Trusted WordPress tutorials, when you need them most.
Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
25 Million+
Websites using our plugins
Years of WordPress experience
WordPress tutorials
by experts

How to Fix WordPress Posts Returning 404 Error (Step by Step)

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Are your WordPress posts returning a 404 error on your website?

This error happens when you can access your WordPress admin area and blog, but when you try to open a post, you will see “404 Not Found.”

In this article, we will show you how to fix WordPress posts returning 404 errors.

How to fix WordPress posts returning 404 error

Why Are My WordPress Posts Returning a 404 Error?

There are several reasons why your WordPress posts might be showing a 404 “Page Not Found” error. These can include:

  • Plugin or theme conflicts: Sometimes, plugins or themes you’ve installed on your site can interfere with how WordPress handles permalinks. This can lead to broken links and 404 errors.
  • Custom code issues: If you’ve added custom code to your website, there might be errors in the code that are affecting permalinks or causing other conflicts, resulting in 404 errors for your posts.
  • Issues with your .htaccess file: The .htaccess file plays a role in how WordPress structures URLs. If this file is corrupted or missing, it can lead to 404 errors for your posts.

That being said, let’s look at how to fix WordPress posts returning 404 errors. You can use the links below to jump straight to different solutions:

Don’t want to fix 404 errors yourself? WPBeginner Pro Services can help! With our affordable Emergency WordPress Support, you can hire experts to fix 404 errors, broken links, redirect issues, and much more. Stop stressing over WordPress issues and get them fixed! Schedule Emergency WordPress Support Services today!

Video Tutorial

Subscribe to WPBeginner

If you prefer written instructions, then just continue reading.

Method 1: Check for Plugin or Theme Conflicts and Custom Code Issues

Sometimes, plugins, themes, or custom code you’ve added to your WordPress site can interfere with permalinks or cause conflicts, leading to 404 errors. We’ve even experienced it ourselves when we’re testing tools on our demo site.

One way to solve this problem is to temporarily deactivate plugins. Plugins can sometimes disrupt how WordPress handles links.

Once you’ve deactivated the plugins, you can reactivate them one by one while checking if the 404 error reappears after activating each plugin. If the error shows up after activating a specific plugin, that might be the culprit.

You can then search for solutions related to that plugin or contact the plugin developer for support.

Similarly, your WordPress theme might be causing the conflict.

To check, you can temporarily switch to a default WordPress theme like Twenty Twenty-Three or Twenty Twenty-Four. All you need to do is go to Appearance » Themes and click ‘Activate’ on a default theme.

Activating a default WordPress theme

If the 404 error disappears with the default theme, it indicates a potential conflict with your current theme. You can then try troubleshooting the theme or consider using a different theme.

You can check out our expert pick of the most popular WordPress themes for recommendations.

If you’ve recently inserted code snippets to your website, there might be errors in the code causing the 404 errors. Take a close look at the code you added and see if you can identify any mistakes.

The safest way to add code snippets to WordPress is with the WPCode plugin. This plugin lets you insert custom code without directly working with the theme files, reducing the risk of breaking your website.

Plus, whenever WPCode spots an error in your code, it will automatically deactivate the snippet and ask you to check it. You can also use the testing mode to check if your code works before pushing it to your live website.

WPCode error warning

If none of these solutions work, move on to the next method where we’ll troubleshoot your permalink settings.

WordPress posts can return 404 errors because of problems with rewrite rules in your .htaccess file. In most cases, you can fix the problem by updating your permalink settings.

Simply go to Settings » Permalinks in your WordPress admin, and click on the ‘Save Changes’ button.

Check Permalinks

There is no need to make changes to the permalink settings themselves. This will update your permalink settings and flush the rewrite rules.

In most cases, this solution fixes the WordPress posts 404 error. However, if it does not work for you, then you probably need to update your .htaccess file manually.

Method 3: Update the WordPress .htaccess File

Before you start, make sure to back up your WordPress .htaccess file first. If something goes wrong, you can easily restore the original file.

Now, you will need to connect to your server using an FTP client like FileZilla or the File Manager app in your WordPress hosting dashboard.

Next, you will need to find and edit the .htaccess file, which is located in the same location as folders like /wp-content/ and /wp-includes/.

