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

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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. In fact, 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’ll show you how to fix the image upload issue in WordPress.

Fixing image upload issues in WordPress

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If you’d prefer written instructions, please keep reading.

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 files on the hosting server. You may get the following WordPress error when uploading an 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 disappear from the WordPress 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 that unexpectedly changed file permissions.

If everything else is working fine on your WordPress 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.

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Fixing the 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 switch to the /wp-content/ folder. Inside, you will 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 into the numeric value box, and then check the box next to ‘Recurse into subdirectories’. 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 the 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’. Next, you need to click on the Apply to files only’ radio button.

Finally, simply 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 an 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 beginner’s guide to image SEO or our comparison of the best WordPress plugins for managing images.

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.

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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.

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Reader Interactions

297 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
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  2. Didier says

    Let’s add the fact that WordPress creates a new folder each month, in wp-content/uploads.
    Probably, when the new folder is automaticaly created, it hasn’t the correct permissions :

    We have to modify the permissions each month.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      That should not normally be the case, we would recommend checking with your hosting provider to ensure they don’t have a security setting that could be the root of that issue.


  3. Zoe says

    I am trying to upload several photos to my website page, and keep getting the message below:
    “The server cannot process the image. This can happen if the server is busy or does not have enough resources to complete the task. Uploading a smaller image may help. Suggested maximum size is 2560 pixels.”
    I have compressed the image multiple times, shrinking the size and optimizing it, yet I continue to receive this message even after shutting down the browser and starting again. Can you please advise me on how to upload these files? Thank you!

  4. Paul says

    Please I am trying to upload images from my computer for my blog it is telling me( “The server cannot process the image. This can happen if the server is busy or does not have enough resources to complete the task. Uploading a smaller image may help. Suggested maximum size is 2560 pixels. “).. please what can I do

  5. Michelle says

    Yes!!! This was absolutely helpfuul and helped me fix the problem! Thank you so much! I am not a hard core computer person. I have just started my blog on WordPress so at the end of the day, I know it is me that has to handle any issues with it! Thannk you so much!!! This was awesome!

  6. Vinay Golchha says

    when i upload image nmy form it say “something wentwrong, please try again” .

    can u please help how to fix this issue?

  7. António Antunes says


    Just change the permalink structure from generic to another one. That worked for me

  8. Ankit Sharma says

    image upload issue showing countinously .i have applied all methos but it does not working

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If none of our methods are working for you, we would recommend reaching out to your hosting provider to ensure there isn’t an error on their end.


  9. Mary says

    I’m encountering the same issue only the fix that is suggested is not working. Is there something else that can be done?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would likely want to reach out to your hosting provider for them to take a look.


  10. Matthew says

    First try to check PHP interpreter version on your server. If it 7.4 – this may cause problems. Change it to 7.3.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Thank you for sharing that for some users who may be stuck with this error, for beginners we recommend reaching out to their hosting provider for checking if that is an issue. :)


  11. Moni says

    Images to my wordpress site seem to upload correctly but then then disappear and an icon for broken image link appears. In the media library the image shows as a gray block. If I try to edit the image then I can see the image but when I save it again it’s gray again. I checked my permissions and the are set to 755.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You may want to try updating to 744 and if that does not work, reach out to your hosting provider and they can normally assist.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      Some hosting providers have a file manager that acts as an FTP but it would depend on your host for what is available.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      For local installations, you would right-click the folder and go under Properties>Security to change the permissions.


  12. Lucas says

    FTP permissions are fine, when I try to upload, the original file goes to the FTP Uploads folder, but WordPress does not recognize it and displays error on upload, try again later

    Any tips?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      For some, that may be a solution but that is sadly, rarely the solution for this specific issue.


  13. Adams says

    ”Unexpected response from the server. The file may have been uploaded successfully. Check in the Media Library or reload the page.”

    I keep getting the above error whenever I try to upload an image to my newly installed WordPress.

    Please advise on how to solve it. Thank you.

  14. Anita Hiltz says

    I’m not sure this will solve my problem. I have an educational website and we give away free books and educational materials. Recently I uploaded a PDF document (a chart) into my library, put it in 2 of my web pages, and created the link to open it. That was fine, but later, I decided to improve the document, took it off, recreated it and uploaded it again to the library. The original document was deleted completely from my own files, but when I upload it to my website it comes up with the OLD document. Somehow the “delete permanently” feature within the library is NOT actually deleting it. HELP!

