You can easily import all external images attached in your website content without going through any difficult steps instead you just have to click a button and wait till it automatically imports all your post images. Sometimes when you imported XML file, specially when you are migrating your WordPress installation to a new server, the default WP importer provides you option of downloading all file attachments to media library but in-most cases the feature doesn’t works.
Another case, when you migrate your site by exporting and importing database then you will have to transfer uploads directory to your new server and then update post image URLs manually in database or automatically via some plugin like Velvet Blues Update URLs. Most of the plugins doesn’t works any good in heavy WordPress installations (even this one in some cases), specially if your uploads directory’s size is in GBs. In that case you must keep complete backup of your website.
How to import all external images in WordPress?
Install and activate Import External Images plugin then visit Dashboard -> Media -> Import Images and you will be seeing the list and number of posts having external images. Now click Import Images Now button and the plugin will start importing all external images with all live results. (You can import all images or exclude them by domains).
In general the plugin imports 50 images at one time in order to run smoothly. If you see its strucked somewhere then refresh the page and you will be seeing how many post images are imported and how many images are left. Again click Import Images Now button and continue this process this all your images are imported to your media library.
How to import external images while writing any post?
This is the best feature of this plugin, specially for full-time bloggers who spend hours in writing new posts. The plugin also displays linked images in a metabox present in WordPress post editor page so that you can import images selectively.
For example: You are writing a post and you have inserted images present on some other website, now you can automatically import those images by ticking Import External Images checkbox present in WordPress post editor page.
This is a big time save and makes things go fast, now no need to save images first to your hard-drive and then upload to media library.