Simply right-click on the file and select ‘File permissions.’

.htaccess file permissions

You can make the file writeable by changing its permissions to 666.

Simply enter ‘666’ into the ‘Numeric value’ box and then click on ‘OK’.

Change file attributes for the .htaccess file to 666

Then, you need to repeat the steps in the first method of our tutorial. Once you have done this, don’t forget to change the permissions back to 660.

You can also edit the file and add code to it.

Edit .htaccess file

Once you have opened the .htaccess file with a text editor, simply insert this code:

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

Method 4: Contact Your Hosting Provider

If neither of the solutions above has fixed the WordPress posts returning 404 error, then we recommend contacting your WordPress hosting provider. There may be an error on their end, or they might be able to help you troubleshoot the problem.

Please also see our guide on how to properly ask for WordPress support and get it.

Method 5: Fix WordPress Posts Returning 404 Error on Local Servers

If you are using a local server for testing purposes, then you will need to enable mod_rewrite in the Apache configuration of your MAMP, WAMP, or XAMPP site.

This will allow WordPress to generate clean URLs and prevent the 404 error for posts and pages on your local server.

How you do this will differ by the platform you use. People using XAMPP can open their control panel and click the ‘Config’ button within Actions. Then, select ‘Apache (httpd.conf).’

The Apache (httpd.conf) menu on XAMPP

Next, you will need to find this line #LoadModule rewrite_module modules/ and remove the ‘#’ to uncomment it.

This will load the mod_rewrite.

Finding the rewrite_module on httpd.conf file

Then, find all instances of AllowOverride None and change them to AllowOverride All.

The ‘All’ value means that all directives can be overridden.

Changing AllowOverride None to AllowOverride All

Once done, you can save the httpd.conf file and close it. After that, in the XAMPP control panel, click ‘Stop’ on the Apache module and ‘Start’ again to restart it.

Then, go back to your admin dashboard to see if your permalinks are working.

We hope this article helped you resolve the posts returning 404 errors in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide to the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them, along with our expert picks for the best WordPress plugins to grow your site.

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.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

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.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

773 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

  2. Milan says

    Finding Solution on lots of Sites…. But No Luck And after all tried the following

    Settings » Permalinks, and simply click on Save Changes button.

    This Worked !!

    Million Thanks To Team WpBeginner….. !! :)

  3. Jeff says

    I’m afraid this did not work for me. I continue to get the 404 error and it affects all links from my front page. However, if I set the Permalinks settings to “Default” everything works. I don’t want the default settings though – I want permalinks to use “Day and name.” I’ve also checked the .htaccess file and that’s okay. I’ve done the same for permissions and they’re fine too. Help!

  4. Rick Harris says

    So this tip half works for me. I only have the 404 problem on 1 post, but it’s my first one so it’s the ‘what is this blog about and what you will find here’ so its pretty important for the blog site.
    See if you can figure this out.
    If I set the permalinks to something like year/month/post name it works fine.
    Even if I go delete the htaccess file then make the change, setting it to ‘post name’ results in that post getting the 404. It will still display on the home and category pages though.

  5. Annie says

    I went through both these options and I still am getting a 404 error. I have my permalinks set to ‘post name’ but for some reason only ONE of my posts is stuck on a different permalink structure (the post ends with /3088 instead) and it doesn’t change when I update the permalinks. I also went into my .htaccess file, and it already had the code you had above in there, but there was nothing about permissions in the file. Is there anything I can do to make this post show up? I can see it in my homepage feed but get the error when I click on it to go to the post page.

  6. Emily Gates says

    Thanks admin i was so much worry about it actually i install category plugin(because i am running my blog that is and after deactivation i found my single post was not show properly 404 error was displayed but now i fix it. Thanks for giving solution.

  7. Somesh says

    I’ve changed my theme for a little bit. And it has for different section by-default in the dashboard.
    Video Games
    How to
    So, after again re-applying the theme the posts at the post section are working fine. But, the posts for those section says page not found .
    How to bring those post back the post are available in the dashboard but, there thumbnails are also available on the website but when i click on that it says page not found.

