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Why You Can’t Find .htaccess File on Your WordPress Site

Are you having trouble finding the .htaccess file in WordPress?

We are often asked by beginners, ‘Where is my .htaccess file?’ and ‘Why can’t I find it on my WordPress site?’. Sometimes you may need to edit the .htaccess file or delete it to fix common WordPress errors.

In this article, we will explain why you can’t find the .htaccess file on your WordPress site and show you how to locate it.

Finding the .htaccess file for your WordPress site

What Is the .htaccess file?

The .htaccess file is a server configuration file that tells your server how to handle certain things on your website. It tells the server how to redirect users, password-protect the admin area, protect some directories, and more.

It is located in your WordPress site’s root folder. WordPress uses it to manage redirects and permalinks.

The .htaccess file is an incredibly powerful configuration file and can be used to do many useful things. See our article on the most useful .htaccess tricks for WordPress for some examples.

Why Can’t I Find the .htaccess File?

There are two common reasons for not finding the .htaccess file in your website’s root folder. It’s either hidden by your file manager software or it doesn’t exist at all.

We will explain both of these scenarios with solutions.

Scenario 1: Your FTP Client Is Not Showing Hidden Files

The dot before the .htaccess file name indicates that it is a hidden file. By default, when you connect to your WordPress hosting server using an FTP client, it will not show the hidden files.

To make hidden files visible, you will need to change your FTP settings.

For example, in FileZilla, you can find the option by clicking on the ‘Server’ menu item and then selecting ‘Force showing hidden files’.

Show hidden files in FileZilla

If you are using the File Manager app in cPanel, then you will find the option to show hidden files by clicking on the ‘Settings’ button in the top-right corner.

This is what it looks like in cPanel.

Show hidden files in cPanel

For other FTP clients, you will find the option to show hidden files in the app settings or preferences menu.

After enabling this option, you will be able to view all hidden files, including the .htaccess file for your WordPress website.

Scenario 2: The .htaccess File Doesn’t Exist

The second most common reason for a missing .htaccess file is that your WordPress site has not generated it yet.

WordPress automatically generates a .htaccess file because it is required to properly redirect permalinks.

If your .htaccess file is missing, then the first thing you need to do is to visit the Settings » Permalinks page and click on the ‘Save Changes’ button without changing anything.

Permalinks settings page

WordPress will now try to generate the .htaccess file for you.

In some cases, WordPress may not be able to generate the .htaccess file due to a file permissions issue. In that case, it will show you a message at the bottom of the Settings » Permalinks page saying that the ‘.htaccess file is not writeable’.

htaccess file not writeable

You must manually create the .htaccess file and add the required code inside it.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /mysite/
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

Simply copy and paste this code into a text editor like Notepad. After that, you need to save it as a .htaccess file on your desktop.

Now, connect to your website using an FTP client and upload the .htaccess file from your desktop.

If you get an error while uploading the file, then you need to change the file permission for your root directory.

Let’s suppose all your WordPress files are under the /home/johnsmith/public_html/ directory.

This makes the public_html folder your root directory. You need to go to its parent directory and right-click on the public_html folder.

Next, select ‘File Permissions’, which will open a file permissions dialog box.

You need to enter ‘755’ into the ‘Numeric value’ box and then try to upload your .htaccess file to the public_html folder.

Changing file permissions via FTP

We hope this article helped you find the .htaccess file on your WordPress site. You may also want to see our WordPress troubleshooting guide to learn how to fix common WordPress errors, and check out our expert picks for the best WordPress plugins to grow your website.

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Reader Interactions

79 CommentsLeave a Reply

    • If you have multiple with the same name for some reason, you may want to check with your hosting provider’s support in case it was set up for something specific to your hosting provider.


  1. I still can’t find the .htaccess file. I’m using a free WP site (so plugins aren’t available), and there’s no “permalinks” section in the admin for me to manually create the file. What should I do?

  2. After a php version update my site went down. The hosting company are no help at all. I read your blog and updated my permalinks file and all works fine now. Many thanks, Tom : )

  3. Quite a Helpful article, thankyou. one question though do we really need .htaccess file as being an administrator?

    • Yes, your site should have an .htaccess file. It handles some things on your site and gives you more tools you can use.


  4. Thanks that was really helpful. I did not save changes for the first time and also the permission as you said. Once i did that i worked fine thanks again

  5. Thanks for the help, this blog helps me a lot, i had been working to resolve this for 3 days.

    in my case file name was not written, i have identified it with file type.

    100% beginner also not an IT guy. :)

    once again Thanks a lot

  6. Also you may not be able to the find .htaccess file on the site server, since NGNIX is being used.

  7. hi. I tried to see if the file was hidden. This didn’t start showing .htaccess. I then went to permalinks and saved changes (even tried updating some settings and updating again) a few times. I didn’t get any text from WP. It just accepted the changes. I still can’t see the htaccess file.
    Not sure why this is happening. Can you please help.

