Trusted WordPress tutorials, when you need them most.
Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
25 Million+
Websites using our plugins
Years of WordPress experience
WordPress tutorials
by experts

How to Fix File and Folder Permissions Error in WordPress

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Do you want to fix the file and folder permissions error in WordPress?

Incorrect file and folder permissions can cause errors on your WordPress site during upload. These errors can stop WordPress from uploading images, interfere with scripts, and reduce the security of your website.

In this article, we will show you how to easily fix the file and folder permissions error in WordPress.

Fix file and folder permissions in WordPress

How Do File and Folder Permissions Work in WordPress?

File and folder permissions in WordPress control who can read, run, or modify your site’s files. Your WordPress web hosting company uses special software like Apache to manage and show these files on browsers.

These permissions are crucial for WordPress to handle files, create folders, and perform tasks on the server.

If permissions are set incorrectly, it can stop WordPress from doing things like making folders, uploading images, or running scripts. Incorrect permissions also threaten your WordPress site’s security.

When permissions are wrong, WordPress usually alerts you about issues like being unable to edit files or create folders. However, sometimes, you might not see specific error messages.

What are the Correct File and Folder Permissions in WordPress?

The correct file and folder permission settings allow WordPress to create folders and files. The following settings are recommended for most users:

  • 755 for all folders and sub-folders. This allows the website owner to read, write, and execute folders.
  • 644 for all files. This allows the website owner to read and write files while others can only read them.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily fix file and folder permissions in WordPress. We have two methods, and you can use the quick links below to skip to your preferred method:

Method 1: Fix WordPress Permissions for Files and Folders With a Plugin

Fixing the WordPress file and folder permissions error usually involves using an FTP client. If you’re confident in resolving this error manually, then you can skip to the second method.

If not, then you can use this plugin method with the All-in-One Security plugin. This plugin has a feature to set the recommended file and folder permissions in a few clicks.

This tutorial will use the free version of the plugin, but feel free to use the paid version for more advanced features. You can read our review on All-in-One Security for more information.

First, install the All-in-One Security plugin in WordPress. You can check out our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin for more information.

Once done, go to WP Security » File Security. Then, navigate to the ‘File Permissions’ tab.

All in One Security's File Security feature

Here, the plugin will scan the critical WordPress core folders and files and highlight any permission settings that are insecure.

If the plugin finds one folder or file with permission errors, the ‘Recommended action’ column will have a button called ‘Set recommended permissions.’

To fix it, simply click on it and the plugin will change the file or folder permissions.

Setting the recommended file and folder permissions in All in One Security

Once done, the ‘Recommended action’ column should now be changed to ‘No action required.’

Method 2: Fix WordPress Permissions for Files and Folders Manually

First, you will need to connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client like FileZilla or the File Manager app in your cPanel. Once connected, simply go to the root folder of your WordPress website.

After that, you must select all folders in the root directory and then right-click to select ‘File permissions’.

File permissions in FTP

This will make the file permissions dialog box pop up.

Now, you need to enter ‘755’ into the numeric value field. After that, you must click on the ‘Recurse into subdirectories’ checkbox and then select the ‘Apply to directories only’ option.

Fixing folder permissions in WordPress

Click on the ‘OK’ button to continue. Your FTP client will start to set permissions for folders and sub-folders. You will need to wait for it to finish.

Next, you need to select all files and folders in the root folder of your WordPress site and then right-click to select ‘File permissions’.

Setting permissions for all files

The file permissions dialog box will appear.

This time, you need to enter ‘644’ into the ‘Numeric value’ box. After that, simply click on the ‘Recurse into subdirectories’ checkbox and then select the ‘Apply to files only’ option.

Setting permissions for files in WordPress

Click ‘OK’ to continue.

Your FTP client will now start setting file permissions for all files on your WordPress site.

If this method doesn’t work, then we recommend contacting your hosting provider. There might be an error on their end, and they may be able to help you. Read our guide on how to properly ask for WordPress support for more tips.

To learn more about WordPress files, check out our beginner’s guide on WordPress files and directories.

