How to Fix Wordpress' "Not Found" Error

Updated on November 10, 2016

Are you getting a "not found" error when visiting pages during the setup of your Wordpress site? It's a simple thing to fix...don't worry! This brief guide shows you how easy it is.

Get your Wordpress site's admin panel open, navigate over to "Settings" and let's get started.

Is This the Error You're Seeing?

Not Found

The requested URL /my-category/my-page was not found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

About the Wordpress "Not Found" Error

If you're reading this, you must have gotten it!

One of the scariest things a webmaster or blogger could see on their Wordpress blog is the dreaded "Not Found" error. If it shows up, it appears when visiting any non-home page area of your site. Don't worry, though - it's a simple, stupid issue that takes seconds to fix :)

The Cause

Why did this happen in the first place?

This error is most likely due to the fact that you've changed your Wordpress permalink structure. The settings for your permanlink structure are found in your Admin panel, under Settings » Permalinks. Basically, it lets you choose how the URLs of your Wordpress site will look.

The default is always the first radio button, which says "http://www.mysite.com/?p=123". However, if you're like me - you'd rather have something more search engine friendly like "http://www.mysite.com/category/page" -- and you probably selected the last option which says "Custom Structure," then saved the change. This is where the error occurs!

Here's the reason why: by default, your .htaccess file is CHMODded to 644: disallowing Wordpress to successfully edit it. You'll even see the message in your admin panel under "Permalinks" that says this:

If your .htaccess file were writable, we could do this automatically, but it isn't so these are the mod_rewrite rules you should have in your .htaccess file. Click in the field and press CTRL + a to select all.

It is very easy to look past this message due to the fact that it's at the bottom of the screen, appearing in italics, and nearly blending in with the box above it. Anyway - in order to successfully change your permalink structure, you would have had to make the permission settings of your .htaccess file more lenient, so that Wordpress can be able to write changes within it.

If you see the "If your .htaccess file were writeable..." message, that's root of your problem! Read below for the simple fix :)

How to Fix the Error - Don't worry, it's super easy...and quick

  1. Get into your website's FTP space, and look for the .htaccess file
  2. Highlight the .htaccess file in your FTP program, and open its CHMOD settings. It's probably set to 644. Change it to 666.
  3. Go back into your Wordpress site's admin section, and navigate to Settings » Permalinks.
  4. Edit the link structure to whatever you originally wanted, and then save it. You should no longer see a "grayed out" .htaccess box on this page, saying that the file is not writable.
  5. Visit any page of your site, refresh, and confirm that the error no longer occurs.
  6. Finally, as a security measure, go back to your FTP space and change your .htaccess file from 666 back to 644 (for security purposes) since you probably will never have to edit it through the Wordpress admin panel ever again.

Questions & Answers

    Comments/Questions?

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      • profile image

        Shawn 3 days ago

        Thank you very much. This was very helpful!

      • profile image

        Marta 11 days ago

        Thanks, very helpful!

      • profile image

        Clarence 13 days ago

        Great... worked for me. Thanks alot

      • profile image

        INeedADollar 3 weeks ago

        Changing the permissions to 666 worked. Thank you.

      • profile image

        Deshan Walallawita 3 months ago

        Thank you very much sit, your help was really kind and appreciated

      • profile image

        Alex 4 months ago

        Thank you! it works

      • profile image

        Obi KenObi 4 months ago

        It works for me Thanks a lot

      • profile image

        Brill 4 months ago

        Brill! Worked a treat i swapped my website from a different server then kept getting "NOT FOUND" on all links.

      • profile image

        Niels Thomas 5 months ago

        thanks a lot!

        I did default first. Saved and everything worked again. The changed it back again to "Post Name" and everything was fine. Might be a quicker way to do it.

        Awesome post!

      • profile image

        thanks 5 months ago

        you help me sir, thanks......100%

      • profile image

        Vahid 5 months ago

        Great! my problem solved by changing permalink to default and all your comment done for security. Thanks alot

        you are professional

      • profile image

        Jim 6 months ago

        Super! Thank you for solution!

      • profile image

        olusola 6 months ago

        thanks bro. problem solved by changing the permalink to plain/default.

      • profile image

        Rajan malik 7 months ago

        Thanks dear, It's done with your help. Great!

      • profile image

        pradeep 7 months ago

        thanks superb solution

      • profile image

        jarvis 7 months ago

        Thanks for the simple and elegant solution. Much appreciated. God bless your brains.. more

      • profile image

        Daniel 8 months ago

        Thanks for the simple and elegant solution. Much appreciated.

      • profile image

        wibill 8 months ago

        I had this issue after transferring my site to a new host using a wordpress plugin to make the transfer. None of my pages would work. I tried the fix but it still didn't work but information from this post at least got the site running again. Thank you! I ended up changing the permalink structure to PLAIN and now at least you can navigate to the posts. I still can't get it to change to a custom or page title structure but at least it works. The really weird thing is that they work using PLAIN by not any other structure. I changed .htaccess to 666, and it was indeed 644, but for some reason that didn't help. Anyway, thanks for the tip and if anyone discovers why this happened or has encountered and solved it, please post.