    • You may want to check your hosting provider to see if they see the htaccess on their end.


  8. hey there,
    I followed the instructions step by step, however I still cannot find the .htaccess -.-
    when I create one on my mac with text pad (or should I use word doc?) and try to paste it via ftp (filezilla) in the ” / ” folder but it still does’nt work.

    The links on my wordpress shows “404 Not Found nginx”

    please help!!

    • You may want to ensure you don’t have a file extension on the end of your .htaccess file as that is one of the more common reasons it does not work.


    • Go in WordPress and then click on settings and then select permalinks and then select plain and then save changes

  9. hey . i need your help regarding my cpanel . it shows only text and when i click on any tool it gets logged out. i have tried many ways to repair my cpanel but can’t resolved it . i m using cloudflare though.

  10. This probably worked once, but no longer. No message appears on the Permalinks page when you save it. Show Hidden Files in FileZilla doesn’t reveal the .htaccess file. Pretty much useless from the get-go.

  11. Very weird! Please help. I did find my .htaccess file and copied and pasted the code into it. Now all pages are secure except the home page. Any help would be appreciated.


  12. :( I followed all the steps but I still don’t see an .htaccess file in my FTP. I didn’t see any message at the bottom of the page after I clicked “save changes” on my permalink page.

  13. The htaccess rewrite worked! Thanks ever so much for your help. Brain is fried after a complete loss of dashboard today. I had to create a .htaccess file and upload it through ftp.

    Thanks again


  14. OMG thank you. I added this to my .htaccess file

    php_value upload_max_filesize 64M
    php_value post_max_size 64M
    php_value max_execution_time 300
    php_value max_input_time 300

    FTP wouldn’t let me overwrite .htaccess so I uploaded it as .htaccess-new then deleted .htaccess and renamed .htaccess-new to .htaccess


  15. Hello,

    I am unable to select any of the code in the box to recreate my .htaccess file. It appears to be an image file only…


  16. Thank you! You saved my day, I started to get worried I will not fix this. I appreciate it, honestly.

  17. Can you please tell me how to keep WP back end log in longer time when i am on back end for uploading? because due to SSL, it automatically logs out of the account in some minutes and ask me to log in again. this is troublesome, thank you

  18. The permalinks solution didn’t work for me either.

    In cPanel I have a page that will allow me to edit 403 (forbidden) but when I click on the code to edit I’m absolutely lost which is very annoying as I’m sure it must be easy to do, if only I knew how!

    Can anyone explain please?



  19. Hi!

    I am new to wordpress and have set up my wordpress site this weekend. To ensure it is safe, I followed the htaccess/htpasswd settings today and all worked fine.

    After some hours, I could not access my wordpress site anymore but get the error message

    [Tue Nov 01 20:31:36 2016] [authn_file:error] [pid 26428] [client] [host] AH01620: Could not open password file: /XXX.htpasswd

    How can I overcome this issue?

    thanks for any help!

  20. You have a wonderful page. My only objection is that font sizes are too samall. I print everything I read

  21. Hey.. I played around with WP rocket and cleared my .htaccess – Now i am missing elements and sections of my webpage. I have tired to disable minifying. But still nothing happens.

    Really i have no idea of what made these sections disappear . Any one have an idea of what i should try?

  22. Is there any way or some how I can make my audio wp content downloading be available to all mobile device,like if I just upload audio to W-P it is only some specific device that would be able to download it with streaming I need help on how to make my audio link download on all mobile device.

  23. Having tried the above I still can’t see my htacess file and I do not get the message saying not rewritable under permalinks. Can anybody help, I’ve been getting the 500 Internal Server Error for two days now and am desperate to update to the latest version of WordPress. My site is slow and shows the message frequently. Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

  24. WP Maximum Execution Time Exceeded.
    give it a try.
    its working now i get relief.
    thanks for your help.
    i really appreciate your work.
    thanks thanks thanks!!!

  25. Solved: Yesterday I started my second wp site, all went well until I noticed that all permalink options didn`t work except the default one, every time I changed to another permalink structure, I received the famous 404 error. I cross referanced with my first wp site, and noticed that the web.config file was not in the root. Obviously I copied and pasted the web.config file from my first site to my new site, refreshed and now all permalinks work fine.

  26. It’s worth pointing out that your .htaccess file might be missing because you don’t need one. For instance the Nginx web server doesn’t use .htaccess files for security and performance reasons.

  27. Hope you do not intended to leave permission at 755 for the file or anyone would be able to hack your site via that file no ?

  28. I had occasion to look around for some redirection plugins for WP, and I noticed that some implement “hit counters.” I suspect all of them have to put something in the .htaccess file. I would love to see an article that goes into more depth on redirection, link cloaking, and hit counters.

  29. Isnt it easier co create .htacces right in cPanel (if you dont have it) rather than saving in notepad and uploading via ftp?
    I think that way is more easier and faster.

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