is probably all you need.

However, to use unlimited folders (and also gain access to the sort options), you’ll want to upgrade.

The premium version costs $25 at CodeCanyon with standard Envato licensing:

  • 6 months of support
  • Lifetime updates for a single site

Final Thoughts on FileBird

Overall, FileBird is a really useful tool if you, or your clients, want a simpler, more visual way to organize files in the WordPress Media Library.

Because it uses virtual folders, you don’t have to worry about breaking anything when you move files around. You can also add files to multiple folders without creating lots of duplicate files on your server.

The interface itself looks modern and was smooth/glitch-free when I was using it. Additionally, I like that it still preserves much of the original Media Library design, which should make it easy for even casual users to pick up. That is, you don’t need to learn a completely new interface – you just get a new sidebar to manage your folders.

Finally, it has a free version, which is great. If you need fewer than 10 folders, the free version gives you everything you need. Then, if you ever want to expand that limit, the Pro version is still affordable at just $25.

If you’re interested in getting started, you can click one of the buttons below:

Get Pro Version Get Free Version

A team of WordPress experts that love to test out new WordPress related software, WordPress plugins and WordPress themes.