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Easy Digital Downloads Documentation
Documentation, Reference Materials, and Tutorials for Easy Digital Downloads

How can I use files that are too large for WordPress to upload?

If you are seeing the error “Sorry, this file could not be downloaded.” when attempting to download files, please read the following.

Notice: As of Easy Digital Downloads 2.9.13, any files delivered by absolute path, are required to live within the WP_CONTENT_DIR directory or a subdirectory of the WP_CONTENT_DIR. By default this location is the wp-content directory. The above error indicates that you are using absolute file paths for files that are stored in an unsupported directory. Moving these files and/or folders to the wp-content directory will resolve this issue.

One easy method is to store your files someplace other than your server. The
Amazon S3 and Dropbox addons both allow for this, and integrate seamlessly into the WordPress Media Library. Once they’re installed you use the Media Library like normal, but the files are stored elsewhere, and the file size issue is resolved.

If however you’d like to keep your files local, there is a way to accomplish that. We recommend using a plugin called
Add From Server.

Quick Description

  1. You use an SFTP program or any other upload method that works to place the file on your server in the right folder
  2. You browse to that folder in Add From Server
  3. You use Add From Server to import the file to the media library

After that everything is the same.

Detailed Description


First install Add From Server the normal way in your WordPress plugins interface. Once it’s installed you can go to
Settings → Add From Server and see where you can set up access control.

For user access control we recommend you leave the default of “All users with the ability to upload files”. This means everyone who can
already upload can use this tool.Next you may choose to lock browsing to a specific directory. This is not recommended for use with Easy Digital Downloads. You’ll want the flexibility to put your downloads in a variety of places as needed.

Uploading Your Files

Next you’ll want to upload your files via a means other than WordPress. This can be done via SFTP, an uploader tool in your hosts panel, or whatever way works for you.

IMPORTANT: You must place the files in the proper place on your site.

WordPress normally uploads things to
/wp-content/uploads/YEAR/MONTH/ where YEAR and MONTH are actual numerical values like /2015/08/.

Easy Digital Downloads keeps files in in
/wp-content/uploads/edd/YEAR/MONTH/. This allows for file locking, and the prevention of theft.

You want to upload your file to the current month’s folder. You may create it if it doesn’t exist.

Adding From Server

In the WordPress admin menu, under Media, choose Add From Server and you’ll see something like the image below:

You want to click Content Folder, then uploads, and then edd. Continue drilling down until you find your file.

There’ll be a checkbox next to your file. Check that and click the Import button. There’s an option for File Time or Current Time and it doesn’t matter which you choose.

After you click the Import button then your file is officially in the WordPress Media Library.

You may now go to Add a new Download, and when it asks you to Upload your file, simply go to the Media Library and choose it.