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How to Fix Yoast’s WordPress SEO Sitemap 404 Error

Are you getting a 404 error when trying to view your sitemap? If you’re using Yoast SEO, this can happen. In this article, we’ll show you how to easily fix Yoast’s SEO sitemap 404 error.

Yoast SEO is one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress, but sometimes it can conflict with other plugins or themes on your site.

One of our previous clients ran into the issue of getting a 404 error for their sitemaps generated by Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin. After trying a few things, we were able to figure out the solution.

First thing you should try is open your .htaccess file. You can use a plugin like Htaccess File Editor to edit your htaccess file from your WordPress dashboard.

We recommend creating a backup of your WordPress site before making any changes, as even a small typo could bring down your website.

Once you’ve installed the plugin, go to Settings » WP Htaccess Editor. Make sure to read the instructions before you click the “I understand. Enable the editor” button.

enable the htaccess editor

After you enable the editor, simply add the following code in there, at the bottom:

# WordPress SEO - XML Sitemap Rewrite Fix
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^sitemap_index.xml$ /index.php?sitemap=1 [L]
RewriteRule ^([^/]+?)-sitemap([0-9]+)?.xml$ /index.php?sitemap=$1&sitemap_n=$2 [L]
# END WordPress SEO - XML Sitemap Rewrite Fix

For most people this fixed the issue. Someone reported that while this code fixed the issue, the page was still sending the 404 response header which meant that Google Webmasters tool couldn’t find it.

If that doesn’t fix the 404 sitemap issue, you may need to try another method. While not preferred, in our client’s case we had no choice but to edit the core plugin files to fix the issue. As suggested by hadjedj.vincent, we edited the class-sitemaps.php located in “/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-seo/inc/class-sitemaps.php”.

You need to look at the function init() code and make that section look like this:

	 * Initialize sitemaps. Add sitemap rewrite rules and query var
	function init() {
		global $wp_rewrite;
		$GLOBALS['wp']->add_query_var( 'sitemap' );
		$GLOBALS['wp']->add_query_var( 'sitemap_n' );
		add_rewrite_rule( 'sitemap_index.xml$', 'index.php?sitemap=1', 'top' );
		add_rewrite_rule( '([^/]+?)-sitemap([0-9]+)?.xml$', 'index.php?sitemap=$matches[1]&sitemap_n=$matches[2]', 'top' );

Basically what we are doing is adding the global $wp_rewrite; before everything that is already there and adding flush_rules after the code. By adding this in the plugin, it fixed the sitemap 404 issue on our client’s website.

Some of our users reported that after applying the above fix, they still needed to uncheck the sitemap option in the Yoast’s SEO plugin and save their settings. After that re-checking the sitemap’s option fixed the error for them.

If you were looking for a fix for your sitemap 404 issue, we hope that this fix has helped you! You might also want to check out our comparison of Yoast SEO vs. AIOSEO.

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Reader Interactions

240 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Thank you so much for this article!!! I have been speaking with multiple people and support teams and I always knew it was something easy. Article was broken down for easy understanding as well. Thank you!!!

  2. Hey, wpbeginner, I was in sitemap trouble from a few days, now it have been solved. Learning a lot from you guys about wp error fixing, thanks!

  3. Hi
    After moving to https from http, Sitemap address is displaying 404 error, Is it possible know the solution for this ?

  4. Nice pluging , but when I am creating sitmap using yoast and submitting it to webmaster it is showing 404 error for multiple urls. I searched in my site no where those urls exist. But y these are coming into sitemap I don’t understand any expert to help me

  5. Sir, In my WordPress blog, 410 Response code error are showing in Yoast SEO’S Search Console feature. How I fix It.

  6. I tried to download the Yoast SEO plug in and I received this error message:

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function apply_filters_deprecated() in /websites/websitename/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-seo/admin/menu/class-admin-menu.php on line 246

    I now can’t get into my back end of the website at all I just keep getting this error? What can I do??

    • Hi Tracy,

      You need to connect to your website using FTP or File Manager app in your cPanel account. Go to wp-content/plugins/ and delete wordpress-seo folder. After that you will be able to login to your WordPress admin area and reinstall the plugin.


  7. Hi,

    To edit the .htaccess file do we need to remove the existing code and add your code


    keep the existing code and add your code also?

    Need help.

  8. hmm,

    Tried every suggestion but still got a 404. somehow i can’t redirect xml html htm php file extensions.

    when i try
    RewriteRule ^sitemap_index.xl$ /site/index.php?sitemap=1 [L] and not
    RewriteRule ^sitemap_index.xml$ /site/index.php?sitemap=1 [L]

    Hence, i removed the “m”, and the redirect works but sitemap_index.xml doesn’t

    Any more tips?

