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

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 the WordPress posts returning 404 error.

How to fix WordPress posts returning 404 error

What Causes the WordPress Posts Returning 404 Error?

WordPress is a powerful content management system (CMS), but a slight change can sometimes make your WordPress website inaccessible.

In some cases, you may not be able to access your WordPress admin area or the website itself, like with the internal server error or error establishing a database connection.

By contrast, when your WordPress posts are returning 404 errors, you will still be able to get into your admin area and see your WordPress website on the front end. Then, when you click on a blog post, you will see a message saying “404 Not Found”.

Although this error message can be scary, it doesn’t mean you have lost your WordPress posts. Instead, your .htaccess file has probably been deleted, or something went wrong with the rewrite rules on your blog.

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

Video Tutorial

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If you’d prefer written instructions, then just continue reading.

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

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.

Update the WordPress .htaccess File

First, you will need to connect to your server using an FTP client 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 Fix the Permalinks Settings section 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

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.

Fix for Local Servers

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

We hope this article helped you resolve the posts returning 404 error 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.

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Reader Interactions

750 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. 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….. !! :)

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ;)

  8. Hi,
    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!

    • 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Hello,
    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.

  11. 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.


  12. 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 :)

    • 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.


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

  13. 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.

  14. Hi,

    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.

  15. 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.

    • 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.


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

  17. 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!

  18. 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!)

  19. 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?

      • 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..

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

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

      • 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.

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

        • 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.

  26. 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.

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