      • profile image

        joe 8 months ago

        first time i read something and it works first try....

      • profile image

        justin 10 months ago

        Thanks soo much - worked perfectly!

      • profile image

        DonDuke 10 months ago

        Thanks... it works!

      • profile image

        Daniel Valdez 10 months ago

        Thank you for your help, I'll sleep easy tonight. Greetings and luck!

      • profile image

        Juliance89 11 months ago

        Thank you very much for your help!

      • profile image

        Sergio From Brazil 11 months ago

        Thanks man. Works fine!

      • profile image

        Murali 11 months ago

        Fantastic, I wasted time to find out the way out and I could simply do with your post. Really your post living even now

      • profile image

        sid 13 months ago

        Hi,Thank you it is working fine !

      • profile image

        David 13 months ago

        Sadly, the information in this page is flat wrong and 14 years out of date and dangerous making some really bad assumptions.

        Before 2004 and in long obsolete Apache module bases PHP where scripts are not run under owner permissions, (an extreme minority today incidentally), then the permissions and information given would be partially correct but that is not the case officially since 2004 not with the vast overwhelming various server deployments in existence today and the person who wrote this post should know better than to write something that inept or without making the proper caveats and informational notations that would prevent most people from actually making the problem far worse.

        644 permissions means both Writable and Readable in most every type of commonly used deployment today and is the correct permission for .htaccess which would allow scripts to write to the file.

        666 on the other hand would only be applicable in very long obsolete instances where PHP is deployed as antiquated mod_php without any current owner based deployment such as suphp, fastcgi, fcgi, or any of the many others in use today or even the also obsolete phpsuexec either.

        Even worse, both 777 and 666 are special exception permission masks which literally mean NO ACCESS at all in most modern systems and instead of making the file writable as the poster wrote, it would do the exact inverse opposite and render the file unable to be accessed by any of the scripts whatsoever and block write access instead of enabling it.

        The original pre-2004 versions of PHP which were highly insecure used the EVERYONE global bit or in the case of a permission setting with three numbers, it was using back then the 3rd digit so in 644, the permission used back then was the final "4" only so when you changed to 666 on those old systems then the 3rd digit changed to a "6" making the file readable and writable which the author of the post ignorantly assumes is what everyone is using blindly the way they wrote their post which is a dangerous and largely wrong assumption to make as those were replaced many times since then and by far the minority today and technically shouldn't be in use at all anymore!

        Meanwhile, in contrast today's systems using the FIRST number only so in the case of 644, the only number used is the "6" which already makes the file both readable and writable and today's 644 is the exact same identical permission of what 666 used to be way back years ago prior to 2004.

        To prevent laziness in security and forcing people to stop making the mistakes of the past, both 666 and 777 were now hardcoded into script systems and Linux security to instead be a special exception under certain uses like scripts to instead now mean 000 or rather NO ACCESS AT ALL.

        Instead of telling you to make your htaccess file writable, the fool who wrote this post instead blindly told most of you to do precisely the exact opposite and take your already writable file and make it not accessible! Major oops!

        A few out of sheer dumb luck and improper poorly managed servers with no security may be lucky and it work for you only because you are not running what you should be running and are wide open to be hacked among other problems and these few fools are the only ones who might benefit from the fool who wrote this post. The rest of you, following any instructions given in this post will do you harm instead if help which kind if makes a statement to the competence of whoever wrote the post!

        By the way, just for the record, recent FILE NOT FOUND for SEO rewritten links under WordPress has nothing whatsoever to do with htaccess as much as plugin incompatibilities with recent changes in both Apache and PHP which would have been better served the poster outlining those than making largely incorrect and obsolete statements regarding permissions which are not related to the issue at hand incidentally.

      • profile image

        roquezam 13 months ago

        thanks for sharing

      • profile image

        Mercy 13 months ago

        Thanks

      • profile image

        maria 14 months ago

        How to fix this error .?

        Not Found

        Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found.Perhaps searching will help

        This error always showed up everytime i open my website. Pls help me . Im using wordpress

      • profile image

        Eliana 15 months ago

        Genius!!! Thanks a lot!!!

      • profile image

        Swami 16 months ago

        Thanks Man, It Works...!!!

      • profile image

        Santhosh Kumar S 16 months ago

        Wow... This is an amazing article. This is what i search for almost two days. Thanks.. It Works...

      • profile image

        ali 17 months ago

        Hello,

        I did exactly what you said above, however I am still receiving the 404 error! :( My website is: www.mallofpakistan.pk

        Please help me out. I can even give you the admin access if you want.

        Best,

        Ali

      • profile image

        iwmudika 17 months ago

        work great :), thank you for your great post its very helpful!