Learn More Ways to Solve WordPress Errors

Experiencing other types of errors on your WordPress website? Check out these guides to fix the problem and keep your site running smoothly:

We hope this article helped you fix the file and folder permissions error in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to fix common WordPress errors and check out our top picks for the best WordPress plugins to grow your site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

70 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

  2. Unarine Leo Netshifhefhe says

    I searched around for other articles and I found this other article which mentioned something about using chmod, it qoutes the following “If you are looking to change the permission for the wp-config.php file, you can use the following command for the suggested change as cited earlier –
    chmod 600 wp-config.php”, so I would like to know if this is advisable and where can I find the command line?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      That is mainly a different way to do what we cover in the article and is not always a beginner friendly method.


  3. Unarine Leo Netshifhefhe says

    I have a problem with my file manager there’s a folder which isnt either 644 nor 755, it is 600 and whenever I try to change it, I get an error alert saying that permission operation failed, how can i solve that?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to reach out to your hosting provider and they should be able to assist you with the permissions issue.


  4. Boris says

    Hi, great article. Just to confirm, I understand step 1 ” you must select all folders in the root directory” and then its the next step that I’m no sure about: “Next, you need to select all files and folders in the root folder of your WordPress site…” So that would be the folder: “Public_Html? Because that’s where the folders I see in your screenshot reside. And your not selecting all the folders again under the root directory as in step 1 right?

    Thanks and best regards

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It depends on your host but in the folders selected you would want to see wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes to make sure you are in the correct location.


  5. MBarbz says

    This actually worked with the step one (Permissions and 777). For some reason i wasn’t able to delete two folders from the “Upload”-Folder and then it worked. For some reason i had to re-start Filezilla because it was getting frozen but it worked out. Thanks.

  6. Tracy says

    Is there a reason why it is recommended to use an FTP client to manage user permission instead of managing them in the C-panel?

  7. Stegemüller says

    I was struggling for many hours and could not understand what had happend. I found this guide and followed every step. Now both my main domain and subdomain are working again. Thank you VERY much.

  8. Max says

    Could you tell me what FTP program your using, so the instructions are easier to follow. as most programs don’t use the same terminology it seems.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you are still receiving the error, you would want to reach out to your hosting provider and they should be able to assist.


  9. Nicole says

    I’ve been searching like crazy and still can’t find my answer. Any idea what’s going on? When I follow the directions to right click and look for “File Permissions”, I don’t have that option. So I’m stuck and still can’t upload images anymore :(
    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you can’t see the folder permissions, we would recommend reaching out to your hosting provider and they should be able to assist.


  10. Jun says

    Hello, I followed this article, but I can’t connect to my website after changing all permissions.

    Do I have to wait?
    Or something wrong happened?

    it would be great if anyone who know about this help me.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It would depend on if you are seeing an error message on your site, for a starting point we would recommend reaching out to your hosting provider to see if they find any errors.


  11. Bobbi says

    Does anyone have any idea why, every time wordpress automatically updates, I have to go back in and reset file permissions? This page is really useful for fixing this issue, but I just want it to stop!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You may want to reach out to your hosting provider to ensure there isn’t a setting that could be causing that from their end.


  12. marni says

    How do you handle the request for FTP credentials when you’re learning WordPress on a local host? I read this article but the sharing and permissions menu on a mac does not show a numeric value field.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It would depend on the specific issue you’re running into but rather than needing FTP for a local installation, you would want to navigate to where the files are on your computer.


  13. MikeMoy says

    For files you state to give permissions 644 for owner,group,others. Why do you give file read permissions (4) to others. Is there some reason others require file read permissions, why are all files not set to 640 ?

  14. Ali Jey says

    Thanks for the tutorial. I could fix this problem for files already on the website, but everytime new files are uploaded they have the same problem again!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If this issue is constant, we would recommend reaching out to your hosting provider to take a look at possible causes.