  8. Edgar says

    Thanks for the info! Was in dispair, but now fine again. Had to do an extra step though. My host provider (hostnet) installed wordpress for me, so I had to get into their config panel to sync the .htacces file. Don’t know if this is more common for people using pre installed wordpress. Just letting you know ;)

  9. Carl says

    my problem was, that the .htaccess file was not writable.
    All I had to do was set the chmod to 777, then press the “save changes” Button in the Permalinks-Options Menu. WP then properly flushed the old .htaccess settings and rewrote them.
    Works, Thank You!

    • Ben says

      Hi i had the same problem on 2 of my sites with editing the post or page ,everything else seemed to work fine. (hapened at the same time)
      I fixed it by changing the permisions in cpanel/file manager to 644 for files and 755 for directory’s setings and all was restored to normal agian. so check your hosting comp for their recomended setings on file permisions.

      Some how the permisions for all files and directory’s was set to 655 for ( all wp files and directory’s ).

      Changing the permisions on .htaccess file alone didn’t do it for me and editing it also didn’t solve it, nor changing the permalinks. {somehow i think my problem came from my server side.}

      Hope it is helpfull for someone.

  10. Pankaj Chauhan says

    I was getting the same 404 error on my blog. It was not happening with all the posts but with one specific post. After, few hours I noticed that the category name was causing the issue. so I deleted the category and recreated it with a different slug. It worked.

    but i am still not sure why it happened…

    Luckily, in that category, I had no posts otherwise…it would have been a problem as i had to reassign the new category to all the posts.

  11. Manisha Sarangi says

    I have got another solution and it worked like a magic.
    Just follow few steps here.
    For UBUNTU :

    1.You need to enable mod_rewrite in apache server
    sudo a2enmod rewrite

    2.You need to restart the webserver to apply the changes
    sudo service apache2 restart

    3.If you plan on using mod_rewrite in .htaccess files, you also need to enable the use of .htaccess files by changing AllowOverride None to AllowOverride FileInfo. For the default website, edit /etc/apache2/sites-available/default

    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
    # changed from None to FileInfo
    AllowOverride FileInfo
    Order allow,deny
    allow from all

    4.After such a change, you need to restart Apache again
    sudo service apache2 restart

    5.Then go to wordpress admin>settings>permalinks>select post name and save changes

    It will work now.

  12. David Vitorino says

    Thanks for this post!!

    I was trying to install wordpress in VPS and your post really helped me.

    the mod_rewrite was turned off in apache.


  13. Syl says

    Hey there !

    Thanks for your post. I have a similar issue on my wordpress blog and don’t know what to do right now. To make it short, my .htaccess file is getting overwritten over and over…

    These lines :

    # BEGIN WordPress

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

    # END WordPress

    are duplicated a hundred or thousand times with NUL characters, and my .htaccess is now 1.5 Mo ! I can fix the issue by uploading a clean .htaccess, but the issue occurs a few hours/days later, again and again, and the pages of my websites just show a 404 error…

    I also tried to put the htaccess file attributes to 404 instead of 604 to stop it from being rewritten, but my host doesn’t allow this and it came back to 604…

    WordPress : 3.6.1 Plugins : Akismet, Anti-spam, DB Cache Reloaded Fix, Do Follow, Google Analytics for WordPress, Post Ratings, Recipe Card, Tweet, Like, Google +1 and Share, UberMenu, WordPress Database Backup, WordPress SEO, WP Sitemap Page, WP Super Cache

    Any clue ?

    Best regards :)

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Deactivate all your plugins, if you have some custom code pasted in your theme’s functions.php file then create a back up of your existing file and then install a fresh copy of your theme. Delete your .htaccess file. Go to Settings » Permalinks and save your permalinks. Now connect to your site using FTP, wordpress would have created a new .htaccess file for you. Browse a few pages on your site’s front-end and then see if the changes in your .htaccess file reappear.


      • MissyLee says

        Many many thanks for continuing with helping people – My child theme functions.php was the problem. Seriously, this is a great site! :)

  14. Megha Verma says

    Hi, I am facing problem of error 404 page not found. But it is not applicable on every post. This problem is coming 5 out of 10. Also I am using the same method creating all the post and the perma-link structure is /sample-post/. Kindly help me out from this and provide me the best solution.

  15. Biswajit Rout says


    Thanks for the information. I have the same problem.