  15. Evie says

    I just wanted to say, thank you so much for all the help you provide. I sometimes experience odd occurrences on my website, and when I Google the problem, your website always seems to simply answer my concerns.

    Keep up the excellent work!

  16. Kyree H says

    What URL do I type in when connecting via the FTP client? The actual domain that visitors use or my wordpress URL?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      That can vary based on your host, if your normal domain does not work you would want to check with your hosting provider


  17. Muhammad Adil says

    Hurray, I did it just change URL from Setting-General than change “WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL)” set both http to https and the issue has been resolved.

  18. Kristina says

    Hello anybody know how to fix getting your images to load the the Media Library? the files are located in the correct place on my server wp content / uploads. and i know my permissions are correcgt 755 and 0644 for the individual files.
    if i try to drag or load files from scratch into the Media Library Add New loader I always get this error- ” could not insert post into the database” thanks.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You may want to ensure there are no special characters in your file name and you’ve tried increasing the maximum upload size for possible reasons.


  19. Nicole says

    My photo’s that I am trying to upload are not even uploading. It is currently stuck on the download bar and I don’t know how to up the uploading process or how to stop it and try again. Please help. We are on a time crunch.

    Thank you.

  20. James Howlett says

    New image uploaded always has 640 permission. And if I access image with 640 permission, it will return 404. But if I change it to 644, I can access the image.

    Is 640 the correct permission for image uploaded? Or is it 644?

  21. sandra willie says

    I’m having a problem sizing my photos for a wordpress site and getting them to display correctly. I’ve resized the images several times to smaller, but they still appear showing only portion of the image and not the full image – even though I have also tried resizing in the edit section of the gallery! How do I get them to load in the full size if the image is a suitable size and resolution!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      When adding the image to a post/page you may want to check for the dropdown in the bottom right stating the size and set it to the full size for your image.


  22. Jessica says

    Hi. When I upload a rectangular photo it uploads as a square cutting off most of the image. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Your theme may be generating a new image size, you may want to check under Settings>Media to see if you’ve enabled image cropping there.


  23. Alexandru says

    I’m having an issue when in editing mode upon uploading product images in gallery. I uploaded some images for a product gallery with no issues then I went to upload new ones for another product. I select the images/upload into gallery but instead of uploading the new ones I selected it uploads the ones from the previous upload.. Ctrl+F5, delete cookies, system restart… nothing. Still the same issue.
    Any ideas?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It sounds like you would want to reach out to the support for the plugin you are using for your products to ensure that it is not a hiccup with the plugin itself.


  24. Duong Nguyen says

    Hi everyone,

    I am scratching my head on this current issue with WordPress 5.0 logo uploading. The image file (59K) will upload to media no problem, but it WILL NOT show on the page, instead it would show my icon file instead. I don’t understand. I’ve tried resizing the size to 100px to no prevail.

    Could this be the theme fault? I am using OceanWP. I tried contacting my host and they recommend getting my logo designer to optimise it for WP5.0. Which doesn’t make sense. if anyone could please give me any leads to this issue. Thank you!

  25. Famous Onyemah says

    I am still struggling to come to terms with WP.
    Please if I want my readers to …Read More » on a page, what widget do I use?

  26. Opirite says

    Thank you, i tried many things on how to fix the problem but none worked until i tried your solution by changing the file permission as shown. Your solution to the problem worked for me. Again, a big thank you.

  27. Michiel says

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all your information and suggestions.
    I tried everything:
    – the 755,744,744 and 655 in filezilla. Nothing worked.
    – Media, upload etc. Also nothing.

    All of a sudden I could upload two images. And afterwards I tried the upload a 3rd image and now I am stuck with the same problem again. Every time I try to upload any image i get ‘ http-error’.

    Does anybody have some last advice?
    Help a no-knowledge-of-websitebuilding-person out!

    Thanks in advance! :)

  28. Anais says

    I have an issue that doesn’t seem to be addressed anywhere – there is no “Media” folder in my WordPress menu and I just can not figure out why and how to access it.

    I am just starting my blog and not even uploaded my theme yet. Any idea what could be the reason behind that?

    Thank you!

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