  15. Trish says

    having this issue on a locally hosted site that I’m using for test purposes only. So I don’t have FTP access to the files and changing their permissions from Windows Explorer is not working. Any other ideas?
    The main WP directory and the Themes directory are both unwritable according to the WP System Tools.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to check with the localhost tool you are using for your site as which one you are using would determine the options you have available and the possible issues.


  16. kyrien says

    i accidentally changed the permission on my update file to xxx and now when i try to change it back to 755 it won’t save. Any help?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you’re unable to update the file permissions, you would want to reach out to your hosting provider they should be able to assist :)


  17. dominique says

    I’ve made your solution with the permissions 755 and 644, the website works a few seconds and than it breaks agin. And i have to do the permissions again. can you help me?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If the permissions are reverting then you would want to reach out to your hosting provider to ensure that there isn’t a setting on their end that would modify the permissions as well.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      If the method in this article does not remove that error, you would want to reach out to your hosting provider.


  18. Suzana says

    Hi, I should change file permission:
    / 755 750 WARNING

    Can somebody tell me, where to find this “/” in C panel? To be honest, I don’t know, what this sign / means. Thank you, have a great day! Suzana

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you’re using the file manager on your host’s cpanel then your site’s files are normally under public_html as that is where most FTPs connect to your host.


  19. Dan says

    Thanks for this article! I thought I had completely fudged my site. None of my uploaded media or even CSS styling (I have no idea why that was effected) was displaying properly.

    I had tweaked my permissions earlier but must have done it incorrectly. Your fix was the solution to my problem!

    Many thanks

  20. Erik says

    Thank you for this insightful article – I will keep it as a ressource for cases of curiousity (and panic, of course :D).
    What I am struggling with are “wp GET”-lookups with result 404 when playing around with cacheing.
    My wordpress installation is in a subfolder named wp, not in the root folder.
    Which rights would I have to give this specific folder?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  21. imran says

    Hi there, Im having issues in links of FTP and WordPress..first i make a basic html and upload thrugh FTP after sometime i convert that website in using the issue is that the links of those html files and folders which i uploaded in FTP is now not working.just new links are working.The Error is ” No Page Found”
    is there any tool, plugin or way to make alive those FTP Html links??please help me in this issue

  22. Osuji Macdonald says

    my system can not read WordPress properly. the files are not displaying very well. it just showing white icons of the files like a white sheet paper.

  23. Odhran says


    I have wordpress installed on a local server and I’m getting ‘no data could be retrieved from the servers’ when I try to access the slider revolution library.

    Is this because of the file permissions error described here? I’ve set all of the user permissions to ‘full control’ in my index.php file to no avail. I don’t seem to have the option to change to the numeric permissions you describe above. Really stuck on this one so any help would be appreciated.

    thanks & regards

  24. Andy says

    I changed 755 to all folder and 644 to all file. But still cannot upload images to Media and cannot install new plugins.

    PS: I upload whole wp-content folder from another hosting to my new hosting and extract it.

    Please give me some advices.

    Thank you.

    • Cody Cortez says

      This is because you can’t just copy item from a server to another without tweaking the Database. The database must know that the ones you just copied ‘exist’

  25. Nazrul Islam says

    Useful but since I’m such a newbie and still learning WordPress, I am stuck. I can’t even seem to log in because of the 500 internal server error. Do you know what I should do?

  26. Ali osama says

    I’ve a problem after i changed permissions to be like above, this error appears :
    “Application error
    An error occurred in the website and your page could not be displayed. If you are the website owner, check your logs for details”

  27. Ethan says

    This works for all types of PHP applications sitting on a website server and not only WordPress. My host denied me access to all folders and files including login page and registration page.

    Little did i know that all my files and folders were still to 777 during local development. After changing folders and files recursively to 755 and 644 respectively it worked.

  28. LB says

    Hi there, Im having issues in that I dont have sufficient permissions to change permissions through the FTP client… unable to create new folders. very frustrating, have spent ages looking for a solution. Running a WP multisite running on Amazon EC2). Thanks.

    • Suyog says

      @LB , you have limited access to your FTP account. Please contact Amazon to get you full access. or if you have server access then change permission in filezilla server.

Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.