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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

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!

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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]
</IfModule>
# 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/mod_rewrite.so 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

773 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
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  2. Niketa says

    Many many Thanks.. I was worried first but your blog fixed my 404…as I was having exactly same issue.

  3. Abhishek Sharma says

    Sir i dont know how to thank you.. But today you saved my life.. I was so scared. I just published a post and then when i checked that in my browser it showed 404 error then i check another post and then all . i was surrounded by 404 errors except my homepage was working. Now before posting to wordpress forums i just googled it and found solution on your website.,..
    Mannn Thanks for saving my life.

  4. Richard says

    Hi !
    I doesn’t work for me.
    i added ” . ” for prefix category but i fall in a 404 page when i try to access to my subcategory :s

  5. Marlena says

    I’m so pleased to have found this article first. I’m a complete novice and I fixed my own 404 issue.
    YAY!
    Thanks so much!

  6. Anil says

    I have created a subdirectory. And I have two wordpress installed, one in root and the other in subdirectory. Both of them contains posts and pages. I want to access both and it’s happening. But when I am hiding the subdirectory slug from the post URL by modifying the .htaccess file, the sub directory name got hidden as per the requirement but the posts of my main domain is inaccessible and getting 404 error. I want to access the post from both root as well as subdirectory. Please suggest.

  7. Grant Turner says

    Fixed. My problem was since I’m running on a windows server then I don’t have a .htaccess file. I need to create a web.config file.

  8. Cindy Martin says

    This fix DID NOT work for me! I still have a 404 error on my blog page only. I am using Gridalicious and have had nothing but trouble! (Not with Gridalicious but other stuff too).
    I removed everything from the to start over. loaded the theme and get the error.

    Blog posts are not showing up on the blog page except in the widget and the main page is the 404 error message. Saving permalinks does nothing at all. Host is GoDaddy. HELP! I’m really tired of all this and frustrated.

  9. Maranna says

    Thanks! I moved website from one server to another and had the problem with posts returning 404. Main page and admin were working fine. Re-saving permalinks worked to fix this problem. Seems that this setting is not carried over correctly in all cases.

  10. alvin says

    My problem is funny. I have a couple of WP websites I am currently running each logged into one browser with different portals and logging user names. After I noticed the 404 error checking the redirect area i see my author names have been mixed up from all the different websites. Can someone please assist

  11. Mayapur Voice says

    This post saved my day today! In an attempt to fix a long standing problem today our host changed the .htaccess file. The issue got resolved but it broke all my links. By the grace of God, I found this post in an instant and it was exactly what I needed. Thanks tons!

  12. Casey says

    Hello, thanks for this article and all the other awesome articles I have found on wpbeginner. I am running into some problems with my front page giving me an “oops! That page can’t be found” error. I am wondering if you have any advice on how to fix it.

    I am running:
    LAMP with Debian 3.2.84-1 x86_64 (Wheezy) on a VPS, Apache 2.2.22, php5
    Wordpress: 4.7.1
    Theme: YS Magazine

    The original issue occurred when I switched the permalink structure to use “post type” instead of the default. At that point I could no longer view any of my pages and just got a 404 error. So, I did some research and edited my .htaccess file to allow overwrite. This fixed the problem of the 404 errors on all my pages, except on whatever page is set to my home page. To be clear, there was no problem with any of the pages before I changed permalinks. It also does not matter if I set the front page to static or posts. If I change my front page to another page I can then see the page which was set previously as the front page, but the new front page then gives me the error.

    I have tried:
    disabling all my plugins and enabling them one by one
    changing themes
    changing the .htaccess file back
    changing permalink settings

    I have been searching for an answer to this for hours now and seem to have ran into a brick wall. Any help would be super appreciated. Thank you so much.

  13. Bart Dority says

    Thank you so much for this post!

    I knew my 404 errors had something to do with the permalink structure – and I even tried changing the permalink structure and saving it – and otherwise updating and refreshing it — but it still wasn’t working. But then I read this post which said — instead of changing the permalink style and saving it, — just leave it where it is, and click Save anyway. That worked for me. A huge relief. Thank you!

