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

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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

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 WordPress posts returning 404 errors. You can use the links below to jump straight to different solutions:

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If you 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

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 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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.

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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

768 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. Samir K Al Busaidy says

    I was panicking and thinking that my website was hacked or had malware. As I read your writing and you wrote not to worry, I began to relax. The first option (permalink) worked for me immediately…
    Thanks :-)

  3. Max Legault says

    On IIS there is no .htaccess file but the key is still the permalink settings. Just hitting Save didn’t fix it but changing the Custom Structure to Plain worked like a charm. Thanks for the push in the right direction.

  4. Steve Barnard says

    Dang! Can’t thank you enough for this – super simple fix worked perfectly – just hit save changes on the permalinks settings page and viola’ – my pages are back. Thank you!!

  5. kris says

    honestly thank you so much! without fail your site always comes thru with answers that work. thank you so much!
    (now I just wish I knew what caused it to get out of whack in the first place. oh well.)

  6. Chris says

    This article just saved me from a panic attack Lol. The solution worked great. Thanks for making this video.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If none of our methods in this guide worked for you, we would recommend reaching out to the support for your hosting provider to ensure there is not an error on their end.


  7. Duane Wiese says

    None of the above suggestions worked so I did some further searching. I came across someone who suggested switching off the mod security under the security section in cpanel.

    I tried this and it worked. I also tested it by switching it back on after a change and then trying another change and BAM, 404 error.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Thanks for sharing this should someone else run into this issue. Not every host allows access to that specific file but if you reach out to your host they can normally disable or change it for you :)


    • Dave Emma says

      Disabling ModSecurity fixed mine.
      I actually tried permalinks plus rewriting .htaccess, but that didn’t solve my problem. I’m glad I read comments. Many thanks guys for sharing.

  8. Elango says

    Thanks, it was so simple and the problem solved. No other pages were visible after I migrated to another server. I added the lines to .htaccess file and uploaded the same. Now all the pages are being displays without the 404 error and I am able to access my WP dashboard too. Thanks a lot.

  9. Islombek says

    My posts are showing 404 error after installing ssl certificate. How can I fix it? I tried everything mentioned above, but none helped.

  10. Dennis Yildirim says

    My .htaccess file is exactly the same with that code but nevertheless I did whatever in the post. did not work, saved permalinks through admin console, did not work. Manually edits, no luck. Deleted the .htaccess and recreated it by saving it from admin console, again did not work. Nothing works. Don’t know how did it even work on others?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If none of the recommendations from our article were able to help we would recommend reaching out to your hosting provider as that can be a sign that there is an issue on your host’s end.


  11. Kuldeep Singh says

    You saved my day. I got this issue after transferring my site from one hosting to another. I couldn’t believe it was so simple to fix the issue. Many Thanks WpBeginner team!

  12. Rick says

    I never reply to these things but just wanted to jump on here and say thank you! I’ve been having this issue a lot and having to wait ages for support to help me and so finally had a hunt around, found this, and can now fix it myself. You legend!! Much appreciated

  13. Afan says

    One of solutions to correct the issue with the Permalink change is simply delete the .htaccess file – WordPress will recreate it again automatically.
    But, before you delete it, copy the file on your computer, just in case…

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If someone has customized their htaccess file then that would be a good idea. Otherwise, WordPress should auto regenerate the default information in the file where most wouldn’t need to worry.


  14. James Monroe says

    Saving the permalinks settings worked perfectly. Such a simple solution to what looked like a serious problem! Thank you!

  15. mukhtar says

    its works fine 100 %
    and easy to solve my problem, we are very very thankful to you about it

  16. Muhammad Zeeshan says

    I’m facing 404 error while adding new plugin , theme , editing any post or product, editing any page ..
    I’ve try to save permalinks and also tried to change .htaccess .. But not this given solution is working for me.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to reach out to your hosting provider to see if you are running into any errors on their server’s end.


  17. Ayobami says

    I’m having error 404 issues on my website, I can’t access to the website at all what can I do?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would use the htaccess method from this guide or reach out to your hosting provider to be able to assist you


    • WPBeginner Support says

      For that specific error, you would want to reach out to your hosting provider to take a look.


  18. Mihir says

    I’m facing a problem where this is extension of my own website after every page and I don’t know how to fix it.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would likely want to check under Settings>Permalinks to ensure everything is set correctly there


  19. Mellissa says

    This is a great solution but it didn’t fix my issue so in case anyone else is in the same boat, here’s what went wrong for me; my index.php file went missing from the server. Added a new copy and everything is back

  20. Logan says

    Thanks for your articles. My issue is that I can’t log in to my website even though I’m logged in to the host server… When I try to log in my wordpress the message goes :

    Not Found

    The requested URL was not found on this server.

    My website isn’t published yet as I’ve just started.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to check with your hosting provider to ensure there isn’t an issue on their end or where your site is installed


  21. Danish says

    My main page is working but all other pages are showing 404 error. They are visible in admin panel but can’t view them.

  22. Peck-Secia Tangi says


    Below is the error that i am getting which is similar to the one described above

    “The requested URL was not found on this server.”

    • WPBeginner Support says

      For that error, if you haven’t done so already you would want to reach out to your hosting provider to see if the error could be server related.


  23. Calvin says

    I’m having the same problem with category links. They return a 404 error and it’s a new website. I’m afraid not all pages are going to be indexed.

  24. Ian says

    I just build my website. I was able to go into dashboard. I changed the url (IP address) to my domain. Now and give me “Not Found”.
    Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If your site is on your hosting provider you would want to reach out to your host’s support to ensure the site is in the correct location and your domain is pointing correctly.


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