  9. @wpbeginner support. I have already gotten the sitemap, the issue when I submit it to google for test it bring out an error http 404. I have read your post on how to edit .ht access file and wp seo. I have also check and unchecked the yoast plugin. But it hasn’t resolved the http 404. Please help

  10. i just opened a new WordPress site. I have tried everything still the site app generated by yoast seo is still showing http 404 error. What do I do. The website is . please note I have edited my .htaccess file, edited wp-content/Wordpress. Pap, unchecked and checked site map settings for seo, saved permalinks. I even used a free sitemap generator upload the file via my Cpanel but still am getting the same error

  11. hi bro my website Google XML Sitemaps not showing last 5 months (sitemap-pt-post-2016-06.xml end after not showing) and also sitemap-tax-post_tag.xml not showing how to solve my problem

  12. Thanks! I was having the hardest time getting it to work and the first section with the .htaccess code did the trick!

  13. Hi all,

    I was facing the same problem while I came across this blog post. But I guess I found a better solution for non-tech guys.

    You can simply install JetPack from WordPress and Activate its Sitemap functionality and disable the Sitemap of Yoast. Additionally Jetpack has a lot of essential features that I guess every WP admin should have.

    Kunal Sarkar

  14. For me there is a different issue. Its just showing plain text instead of links. Can some one help please

  15. Hey, I’m using the same code goy fixing yoast xml sitemap but what to do for google analytics by yoast?

  16. Hi Guys,

    Please follow this steps if you are facing 404 error issue with Yoast XML Sitemap :

    1. Go to > Yoast SEO Plugin.
    2. Yoast SEO Plugin > XML Sitemap.
    3. Uncheck the user XML Sitemap functionality > Save Changes.
    4. Again Check XML Sitemap functionality > Save Changes.
    5. Click on XML Sitemap and you’ll see your sitemap_index.xml right there.

    Hope this information is useful to you.


  17. Yo here is an easy way to fix it and should work fine for all!

    Go to settings in wordpress

    Select permalinks

    Don’t change anything

    Just Press save changes at the bottom of the page

    Now click on your XML Site Map button again in Yoast

    404 error should no longer show

    You welcome homies

  18. Simply untick “Check this box to enable XML sitemap functionality.” in the SEO plug-in and Save Changes, then renable again. Problem solved.

  19. After adding the first code to your htacces file disable sitemap functionality flush your cache (if you use any of caching tools like w3 total cache) and then enable the functionality again.
    It worked for me that way.

    Thank you for the tutorial! It helped!

  20. Hey guys. I fixed it! I turned this sitemap option off in this flawless plugin and used a different plugin. It was that easy. It was probably my crummy theme though. Probably.

  21. Ok guys. I was struggling with this issus for a day or so and finally I found the solution!

    Skip the mentioned plugins and the codes which may harm your website. I’ve tried everything!

    Simply uncheck the “remove strip” from yoast plugin and instead of this option just download and install the plugin: “Remove Category URL” from wordpress plugin section.

    The plugin supports WPML and sitemaps and the 404 error is fixed!

    Now you can buy me a beer for saving all your headaches!


    Atanas Tanev

    • Hey ATANAS!

      No way man! This solution worked for me mate. Thank you so much for sharing this.


  22. i placed the code in my .htaccess file and saved it. Now every page gives a 500 internal server Error!!!
    What can i do?

    • What I did was I went to the xml sitemap page under the SEO plugin and under user sitemap I unchecked disable user sitemap. then when I put in the sitemap into webmasters it worked successfully. I can’t help you with your 500 internal error, But if you do this fresh it should work instead of using the code.

    • BAS: Remove the code you entered into your.htaccess file, resave it to the server and reload the website.

  23. If anyone is using iThemes security plug in and has set it to guard the .htaccess file, disable it and create your sitemap, then re-enable.

  24. I add the code in the .htaccess and then i uncheck the sitemap option in the Yoast’s SEO plugin and save their settings. After that i re-checking the sitemap’s option and the the error is solved!


  25. Thanks a lot, but not works for me. I do all of these ways and check/save/uncheck/save/XML Sitemap process after one & both of them… but ERROR 404!
    I’ll try another plugins for this.
    thanks for your great site..

  26. Worked for me too… I had the 404page problem when loading the sitemap generated by Yoast SEO.

  27. This is what worked for me – Go to the yoast XML sitemap on your dashboard. Change the Max Entries per sitemap from 1000 to 100. Worked like a charm for me. :)

    • Easy does it again, change from 1000 to 100 did the job, without changing the code. Thank You!

  28. Hi, just tried the second version editing the plug ins core files and the site has disapeared?? including the backend. just a white screen?? I replaced the code withy the original and nothing.

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