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How to Fix Image Upload Issue in WordPress (Step by Step)

Are you facing image upload issues on your WordPress website? For most beginners, image upload errors can be quite confusing because they can appear without you doing anything different.

Failure to upload images is one of the most common image issues in WordPress. Luckily, it is quite easy to fix, and you can do it yourself.

In this article, we will show you how to easily fix the image upload issue in WordPress. We will also explain what causes this issue, and how you can prevent it in the future.

Fixing image upload issues in WordPress

What Causes The Image Upload Issue in WordPress

The image upload issue in WordPress is typically caused by incorrect file permissions. Your WordPress files are stored on your web hosting server and need specific file and directory permissions to work.

Wrong file permissions prevent WordPress from reading or uploading file on the hosting server. You may get the following error when uploading image file:

‘Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads/2019/04. Is its parent directory writable by the server?’

Unable to create directory error

Or, you might see the error ‘The uploaded file could not be moved to wp-content/uploads/’.

Another sign of this issue is that your images may disappear from the media library.

Missing images in media library

My site was working fine before? Who changed the file permissions?

This could happen due to a number of reasons. A misconfiguration on your shared hosting server can sometimes change those permissions without you doing anything.

For example, your web hosting provider ran an upgrade which unexpectedly changed file permissions.

If everything else is working fine on your website, then you can simply apply the correct file permissions to fix the image upload issue.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to set correct file permissions to fix image upload issues on your WordPress site.

Fixing Image Upload Issue in WordPress

In order to change file permissions, you will need to use an FTP client.

First, connect to your website via FTP and then go to /wp-content/ folder. Inside, you’ll find the uploads folder, which is where WordPress stores all your media uploads including images.

Now right click on the uploads directory and then select File Permissions.

Opening file permissions dialog box for uploads folder

This will bring up the file permissions dialog box.

First, you will need to set file permissions for the uploads directory and all the subdirectories inside it to 744.

Change folder permissions

To do that, enter 744 in the numeric value box, and then check the box next to Recurse into subdirectories option. Now click on the ‘Apply to directories only’ radio button.

Click on the OK button to apply these changes. Your FTP client will now start applying file permissions to the directories.

Note: If setting directory permissions to 744 does not seem to solve your problem, then try 755.

In the next step, you will need to set file permissions for all the files in the uploads directory.

To do that, right click on uploads directory and select file permissions. In the file permissions dialog box, change the numeric value to 644.

Check the box next to Recurse into subdirectories. Lastly, you need to click on ‘Apply to files only’ radio button. Click on the OK button to apply these changes.

File permissions

The FTP client will now change the permissions for all files inside the uploads folder. Once it is done, you can go back to your WordPress admin area and try uploading images again.

If you have any file upload forms on your website, you should test those as well.

Note: if you don’t know how to use a FTP client, then you can also use the file manager provided by your WordPress hosting company. Since the screenshots will vary from each host, you will need to talk to their support to find instructions.

We hope this article helped you fix the image upload issue in WordPress. You may also want to see our article on how to choose the best WordPress hosting, or see our comparison of the best GoDaddy alternatives.

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292 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. None of these comments or the original post seem to solve the issue for me. :(
    Totally random. No idea why this would occur mid way between an upload.

  2. What if I’m working on a localhost with xampp and I don’t have upload the website on a hosting site? Right now half of my images are ok but the other half I’m uploading are broken, as it shows.

  3. I just installed WordPress 4.1.1 for the first time, and I can’t upload any images at all. Says HTTP error. I tried changing the permission in FTP, made no differences, still can’t upload images. Can you please help?

  4. ATTENTION

    If after this fix… images still fail to upload….

    Go to your site in your favorite privacy enabled browser ;)

    WORDPRESS>>>SETTING>>>MEDIA>>>

    Change “Large Size” dimensions to Max width “4400” Max Height “4400” or whatever the largest size image you plan on uploading!

    Enjoy the fix after the fix!

