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How to Fix File and Folder Permissions Error in WordPress

Are you trying 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?

Your self-hosted WordPress site lives on a computer run by your WordPress hosting company. This computer acts as a server and uses special software (usually Apache) to manage your files and serve them to browsers.

File and folder permissions tell the server who can read, run, or modify files hosted on your account. WordPress needs these permissions to manage files and create folders on the server.

Incorrect file permissions can block WordPress from creating folders, uploading images, or running some scripts. Incorrect permissions can also compromise the security of your WordPress site.

In most cases, WordPress will try to warn you that it can’t edit a file, create a folder, or write to disk. However, sometimes you may not see any specific error messages.

Correct File and Folder Permissions in WordPress

The correct set of file and folder permissions allows 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.

Fix File and Folder Permissions in WordPress Using FTP

First, you will need to connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client like FileZilla or the File Manager app in your hosting dashboard, such as 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 bring up the file permissions dialog box.

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 setting file 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 on ‘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.

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.

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Reader Interactions

63 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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


  5. 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.

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


  6. 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.

    • 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.


  7. 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!

    • 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.


  8. 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.

    • 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.


  9. 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 ?

  10. 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!

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


  11. 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.

    • 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.


  12. 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?

    • 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 :)


  13. 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?

    • 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.


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


  14. 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

    • 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.


  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Hi

    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

  20. 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.

    • 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’

  21. 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?

  22. 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”

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

    • @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.

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