Default Upload Destination in Movable Type


By default, assets are placed in the site root as defined in the publishing settings. For example, if the site root was then the asset image.gif would be uploaded to

There are two common ways to change this:

  1. Define a default upload destination folder.
  2. Hard code upload destination and hide it from the form.

Define a default upload destination folder

To pre-populate the folder where assets will be placed add this line to the top of MT_BASE/tmpl/cms/include/asset_upload.tmpl and replace “assets” with your preferred folder name:

<$mt:setvar name="extra_path" value="assets"$>

I use “assets” because this is the most generic word to describe all the things that could be placed in this folder: photos, video, documents etc.

Or the second way…

Hard code upload destination and hide it from the form

Open MT_BASE/tmpl/cms/include/asset_upload.tmpl and search for this code (from MT4.0, code from MT4.1.x has a big chunk of javascript in the middle of the second <mtapp:setting> block, but the javascript can safely be removed as well):

<mt:setvarblock name="upload_hint">
    <__trans phrase="_USAGE_UPLOAD" params="<$mt:var name="blog_name" escape="html"$>">
    label="<__trans phrase="Upload Destination">"
    hint="<$mt:var name="upload_hint"$>"
    <!-- <$mt:var name="blog_url" escape="html"$> -->
    <select name="site_path" onchange="setExtraPath(this)">
        <option value="1">&#60;<__trans phrase="Site Root">&#62;</option>
    <mt:if name="enable_archive_paths">
        <option value="0"<mt:if name="archive_path"> selected="selected"</mt:if>>&#60;<__trans phrase="Archive Root">&#62;</option>
    <mt:if name="extra_paths">
        <mt:loop name="extra_paths">
        <option value="<mt:if name="enable_archive_paths">0<mt:else>1</mt:if>" middle_path="<mt:var name="path" escape="html">"<mt:if name="selected"> selected="selected"</mt:if>><mt:var name="label" escape="html"></option>
    / <input name="extra_path" id="extra_path" value="<mt:var name="extra_path" escape="html">" />

Replace the code with this code which will set the upload destination to <Site Root>/assets/:

<input type="hidden" name="site_path" id="site_path" value="1" />
<input type="hidden" name="extra_path" id="extra_path" value="assets" />

The “Upload Destination” form elements should now be gone from the upload asset modal.

Note: There are other ways to do this in the Perl code. It’d be nice to just have config directives to handle this.


Thanks for the write up, very handy Beau!

Hi Beau,

Feedback for MT - would you guys please change this so that we don’t have to hard code in order to set up a directory in which we want to place our assets?

I think it is simply nuts that the root directory is the default. Who wants to look at their server contents and find thousands of image files alongside the core files in the root directory? That’s crazy! I remember this being an issue when MT4 first came out, but I would have thought that 6A would have fixed this by now.


I totally agree… asset management will surely be revisited in the next release of MT. I’m trying to learn more Perl so that I can have a few more tools to make some kick ass plugins to solve as fixes for various less desirable issues currently found in MT.

That’s crazy! I remember this being an issue when MT4 first came out, but I would have thought that 6A would have fixed this by now.

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