    But now i fixed by adding the below code in my .htaccess.
    # BEGIN WordPress

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

    # END WordPress

    Thanks again for this post.

  16. Jyo says

    Hi, thanks for the info, but it doesnt work for me :( Please admin can you help me out. My permalinks arent working. I have tried your method. The only way its working is by setting permalinks to default else the whole site comes down, not even the wp admin section is accessible.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Here is something you can try. Connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client like Filezilla. Once you are connected to your website, in Filezilla menu bar click on Server » Force showing hidden files. Find .htaccess file in your website’s root directory, download it to your computer, then delete the file from your server. Now go to WordPress admin area in your browser and click on Settings » Permalinks. Choose a permalink structure for your website and click save changes button. Hopefully this will resolve your issue.


  17. karen says

    I thought I already messed up with my blog and can’t make it work again. Thanks for this nice post!

  18. Darren says

    Your are AWESOME! I had no idea what was wrong. 5 min of reading your post and a few clicks later my blog is up and running again! Thanks a TON!

  19. Gav Reichel says

    If all of the above isn’t making any difference for you, it might be worth asking your website administrator if they’ve added the following to the configuration (if using apache):

    Options Indexes Includes FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride All

    (This is usually defined in the virtural host section)

    If not, your .htaccess file won’t be read!

    (I speak from experience after spending 30 minutes trying to work that out!)

  20. pete says

    Hi, got my htaccess hacked and had to delete it. Now I get this problem. This solution only get me halfways. From the browser 404 message(before) to my custom wordpress 404 page(after permalink reset). Any ideas?

      • Pete says

        Took me a while to get back…
        The htaccess look allright. It gets updated..Still not working. Only the custom ugly permalinks. Another wp site on the same server got hacked at the same time. But on that one this fix solves the problem..

  21. protik says

    Thank you Thank you so much…had a mild panic attack when the 404 error happened…this post was a life saver!!

  22. Peter says

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    It worked.

    You are right, there are so many variables that sometimes knowing what to ask is significantly more difficult that fixing the problem.

    I am now able to access my blog again.

    have a great day.
    Peter Sitting Scribe

  23. Allii Allee says

    i have done all the steps but its still giving me this error
    Error 404

    The page you’ve requested can not be displayed. It appears you’ve missed your intended destination, either through a bad or outdated link, or a typo in the page you were hoping to reach.

  24. Akhil Gupta says

    first of all i want to thank you for this great tutorial.. i am not able to change the permalink from the last 2 hrs.. i was changing the .htaccess file bit it was not working out but after seeing your 404 error post i was able to figure it out now my problem solved. Thanks once again

  25. Bruce Ketchum says

    Thank you, WPBeginner! Your tip on clicking the Save Changes button in the WordPress Permalinks settings fixed my 404 error, which was occurring on posts and pages.

  26. Adrian D'Amico says

    I too am having this problem on a site of mine – where it keeps happening every few days even after I hit Save Changes and refresh the Permalinks. I’m guessing it’s a plugin, but I havent gone down the list deactivating and reactivating them since I’d have to wait days to find out which one is doing it. Do you think that the htaccess edit solution you describe is a permanent solution, or will the problem resurface again? thanks for any help you could provide.

      • Adrian says

        Hello – I followed this tutorial but my site is still plagued by this problem. Is something triggering this to occur? Something like a plugin? I’ve double checked and my htaccess file always looks like what you suggest in the article, seems as if something else is going on at least in my case. thanks for any help you could provide.

        • Adrian says

          I guess what Im asking is do you know a way to track down what is causing it (ie. which plugin, etc.)

        • Rich says

          Do you have this in httpd.conf for webserver files – about line 220 in a default httpd.conf file. Could your host be overwriting changes you’ve made?

          AllowOverride FileInfo

          My webserver settings didn’t have this so despite changing this in the initial Directory settings it just wasn’t working. As soon as I did it worked.

  27. Jay Castillo says

    The question is, what is causing the problem with the htaccess file?

    I encountered this problem before and I traced it to using the diggdigg wordpress plugin.

    The quick fix was to save the permalink structure just like what you mentioned above, but the problem happened to me twice(404 errors on my blogposts, homepage was okay) in a week and after I removed the diggdigg plugin, it never occurred again.

    I still don’t know why it happened.

Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.