Scope: Prime Mover Pro


In Prime Mover Pro version, its possible to exclude some media files in your wp-content/uploads directory when you export a site for WordPress migration/backup.

This setting is called “Export Filter“. Take note however that this setting ONLY excludes files when they are inside your WordPress uploads directory.


Sometimes very large or unrelated files lurks in your wp-content/uploads directory. Example are large media files like videos or mp3s which you could not delete because it might be used somewhere else.

When you export a site with Prime Mover that includes media files, it will export the entire uploads directory by default. So these includes large files which you might not need at the restore end.

Not only files but there might be folders which you don’t need. For example, there a massive log folder which you cannot delete because its still used. But you don’t want to include that log folder.

How Prime Mover Excludes Media Files?

Prime Mover supports 3 types of exclusion. These types should be enough to cover all possibilities of excluding files when exporting a package.

  • Exclude by file. This should be a relative path to the file. It should include a complete file name. Use this if you want to exclude on a per file name basis.
  • Exclude by folder. This should be a relative path to the folder.
  • Exclude by extensions. In general , if you want to target all extensions. You can do so. For example, you want to exclude all mp3 files. Any mp3 files will be excluded regardless where they are located inside uploads directory.

Exclude by File – Syntax Examples

Prime Mover implements exclusion syntax as a command to exclude files, folders and extensions. This is very easy to use, you just have to refer to the following examples.

For example, say you want to exclude two big files inside your wp-content/uploads directory.

These files are examplebigfile.mp4 and anotherbigfile.wav. For example the absolute path to these files are:


The syntax to exclude these two files are as follows (relative to uploads directory path /home/test/www/wp-content/uploads/

files-1 : "2019/04/bigfile.mp4", "2019/04/anotherbigfile.wav"

files-1 means you want to implement the file exclusion in a WordPress single site. If you want to exclude a file in a multisite environment, simply change 1 to any blog ID.

For example, say you are exporting subsite with blog ID of 54321. If you want to exclude the above files, then the syntax will be:

files-54321 : "2019/04/bigfile.mp4", "2019/04/anotherbigfile.wav"

In multisite, take note that there still one uploads directory for the entire subsites. But each subsites are differentiated by a blog ID folder name inside a “sites” folder (blogs.dir for older multisite configuration)

For example, you want to exclude this file which belongs to blog ID 58 site.


Then the syntax to exclude should be relative to /home/www/sourcecode/mysite/wp-content/uploads/sites/58/ which itself is the actual uploads folder path for blog ID 58:


Exclude by Folder – Syntax Examples

The syntax for excluding a folder is very similar to excluding a file. Except that you want to explicitly provide the folder exclusion path and tell Prime Mover that its a folder and not a file.

For example, say you want to exclude these two large folders inside your WordPress single site uploads directory and these are the absolute paths:


The syntax to exclude will be:

folders-1 : "2019/04/some-large-folder", "special-giant-folder"

In a multisite, there is only one exclude setting which is available to network administrators. But you can implement exclusion filters for each subsite if you add correct blog ID in the exclusion syntax just like with files.

For example:

folders-67 : "2019/04/some-large-folder", "special-giant-folder"
folders-3 : "2019/04/my-movies"

So in the above example, the my-movies folder of subsite blog ID 3 will be excluded if its exported by Prime Mover.

In multisite, for example if you want to exclude this folder path:


The syntax to exclude should be relative to /home/www/sourcecode/mysite/wp-content/uploads/sites/58/ which is the actual uploads folder path for that multisite subsite:

folders-58 : "2019"

Exclude by Extensions – Syntax Examples

If you want to exclude by file extension, same principle as with folders and files. You need to explicitly provide that you are filtering by extension as well as the blog ID ( 1 for single-site).

Supposing you want to exclude the following movie extensions: avi, zip, mp4 in your WordPress single-site.

The syntax to exclude will be:

extensions-1 : "avi", "zip", "mp4"

If your site is using multisite configuration. You can implement extension exclusion on a per site basis by identifying each rules with a specific blog ID. For example, if you want zip to be excluded on blog ID 34 but exclude all 3 file types in blog ID 65.

extensions-34 :  "zip"
extensions-65 : "avi", "zip", "mp4"

Implement Media Exclusion in Prime Mover Pro Settings

  • Login as administrator / network administrator.
  • Go to Prime Mover -> Settings.
  • Scroll down and find Export filters.
  • Add your exclusion rules, make sure to use correct syntax. All you need is getting the correct path to the path or files. Prime Mover validates these rules when you save them to make sure they are applicable. If the rule is not correct (e.g. file not exist or path incorrect), it won’t be save.
  • Finally once you have all the rules, click Save.

You can input several rules for several sites, you can separate each of them one per line. For example, below are some rules implemented in a multisite using Prime Mover Pro:

Usage Tips

  • Use your host FTP / SFTP / SSH access to get to the correct file path.
  • Use WordPress Media Library screen to get the correct path of the media to exclude. This is available inside the WordPress admin.
  • Use WordPress plugins like WP File Manager to browse your uploads folder directly inside your WordPress admin: , then using that you can get the correct paths to the folder / file to exclude.

What is also great about WP File Manager is that it will give you the total file size of the folder or file. So you can use that to scan your uploads directory for big files or folders and use that information to exclude in Prime Mover settings.

  • If you are using FREE version of Prime Mover, you don’t have this setting available. One feasible solution is to export the site as a debug package. See screenshot:

How this works is that it will allow you to export complete site with plugins/ themes and database. The only difference is that the WordPress uploads is excluded in the export.

When you restore this , the image will resolve to the source site. Prime Mover does its best to handle this adjustment. So the image will still show after restoring a debug package.

This is very helpful if you are a tech supporter and want to quickly clone a big site to your local for quick WordPress debugging.

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