  14. Z says

    Thanks for the post. I’ve had to deal with other problems after switching hosting providers, but this was a new one.

    I did the method provided and my site was back to normal within seconds.

  15. Kristine says

    Hello, I am hoping you can help me- I am super nervous about my wp site right now. When I type the address into the search engine it is a completely barebones site that says it is “set up through Wix” that no longer looks like our site we have been operating through wordpress. This just happened out of the blue and I am so nervous about our posts.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Kristine,

      It seems like your WordPress site’s domain is hosted by Wix. If you have login details for a wix account, then you can login and point the domain to your current WordPress hosting provider. If you are unsure, then please try contacting Wix support and your WordPress hosting provider support for more help.

      Admin

  16. Jolene says

    Thank you! My blog has been down and I couldn’t figure out how to fix. In a last ditch effort before I call customer support…I googled. You saved the day!

  17. Bruno Almond says

    Great blog here! Additionally your site rather a lot up very fast! What host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate link in your host? I desire my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  18. Lorene says

    No, this worked for the one post that was showing Error 404, but then ALL the others that worked before, now show Error 404. So I had to change it back. Hope most of them work now.

  19. Gabe DeFrates says

    Excellent tip for fixing the permalink! I was getting the “File not found” error, and I went right into the WP Control Panel Settings, Saved Changes and she’s working again. You saved the day! Thank you for your time in posting this.

  20. jhonny says

    Recently I have changed my site permalinks and now i am getting lots of 404 errors i have redirected them some of them to new url and others to homepage but still my site users were going down and down what to do now help me please should i change them back to old permalinks? or something else to do please tell me

  21. Exxagon says

    Thanks a lot for your post.
    Since many weeks, I was stucked with a 404 error each time I tried to change my permalinks structure.
    I found the solutions in your post :
    1. Modify /etc/apache2/apache2.conf, and set “AllowOverride All” everywhere instead of ” AllowOverride None”
    2. Empty /var/www/html/.htaccess completely, change it to www-data:www-data & set it temporary to 777.
    3. And the main one : “sudo a2enmod rewrite”, and “service apache2 restart”

    Thanks again !!
    Xavier

  22. Vinita says

    Recently I am getting lots of 404 page errors in google webmaster. While revamping my wordpress website, instead of redirecting old urls to new, I just edited existing urls to new ones. e.g. website.com/url1 was edited to website.com/url2. Now webmaster if giving 404 error for old urls i.e. website.com/url1. How am I supposed to solve this error? (there are almost 155 urls with 404 errors so cant ignore)

  23. Sandy says

    Is there a plugin that can find 404 errors and redirect them safely with best SEO tactics? Or should i do a edit find and replace in my xml file and remove the urls?

    appreciate your ideas…

  24. Michael says

    changing the right to 660 made my site unavailable. i had to set .htaccess to 644 (which was the original setting). regards Michael

  25. Kieron Atkinson says

    I’m running wordpress on a client’s in-house server and even though the htaccess file is there with the rewrite module sequence, permalinks are still not working. In fact all the URLs are coming up as example.com/index.php/permalink.

    How do I check if the module rewrite is enabled on the server? My client says that they have that enabled but it still doesn’t work.

    Many thanks for your help.
    Kieron :)

  26. Renee says

    Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much)!
    Reassigning the Permalinks is exactly what was needed after moving 10 sites to a new hosting company.

    Abundant blessings to you and your team.

  27. Steve says

    Thank you for your well written article. I have logged in to both /wp-content and /wp-includes/ and I havent found my .htaccess file.
    Is it possible that I dont have one as I also get the 404 error if i try and redirect a page usin Redirection in WP.
    Thanks in advance.
    Steve

  28. Margarita says

    Today I was about to launch my web after 5 months working very hard in localhost. I was very happy but exhausted. While doing all the migration process, my site was gone. I had made a backup of course, but after trying a hundred times nothing worked. All seemed lost… until I found your post and it was solved in less than 30 min.

    My day has been awful, a waste of many hours and energies. But now I go to bed with a smile in my face. Happy again. Infinite thanks.

    Marga Rubio Soto

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