Get a peek at our latest innovations at Sanity Product Day on Dec 8th →

Media browser

v3 Ready

By Robin Pyon

A convenient way to browse, manage and select all your Sanity assets.

Sanity Media

This is a Sanity Studio v3 plugin. For the v2 version, please refer to the v2-branch.

npm-v npm-dw

A convenient way to browse, manage and refine your Sanity assets.

Use it standalone as a browser, or optionally hook it up as a custom asset source and use it to power both image and file selection too.

Grid view Default grid view

Asset view Individual asset view


Manage and organise your assets

  • Support for batch uploads with drag and drop support
  • Edit text fields native to Sanity's asset documents, such as title, description, altText and originalFilename
  • View asset metadata and a limited subset of EXIF data, if present
  • Tag your assets individually or in bulk
  • Manage tags directly within the plugin
  • Get previews for audio and video files
  • Easily select and delete multiple assets in bulk

Granular search tools

  • Refine your search with any combination of search facets such as filtering by tag name, asset usage, file size, orientation, type (and more)
  • Use text search for a quick lookup by title, description and alt text

Built for large datasets and collaborative editing in mind

  • Virtualized grid + tabular views for super speedy browsing, even with thousands of assets and tags
  • Utilises Sanity's real time updates for live changes from other studio members

Fits right in with your Sanity studio


In your Sanity project folder:

yarn add sanity-plugin-media@studio-v2

Next, add "media" to sanity.json plugins array:

"plugins": [

This will add the Media plugin as a standalone tool, accessible via your studio menu.

If you're happy with Sanity's default image and file pickers, then this is all you need to do!

Enabling it as a global custom asset source

You'll need to do this if you want to use the plugin when selecting images or files.

This plugin exposes part:sanity-plugin-media/asset-source which you import when defining custom asset sources.

In sanity.json, add the following snippet to the parts array.

File asset support requires Sanity 2.16.x or greater.

  "implements": "part:@sanity/form-builder/input/image/asset-sources",
  "path": "./parts/assetSources.js"
  "implements": "part:@sanity/form-builder/input/file/asset-sources",
  "path": "./parts/assetSources.js"

In ./parts/assetSources.js:

import MediaAssetSource from 'part:sanity-plugin-media/asset-source'

export default [MediaAssetSource]

That's it! The plugin will now pop up every time you try select an image or file.

Known issues

There isn't a way to edit asset fields directly from the desk (without opening the plugin)
  • This is a bit of a sticking point, especially when working with large datasets
  • For example, if you want to edit fields for an already selected image – you'll need to go into the plugin and then have to manually find that image (which can be laborious when sifting through thousands of assets)
  • A future update will provide the ability to 'jump' straight to a selected asset
  • However, exposing plugin fields directly on the desk (e.g. via a custom input component) is currently outside the scope of this project
Drag and drop uploads don't work when selecting with the plugin
  • This is currently due to Sanity studio's file picker component taking precedence over window drag and drop events
  • For now, you'll need to manually press the 'upload' button if you want to add images whilst in a selecting context
Downloaded images (downloaded with the download button) aren't the originally uploaded files
  • Any images downloaded in the plugin are those already processed by Sanity without any image transformations applied
  • Please note these are not the original uploaded images: they will likely have a smaller file size and will be stripped of any EXIF data.
  • Currently, it's not possible in Sanity to grab these original image assets within the studio - but this may change in future!
Limitations when using Sanity's GraphQL endpoints
  • Currently, on assets aren't accessible via GraphQL. This is because opt is a custom object used by this plugin and not part of Sanity's asset schema.


Asset fields

Where are asset fields stored?
  • This plugin will read and write directly on the asset document itself. This will either a document of type sanity.imageAsset or sanity.fileAsset
  • This is analagous to setting values globally across all instances of these assets
  • This is in contrast to using the fields property when defining your document schema (on both image and file objects). Values that you define in the fields property can be considered 'local', or bound to the the document where that asset is linked.
  • In other words, if you want to set a caption for an image and have that change between different documents – customise the fields property in your document schema's file/image field
  • If you want to set values you can query in all instances of that asset (alternate text being a good example), consider setting those in the plugin
How can I query asset fields I've set in this plugin?

The following GROQ query will return an image with additional asset text fields as well as an array of tag names.

Note that tags are namespaced within and tag names are accessed via the current property (as they're defined as slugs on the document schema).

*[_id == 'my-document-id'] {
  image {
What EXIF fields are displayed and how can I get these to show up?
  • ISO, aperture, focal length, exposure time and original date are displayed
  • By default, Sanity won't automatically extract EXIF data unless you explicitly tell it to
  • Manually tell Sanity to process EXIF metadata by updating your image field options accordingly
  • Note that all images uploaded directly within the plugin will include all metadata by default


How and where are asset tags stored?
  • This plugin defines the document type media.tag
  • All tags are stored as weak references and being a third-party plugin, are stored in the namespaced object
  • This behaviour differs from asset fields such as title, description and altText which are stored directly on the asset as they're part of Sanity's defined asset schema
How can I hide the Media Tag document type which has now appeared in my desk?
  • If you're not using a custom desk, Sanity attaches custom schema defined by third party plugins to your desk. This is currently the default behaviour
  • However, you can override this behaviour by defining your own custom desk with Sanity's structure builder and simply omit the media.tag document type in your definition
How can I edit and / or delete tags I've already created?
  • You can create, rename and delete tags from directly within the plugin itself
  • It is strongly recommended that you manually delete tags directly from within the plugin – doing so will ensure that (weak) references are removed from any linked assets
  • Alternatively, you can delete tags either from the desk (if you're not using a custom desk) or via Sanity's API – just be mindful that any assets previously assigned to deleted tags will have 'hanging' weak references. This won't cause serious issues, but it may cause some false positives when searching. (E.g. a search for 'all assets where tags is not empty' will yield assets that have references to tags that no longer exist)

Deleting assets

Why am I unable to delete multiple assets, even if only one asset is in use?
  • Batch mutations are carried out via Sanity transactions. These transactions are atomic, meaning that if one deletion fails (often because it's referenced elsewhere), then all mutations in the transaction will fail and no changes will occur
  • To get around this, simply make sure that all assets you've marked for deletion are not referenced – this can be easily accomplished by using a search facet to only show assets which are not in use

Uploading assets

How does the plugin determine what should uploaded as a sanity.imageAsset or sanity.fileAsset?
  • As a rule of thumb, when uploading when accessing the plugin as a tool (e.g. if you've acceessed it via the studio menu), it will look at any incoming files' MIME type. All files of type image/* will be uploaded as sanity.imageAsset whilst everything else will be treated as sanity.fileAsset
  • If you upload when using the plugin in a file selection context, these be uploaded as sanity.fileAsset regardless of their MIME type. This is probably not what you want, since images uploaded as files won't have associated metadata nor will they work in Sanity's image pipeline.


  • Jump to selected asset
  • Asset replacement
  • Total count displays
  • Further keyboard shortcuts
  • Shareable saved search facets
  • Routing
  • Storing browser options with local storage


Contributions, issues and feature requests are welcome!


MIT. See license

Studio Version

This plugin is available for Studio v3 and Studio v2.What are studio versions and which do I choose?


Other plugins by author

Vercel Dashboard Widget

v3 Ready

View your recent Vercel deployments and manually trigger builds directly from your Sanity dashboard.

Robin Pyon
Go to Vercel Dashboard Widget