  5. I recently had this problem. I believe my site was hacked or something. I downloaded a plugin that was pirated or so I believe. I think there was a back door virus in it or something. Kind of odd because someone uploaded a bunch of images today and then I suddenly got this error message and I couldn’t upload anymore images through WordPress.

    Always change your FTP once a year to prevent hacks :). I do it just to be safe.

  6. Great post and even though the suggested didn’t work for me, I was inspired to deactivate latest updated plugins which actually fixed the problem – If any run into this problem all of sudden, the try deactivating the plugins first.

  7. My images are not uploading and error occuring in saving media attachment message is coming so plz solve the issue i have tried above solution but it is not working

  8. Just to help on this – I thought I had the same issue, followed the steps above and still nothing. I tried a different image and that worked OK. I then realised that, though the image I was trying to upload was small enough file wise, and was a png, it was WAY too big dimension wise. I scaled it, tried again and it worked. Just thought I would mention this as the problem may be something as simple as that!

  9. I screwed up my file permissions because of this and now my site doesn’t display any images at all. Jesus Christ how do I fix this now?

  10. I also had this problem. After a lot of trial and error, it turned out that something in WP was duplicating files. This took up all of my upload space. I deleted these files and it all worked again.

  11. I’m having a problem when uploading images to one of my WP installs. I have several others on the same server and the images upload normally on these installs.

    I’ve tried changing the CHMOD codes for both the upload directory (755), disabling all of the plugins, etc. No effect.

    Every image I upload results in the broken image file showing up in the media gallery and on the site.

    Oddest part is this all started last month after years without problems.

    Even odder: the upload directory stopped making monthly folders, even when the box is checked in settings!

    Any thoughts?

  12. I’m having the same problem, with my main WP install, the others work fine. I’ve tried changing the CHMOD codes as recommended, disabling all of the plugins, etc. No effect. Every image I upload results in the broken image file showing up in the media gallery and on the site. Oddest part is this all started last month after years without problems. Even odder: the upload directory stopped making monthly folders, even when the box is checked in settings! Any thoughts?

    FIXED: I found that I had duplicate wp-content/upload folders and my wp settings/media was pointing to the wrong folder.

  13. hello, last week I experienced problems with 90% images on my new wp site, I think that it is related to recent upload of a new plugin. I have deactivated all plug-ins, and it solved the problem, all images showed up again on the site. One week after that miraculous repair of the site images disappeared again… I tried all your suggestions and changed the permissions, but Filezilla shows message: command not understood… please help me

  14. I am getting a grey box that is appearing over jpegs I upload to the site. How do I fix this problem?

  15. I can’t even go further than “browse” to get onto the Media Library.
    It is taking ages , 15 minutes , I have been still waiting?
    Any idea whats wrong with that? I also contacted my web designer but its worth asking around while I am waiting. Thanks

  16. i’m trying to change the permission on filezilla but i get this error:
    500 ‘SITE CHMOD 644 BritaxcarSeat-140×130.jpg’: command not understood

  17. We hope you have already tried scanning your home computer for malware and viruses.

    Another thing you can try is to delete the .htaccess file from your website’ root directory. Make sure you download it as backup to your computer first before deleting it from your webserver.

    • Yeah, we did that; we tried deleting the .htaccess file. We tried changing the permissions, that didn’t work. We even have an old defunct WordPress.com site and are able to upload photos onto there just fine. Sigh ….

      Also, when we try to make a new post, the new post doesn’t fully load. It gets cut off halfway through.

      … we’re flummoxed. At this point, we don’t see an option but moving to a new host.

  18. I hope this will work.

    Our weird problem is we can’t upload images from our home computer, but the web host tech can upload them to our site, and we can upload images to our site ourselves from other computers. We’ve tried three different browsers on our home computer but get the HTTP error on all three browsers. It’s so frustrating and mysterious. We can’t figure out if its an ISP problem or a bad cookie. It’s been such a headache.

