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How to Fix “Missing a Temporary Folder” Error in WordPress

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Are you seeing the ‘Missing a temporary folder’ error on your WordPress site?

This error is a serious one, and it makes it impossible to upload images, update themes and plugins, or update WordPress core.

In this article, we will show you how to easily fix the ‘Missing a temporary folder’ error in WordPress.

How to Fix "Missing a Temporary Folder" Error in WordPress

What Causes ‘Missing a Temporary Folder’ Error in WordPress?

Is your WordPress website displaying the ‘Missing a temporary folder’ error? This common WordPress error is caused by incorrect PHP settings in your WordPress hosting environment.

There is a specific PHP setting that defines a temporary folder that apps like WordPress can use to temporarily store data. WordPress needs access to this temporary folder when you upload an image, install or update a plugin or theme, or update WordPress core.

If the location of this folder is not defined in your server’s PHP configuration, then WordPress will be unable to do any of these things and will show you the ‘Missing a temporary folder’ error.

The 'Missing a Temporary Folder' Error Message

You might want to reach out to your hosting provider and ask them to fix this for you. If you are not happy with the technical support you receive, then consider switching to a better WordPress hosting company.

Having said that, it’s also possible to fix the error yourself using a workaround. Let’s take a look at how to easily fix the ‘Missing a temporary folder’ error in WordPress.

How to Fix ‘Missing a Temporary Folder’ Error in WordPress

For this tutorial, you will need to edit the wp-config.php WordPress configuration file. If you haven’t done this before, then see our guide on how to edit the wp-config.php file in WordPress.

First, you will need to connect to your website using an FTP client or the file manager found in the cPanel dashboard of your web hosting account.

Next, you will need to locate the wp-config.php file and edit it.

You Need to Edit wp-config.php

You need to paste the following code snippet to the file just before the line that says, ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing.’

define('WP_TEMP_DIR', dirname(__FILE__) . '/wp-content/temp/');
Paste the Code Snippet Into wp-config.php

Save your changes and upload the wp-config.php file back to your website.

Next, you need to go to the /wp-content/folder and create a new folder inside it. You should name this new folder temp.

Create a Temp Directory in the WP-Content Folder

That’s all. You can now visit your WordPress admin area and try uploading an image.

If you still see the ‘Missing temporary folder’ error message, then you will need to check the folder permissions for your wp-content folder.

Using your FTP client, go to the root folder of your WordPress site. After that, you should right-click on the wp-content folder and select ‘File permissions…’

Check the File Permissions of the WP-Content Folder

This will bring up the file permissions dialog box. Now you need to enter 755 in the numeric value field.

Then you can click on the ‘OK’ button to continue.

Make Sure the File Permissions Are 755

You should now be able to upload images and perform updates on your WordPress site.

We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to fix the ‘Missing a temporary folder’ error in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to speed up your WordPress site or our expert pick of the best social media plugins for WordPress.

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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

26 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Rojin says

    I had the “Missing temporary folder” error today, with only one site, and the problem was an old theme. I temporarily switched theme to one of the default WordPress themes.
    define(‘WP_TEMP_DIR’, dirname(__FILE__) . ‘/wp-content/temp/’);
    This code and even the steps did not worked for me. Do you have any other methods to solve the issue.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If none of these methods worked for you, we would recommend reaching out to your hosting provider and see if they possibly have a setting that is overriding what you’re trying to do.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      If the methods from this guide do not solve the issue, we would recommend reaching out to your hosting provider for them to take a look at your folder permissions for you.


  3. Luan Roloff says

    I had the same problem when uploading new media files, updating my theme solved this problem for me.

  4. Brian Coogan says

    I had the “Missing temporary folder” error today, with only one site, and the problem was an old theme. I temporarily switched theme to one of the default WordPress themes (‘twentytwentyone’) and the error disappeared, at least in my case. I could see a whole bunch of JS errors in the browser console log (F12 in Chrome).

    I did check out the temporary folder stuff above, but it didn’t seem to be key for me. Worth noting that my theme was VERY old and VERY broken (ie: PHP 5.6 days!), but just mentioning this in case someone else like me has tried everything else!

    I didn’t have time to check out what was happening in the code to produce this message, but just wanting to confirm that there’s at least one cause. In my case I’m the host and I’m sure the other sites on the server had no problem.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Thanks for sharing what caused this issue for you should someone else be looking for a reason :)


  5. Shahzad Ghafoor says

    I have edit wp-config.php and created a temp folder but also there is error and not going to upload any file except after doing this I can just find and install themes and plugins but can’t upload from pc.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If the first method in this guide did not work for you, we would recommend following the steps in our troubleshooting section.


  6. Mel says

    Thanks for this info. I had a site that had no issues previously with upgrading and then all of a sudden nothing would work – upgrades, uploads, etc. This fixed it. Thanks so much!

  7. Thami says

    Hi all. Unfortunately I have tried to find the wp-config.php file in my cpanel, without any luck. It is just not there.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You may want to check with your hosting provider to ensure you are connected to the correct folder for your site


  8. Rowan says

    Also this error shows up when you have reached your disk quota. I get many clients emailing me about this, but they’ve just been uploading huge files and their web hosting is full. Clear some space and it’ll work again.

  9. AR Badhon says

    Thanks for Suggest..
    but i’m tried , before i’ll can’t upload . finish set to set guide line.
    pls Anyothers way

  10. evans kyei says

    Add From Server plugin saved my time. it’s easy to use, just upload your image through ftp and use Add from sever plugin to import to your Media Library.

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