Adrian Moss confessed to officers that he had an addiction after a "vast library" containing more than 83,000 images and videos were found catalogued on his laptop and hard drives.
The 55-year-old appeared at Leeds Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images.
Catherine Duffy, prosecuting, said police were alerted to an image being uploaded to an internet provider address traced to Moss' home on Foxholes Lane, Normanton, in 2018.
Officers went to the address where they found Moss.
He was arrested and asked officers: "Is it about downloading from the internet?"
They seized a laptop and two external hard drives.
They found 239 Category A images - the most serious category of offending - 360 Category at B and a staggering 82,518 Category C images.
They were a mix of still images and films.
It was found that he had been actively searching for the images.
Some dated back to 2008, meaning Moss had been downloading the illegal images for 11 years.
During an interview he told officers it had become an addiction and he knew he needed help.
Moss tried to claim he had no sexual interest in children, which was not accepted by the judge, Simon Batiste, who said: "There's only one reason why people take the risk to download these images and that's for sexual gratification."
Christopher Morton, mitigating, told the court that Moss, who has no previous convictions or cautions, was terrified of going to prison and was desperate for help.
Judge Batiste told Moss: "It was a truly vast library of illegal images.
"You could have absolutely no complaints if I was to send you to prison today.
"You have come mighty close given the serious aspects of this case.
"You viewed these images over a period of more than 10 years, and they were filed in your computer in a systematic way.
"It demonstrates a long-standing interest in viewing such images.
"You tried to minimise your behaviour and there were deliberate searches for these images."
The court was told Moss had already sought help, so the judge gave him a 14-month sentence, suspended for two years, and 150 hours of unpaid work.
He was also given a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to allow his internet use to be monitored, and told to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.