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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:

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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]
# 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.

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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

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  2. Farid says

    Thank you very much for precious article that is useful to fixed my website problem.. i always prefer your web solution regarding in problem in wordpress cms.

    Thank you..;.

  3. Ben says

    Just wanted to leave a thank you comment! Your guides on WordPress are second to none! I have learnt so much reading your blog and every time I Google a problem..I am looking for your website and that is where I will click! Great and simple instructions even on the most complicated WordPress issues…you are awesome! Thanks.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You’re welcome, glad you like our content and hope our guides continue to be helpful :)


  4. David Naugle says

    This totally worked! I just updated my PHP and dashboard and home pages was accessible but not any of my post pages.

  5. Vivian S. says

    Thank You so much it saved my life! I had to move my WordPress website to a new server and it took me a whole day to fix everything. I wish WP had an easy way to do this. :)

  6. Don Current says

    I tried everything in the article with no success. What I ended up doing was choosing a different Permalink structure and saving it, and then going back to the structure I wanted and saving it. Then all was well.

  7. James says

    I accidentally deleted .htaccess file when doing 301 and got the 404 not found error. Your tutorial came to my rescue. Just by saving the permalinks and it worked. Thank you.

  8. Ivan says

    Saved me! I am dealing with forces I cannot comprehend, and this explanation and tip was really helpful!

  9. Uwemedimo Usa says

    Wow, I’m shocked at how fast this worked. I recently migrated my site from a subdomain to the root domain and none of my links were working. All I did was go to permalinks in settings and click “save changes.” That was all. Wow. And I was really scared I’d broken something. Thank you.

  10. Katie says

    Hi, thanks for the tips. I still can’t seem to fix the error. Have reset Permalinks, installed a redirect plugin (doesn’t help if wanting to redirect to the homepage). I can’t work out how to alter the .htaccess and not really confident to do it. Any other suggestions?

  11. Jill says

    THANK YOU for this post! I had a primary domain that I let go and needed to move two sites on my hosting plan…. 1 to the primary domain position and 1 to an addon domain position which was formerly a subdomain position. I broke a lot of stuff. With some logical thought, I got most of it all back… EXCEPT all the pages on the primary domain site couldn’t be viewed on the live site once you clicked on them or the menu links. The home page loaded beautifully, but when you clicked a post or link… the errors popped up. This trick resolved those issues… so THANK YOU again! You saved the day!

  12. umesh says

    I just change the permalink directly and it shows 404 error I couldn’t access my website it redirects me to another site which is not mine

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to reach out to your hosting provider to ensure your domain is set up properly and there isn’t any malicious code on your site.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      For nginx, at the moment you would want to reach out to your hosting provider and they should be able to assist.


  13. Carene says

    I’m busy building a website via wordpress & cpanel. I by accident deleted the url in my dashboard. Now I don’t get even access. Is their any way to fix it.

  14. Long Nguyen-Vu says

    Just want to let you know that you’ve helped me save a lot of time searching.
    Thanks so much.

  15. Ekemini Robert says

    After saving changed for the permalink, it still returned the 404 error. Then I used the clear cache WP button at the top and the problem was solved.

  16. Ashish Agarwal says

    Thanks so much for this post. You are a lifesaver. Clicking ‘Save Changes’ on Permalinks under Settings did the job for me.

  17. Alex says

    I have issues on 404 Page not found.
    I tried updating the permalinks but still not working and I also checked the .htacess file in our server and it’s the same on the above sample. But still not working.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You may want to reach out to your hosting provider to ensure there are no issues on their end that could be a part of the issue


  18. Steve Dzwonczyk says

    The 2nd method worked for me (FTP and edit of the .htaccess file). Thank you very much.

  19. Tim says

    Just a quick note to say thank you so much! I had just activated a CDN (learning as I go) and thought I had broken my site and went searching everywhere but here was the answer…phew!

  20. Lou Sarmiento says


    I’ve added the htaccess script, updated my wordpress but still I need to resave the permalinks. Any other solution?


  21. Ayesha says

    i have 404 error but cannot acces neither the site or the wordpress. how can you access wordpress admin to solve the problem??

  22. wajid virk says

    on clicking save changes my problem Resolved, WP beginner is a part of my journey to learn WordPress more and more.

  23. Mary Ann says

    Will it work in 404 error of WordPress Multisite once I visit the admin dashboard of the sub-sites?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It would depend on the source of the error but this can certainly be one solution.


  24. Vishwajeet says

    So I checked all solutions and comments. I have same issue with a twist. I can see the pages when I am changing it to use the Page ID but not when I am selecting the Post-Name? Any solution to this? I know its weird.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You may want to delete the current htaccess file and if that does not fix the issue, reach out to your host to ensure there isn’t an underlying error causing the problem.


  25. Mireille says

    I just wanted to let you know that your website is of such great help ! I built my first WordPress website and I managed to resolve many issues thanks to your articles. Thank you !

  26. Benson Kanyi says

    Hello Guys,

    I have been facing this issue for the last three days after migrating a new site from my localhost to an online CPanel server. Having tried a million and one option from various forums, none of them could work at all. The only solution that seems to work is disabling Mod_Security in the CPanel. I just did it and it works like a champ. Thanks

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