  19. Uh, upon downloading FileZilla my antivirus is going NUTS! It keeps marking it as malware, spam, and a Trojan Horse. Is there perhaps an alternate program that won’t crash my computer?

  20. Hi,

    I followed these instructions, and now the images on my homepage arent visible as well as any new images I use on posts when I visit the website. Does anyone know how to undo everything I did and/or get it back to how it was?

    Thanks

  21. I’m having trouble figuring out Filezilla. All of the fields are blank except for one, and I’ve no idea how to connect to my website using this FTP thing, and it’s SO frustrating. I’ve only ever had trouble with photos since WordPress revamped the New Post tab.

  22. I uploaded 18 pic files to my portfolio and they are all published to view on my website but when i view my site only 16 are showing up I can’t get the other 2 to display on my website. Can Someone help me with this please.

  23. Thank you so much for this article! I’ve been pulling my hair out searching forums and articles and this fixed the problem perfectly!! I used 755 and it worked perfectly.

  24. I did everything as per your instruction .I couldnt fix it .My images are still corrupting .What can be other issues?

  25. I’m sorry for my poor English and I’m programmer+designer for 20years. From the 3.8~3.9, there’s big problem and it can not be solved by normal user because it is database problem(not the image.. or plug-in’s problem). Once some data was put into database, it can be revised only by manual method. WordPress is really good CMS and I love it. I think this problem may be the price of using.

  26. Thank you so much! My problem with the pictures was that. Now is fixed! The problem was permissions there were in the folders and files. Thank you!

  27. I found that Jetpack Photon was blocking some images from displaying. If you find that only certain images are not loading this could be the problem with 3.8 and 3.8.1

  28. Hi,

    I have an issue with uploading files but ONLY on media when I click add button. The drag and drop field has disappeared and when I click the add button nothing happens.
    Everywhere else in the site i can upload photo for feature image or insert image in a post. There I can go fetch the file on my computer.
    If I switch to default theme it’s back to normal.

    I have tried everything on this post and from other posts:
    disable plugins, rename plugin folder to make sure they wouldn’t interfere, changing permissions, download again WP 3.8.1, Download again theme etc.
    So I guess it’s a theme problem but the developer won’t help for now. What can i do??
    The more time is passing by, the more I need to publish on my site + I have comments to posts I don’t wanna loose if I restore my site to a previous date..

    Please anyone have an idea??

    Thanks

  29. I had a similar problem after migrating wordpress to a new server.
    In Plesk ‘Hosting Settings’ the default PHP installation was as an Apache Module. I switched to run as A FastCGI application and the uploads are working again without messing up the directory permissions because it runs as a User (with permissions)

    Since this isn’t something not always thought of, I thought I’d share.

    • I am also running plesk and this fix worked for me. Permissions on folders were already set to 755 to no avail.

  30. I used to be able to upload images easily to posts and My Book Table–no problems. Then I stupidly upgraded to the newest version and can’t get the uploader link to work at all. I can change header and background but can’t upload anything from my MAC desktop as I need to do.

    I have no time for this and I have no patience with tech and am frustrated trying to find a solution that will not take all day–including downgrading my wp!

    Can’t somebody at wordpress fix this internernally or make a plugin to fix it and let us get on with our business? This is a waste of time.

  31. I downloaded Filezilla and Norton tells me it’s not safe and deletes it. I also found article about Filezilla malware. So I tried to use the cpanel file manager. It was already set to 755 and it would not allow me to make any changes. I’m not totally new to wordpress but far from a guru. I’ve already spent several hours on this issue and it’s very frustrating that there are no apparent fixes.

  32. I also tried the steps on here and they didn’t work, but after reading the comments, I tried 755 on the folder permissions and that seems to work.

    THANK YOU!

