Home » File Watcher » Automagic File Uploads to the Media Library via the “Out of the Box” UploadWatcher in Sitecore

Automagic File Uploads to the Media Library via the “Out of the Box” UploadWatcher in Sitecore

Sitecore Technology MVP 2016
Sitecore MVP 2015
Sitecore MVP 2014

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In a previous post I gave a proof of concept on a custom Content Editor Image field which gives content authors the ability to download an image from a URL and save to the downloaded image to the Media Library.

During my testing of this solution, I noticed some odd behavior where I was seeing my image being uploaded twice to the Media Library — one Media Library Item being placed in a folder selected by the user and then another being placed right under the Media Library root Item (/sitecore/media library).

At first I thought I had a bug in my code though could not track it down. I even made many attempts at refactoring the code I had, thinking I was missing something during the debugging process. Still, to no avail, the “bug” was popping its head up during my testing.

However, after a few more passes at refactoring, the “bug” magically disappeared. I figured “hey, I somehow fixed it but have no idea how. Let’s move forward on writing a blog post.”

Unfortunately, the “bug” popped up again when writing my last post. I was quite taken aback given I was repurposing most of the code from the previous solution with the “bug”, and had thought I fixed it. Trust me, I was completely baffled.

Then it dawned on me: I was using the /upload folder in those two solutions — I was placing downloaded images I retrieved from the internet via code into the /upload directory of my Sitecore instance — and remembered Sitecore had an “out of the box” feature which uploads images that are placed into the /upload directory into the Media Library automatically (btw, I remember this feature has existed since I started on Sitecore 9 years ago, so it’s been around for a while; I only forgot about it because I haven’t had any clients use it for many years). Once I changed where I was saving these images on disk, the “bug” magically disappeared.

So that mysterious and baffling — not to mention frustrating — experience brings me to this post. How does Sitecore know there is an image in the /upload directory ready to be uploaded into the Media Library?

Let me introduce you to the UploadWatcher, a Sitecore.IO.FileWatcher which lives in the Sitecore.Resources.Media namespace in Sitecore.Kernel.dll — if you don’t know what a Sitecore FileWatcher is, please see my post on what they are and how to create a custom one in Sitecore.

Like all FileWatchers in Sitecore, the UploadWatcher is defined in the Web.config under /configuration/system.webServer/modules:


You might be asking “Mike, why are these defined in the Web.config and not in a patch include configuration file?” Well, all Sitecore FileWatchers are essentially HTTP Modules and, unfortunately, that’s where they must be defined.

How does the UploadWatcher know to monitor the /upload directory in the website root of my Sitecore instance? Well, this is defined in Sitecore configuration under /configuration/sitecore/settings/setting[@name=’MediaFolder’]:


You can use a patch configuration file to change the above value if you do not want the UploadWatcher to read from the /upload directory.

The UploadWatcher instance also checks other parts of Sitecore configuration. The following configuration is used specifically by the UploadWatcher:


It appears you can also change things in the above configuration but I would suggest you don’t unless you have a good reason to do so.

The UploadWatcher also reads the following Sitecore configuration:


What’s the above configuration all about? Basically, the UploadWatcher instance loads these into a private collection on itself, and uses this collection when checking to ignore files with certain substrings in their file names. You can also include elements that define substrings in a file path to be ignored — you would do so by using <ignorepath contains=”some substring” /> elements. These elements would be siblings of the <ignore /> elements, and are read into a separate private collection on the UploadWatcher instance.

In my next post, I will give an example on how to add functionality to the UploadWatcher. Until then, keep on Sitecoring.



  1. […] Automagic File Uploads to the Media Library via the “Out of the Box” UploadWatcher in&nb… […]

  2. […] Automagic File Uploads to the Media Library via the “Out of the Box” UploadWatcher in&nb… […]

  3. […] Automagic File Uploads to the Media Library via the “Out of the Box” UploadWatcher in&nb… […]

  4. jammykam says:

    Magic file watcher! I blogged about a couple of other methods as well, I should update this post with SPE as well soon… https://jammykam.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/mass-uploading-media/

  5. […] Automagic File Uploads to the Media Library via the “Out of the Box” UploadWatcher in&nb… […]


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