How to import product images in Magento 2 when they already exist in pub/media

Magento 2 Development; Magento 2 tutorial

Have you ever been in a situation when Magento 2 doesn’t let you import product images? Although there may be numerous factors that cause this problem, we explore a particular case. Below, you will learn why the “Imported resource (image) could not be downloaded” error occurs in Magento 2 and how to fix it. This post incorporates materials from this Stack Exchange question. Follow our Magento 2 Cookbook for more tips like that.    

How to import product images in Magento 2 when they already exist in pub/media

Dominic F had to downgrade Magento from 2.4 to 2.3.5 by doing a fresh install of the Magento 2.3.5 database.

However, this approach led to a problem with importing the existing products that had been previously exported into the correct format. Submitting them runs into the following error:

1. Imported resource (image) could not be downloaded from an external resource due to timeout or access permissions in row(s): 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 53, 55, 56, 58, 63

The author assumes that the error appears because product images are not available in var/import.

Dominic F asks whether there is a way to import the existing product images with their actual paths.

According to paj, it is necessary to copy product images to a subfolder under

Also, it is possible to create a symlink from this folder to the images. Keep in mind that you cannot import images via the file system outside of the var/import folder if you use the default import mechanism.

You also need to assure that your import files include a correct path to images on the filesystem to prevent the “Imported resource (image) could not be downloaded” error in Magento 2.

Check this article, for further information: The Complete Guide to Magento 2 Product Import / Export. A more in-depth exploration of this case is available here: How to Import Product Images into Magento 2 in Bulk.

How to import product images from outside of the var/import folder in Magento 2

If you still need to import images from outside of the var/import folder, install the Improved Import Magento 2 extension by Firebear. It provides the ability to import images to Magento 2 in bulk from remote FTP, Dropbox, or direct URL! 

In addition to that, the tool introduces a bunch of enhancements:

  • Schedules. You can create a schedule of import and export processes to transfer images automatically. 
  • Mapping. Strong mapping tools empower you with the ability to transfer any custom and third-party data to your Magento 2 website. 
  • Support for all entities. Move all Magento 2 entities, including those associated with the B2B modules to and from your e-commerce website. 
  • Multiple file formats. Transfer data via Excel, Json, and multiple other file formats. 
  • Multiple data sources. Use Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Sheets, and numerous other data sources for your import and export processes. Import images to Magento 2 in bulk from remote FTP, Dropbox, or direct URL
  • API. Create API connections between your e-commerce website and external systems to establish seamless integrations.  

Contact us for further information about the extension. 

Download / Buy Firebear Improve Import Magento 2 Extension

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