  33. Ok folks, I read your solution, tried it and it did not work. I upgraded to 3.8 and still have the same problem with images not uploading. However, I found something interesting. I used Filezilla to change permissions for the upload folder to 744 and 755 – neither worked. Then I found something strange. The permission change is not taking on the folder. Each time I go back to try something else, I noticed that the permissions on the upload folder goes back to 777 – even though I changed it and Filezilla says the changes were successful. Also, I can drag the images into the upload/2013/11 folder, but cannot drag into upload/2014/11 folder – the error msg on Filezilla says “critical file transfer error”. Plugins are: Nextgen gallery, Blackstudio TinyMCE Widget and Contact form 7. Your thoughts?

  34. Thanks Balkhi and Everyone,

    this was the info I was looking for to fix the broken image links.
    Has anyone suggestions to stop SPAM from bot. Using CAPTCHA plugin has been denying my own log in to my own blog stating that you do not have access to this website!

  35. Ouch.

    It seems like this “744” method would never work on folders… actually, you need “execute” rights on a folder to be able to open it. If you can’t open, you can’t read any content.

    However, your article has put me on the right track, as I faced the same issue after a fresh 3.8 install. But I think maybe you should amend your article and replace 744 by 755 for folders.

    Next step, I wish to tell WordPress to create future folders for my pictures with correct rights. Hope htaccess will help me for that.

  36. HI there i upgraded my site to 3.8 wordpress and all the images display broken image i try to deactivate all the plugin and activating one by one nothing works.

    when i write new post is displays automatically my website default logo image although i inserted a image to the post when you view the post you can see the image but the main page it display default image this driving me crazy.

    i welcome if any one can help me to sort my problems about this broken images
    thanks

  37. Hello! I was delighted to come across this article as I was also experiencing the same problem, having just upgraded to WordPress 3.8. Every time I uploaded an image to the media library, it would say there was a broken link. Initially, I tried following your instructions but this did not solve the problem. However, I changed the directory permissions to 755 instead of 744 and this worked! There is no broken link anymore and the images are displaying correctly.

  38. I also came across this post this morning, because a few days ago wordpress just stopped allowing me to upload images. it says it uploads, but then I just get the broken link icon, although all the info etc about the image is uploaded.

    So I followed all the instructions for changing file permissions, and still i have the problem. Someone at the office upgraded our wordpress to 3.7.1 and now I have upgraded it to 3.8 – could this be related to it?

    I am at a loss for what to do. Any suggestions most welcome. The site is at http://blog.wtmresponsibletourism.com

    Thanks

    Jeremy

    • Jeremy,

      Try changing directory permissions to 755 instead of 744 and apply them recursively to directors only. Let us know if this works for you. Another thing you can try is disabling jetpack’s photon module. If this resolves your problem then contact jetpack’s support.

      Admin

  39. I find your article very timely.

    I have a question

    few days ago, a couple of images of the slider of my blog suddenly stopped displayed on the homepage, in the gallery of images of wordpress just a gray box the picture looked, however the pictures were hosting.

    In the browser, put the path to the images and scored the server error saying it did not exist.

    The download via ftp and came back up, went back to mark the route of the images in the browser and ZAZ! there were back.

    Is it an error with the hosting?, I’ve been looking for information about the problem in order to keep me from ever happening again.

    I follow your blog for some time and I found it very useful, greetings.

  40. My heart jumped for joy when I first saw the title of this post. Alas what I need help on was sooo close to this, but I had already tried permissions. If anybody could help with the problem below I would be ever so grateful.

    I am using WordPress 3.7.1, Solostream WP-Clear 3.2.1 Theme, and WordPress “Regenerate Thumbnails” plugin 2.2.4. (http://wordpress.org/plugins/regenerate-thumbnails/) I am getting the following error on about 80% of the thumbnail images I try to regenerate.

    function (){if(l){var t=l.length;(function i(t){x.each(t,function(t,n){var r=x.type(n);”function”===r?e.unique&&p.has(n)||l.push(n):n&&n.length&&”string”!==r&&i(n)})})(arguments),n?o=l.length:r&&(s=t,c(r))}return this}

    If you have seen this error, know how to fix, it or know of another way to regenerate thumbnails PLEASE respond ASAP.

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