      • profile image

        Yogesh Khetani 17 months ago

        Well, I got the similar error on http://yogeshkhetani.com/ and guess what I searched on Google and landed on your site. I followed what you said and my blog is working fine right now.

      • profile image

        Nishesh patel 18 months ago

        Thanks Brother

      • profile image

        Dan 18 months ago

        THANK YOU!!! You just saved my day :)

      • Ann810 profile image

        Ann810 2 years ago from Sunny Cali

        I fix it, just select the "redirect" in the settings for the domain. And now your site should show in search engines.

      • profile image

        Sakshi 2 years ago

        Actually i have deleted many tags 1month ago and now google send me message like - "Increase in “404” pages on http://www.kuchjano.in/".

        I have submitted removal request to google one by one and have submitted MARK AS FIXED but there is not effect on it. Yahoo also send me 404 errors regularly.

        Please help me. How may i solve this..??

      • Ann810 profile image

        Ann810 2 years ago from Sunny Cali

        Hi, how do you fix this same error for a Blogger . com website?

      • SearchFocus profile image

        Rodney 2 years ago from Canada

        Excellent article with such a simple to fix.

      • profile image

        satish 2 years ago

      • profile image

        Eron Rodrigues 2 years ago

        Thanks!

      • profile image

        Josué Mota 3 years ago

        Parabéns, excelente artigo.

        resolveu meu problema.

        Muito obrigado pela dica

        At. Josué Mota

      • profile image

        anonymous 4 years ago

        s

      • mariacarbonara profile image

        mariacarbonara 5 years ago

        I usually change mine to postname as soon as I setup the blog and never change it again!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        muchas gracias the lo agradezco!!!! thank you so much!!!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Hello Dear, after i install the wordpress plugin, i just found an error on my every post except homepage, The 404 msg is here which come on every post after opening, Please guide me. Thanks in advance.

        Not Found

        The requested URL /2013/02/rich-text-for-mail-1-2-4-by-ryan-petrich-has-minor-fixed-now/ was not found on this server.

        Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

        Apache/2.2.23 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.23 OpenSSL/1.0.0-fips mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 Server at www.iphoneleaks.net Port 80

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        @anonymous: not working with me too :(

        have you solved the problem?,, been searching but con't find :(

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        If after doing all that was suggested in this site and you still get the 404 error, then try editing the httpd.conf file under the apache config directory and set the following params:

        Search for the word "mod_rewrite" (without quotes) and uncomment it.

        Search for "AllowOverride" (without quotes) and delete None and type All

        For more information read: codex [dot] wordpress [dot] org/Using_Permalinks

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Not working. My wordpress site still get 404 error, all pages are not visitable except the home page.:(

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thank you! Uncomplicated fix too.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        spotless !!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        PERFECT! WOW THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Ahhh omg this is so helpful, thank you!!! :)

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        @anonymous: YOU ROCK KERRYAMCLINA!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        It must be simple, but to find the right problem??? Thanks

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        amazingly helpful. You saved me a fortune !!! it was just a 11th hour war-like situation for one client who was facing this issue and thanks to your blog, I could fix it!!!

        Thanx a million

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Before going crazy and rewriting all codes, first make sure you have the "rewrite_module" checked, in Apache > Apache modules > check rewrite_module. Hope it helps :)

      • TOPTENGAMERS profile image

        TOPTENGAMERS 5 years ago

        Thanks It was really very helpful. OnPage SEO Factors

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        fgsdghhkhlhfdsfdfdsfsdfds

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Awesome, thanks! Perfect solution for this problem that I encountered when moving my site to another server.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        When I try to login to my site Admin I am getting redirected to a 'not found' page so I can't get in the permalink section to update it. Can you help?!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        thanks helped out a lot

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        worked great right from my dashboard, didn't need to create any new files. Thanks so much!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thanks!! Was the exact problem. You can also just copy and paste that code into your .htaccess file yourself if you want to avoid messing with the chmod settings!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thanks for sharing this solution you saved my day

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thanks so much. The fix worked like a gem. Of course I had to create and add a .htaccess file first, but after that, everything was as you said.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        This help me. Many thanks.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thank you for this ! I was able to solve my problem really quickly (I was very worried so thank you so much)

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Hi, In my google webmaster tools it says " The target URL does not exist and your server is not returning a 404 (file not found) error". Can someone tell me how to fix this please? Thanks / Tissy

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Changing ,htaccess file permissions worked a treat. Thank you

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thanks a lot ;-))

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        no website, no letting me in the WP area...Wordpress SUCKS

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thanks this helped me to fix the wordpress issue on my site http://www.jobstoday.com.ng

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thanks this helped me to fix the wordpress issue on my site http://www.jobstoday.com.ng

      • profile image

        raicabogdan 5 years ago

        @anonymous: Its the same thing really, either edit the .htaccess or just reset the permalinks inside your admin section and it will edit the .htaccess for you.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        I hadn't changed the permalink settings but changing the .htaccess settings resolved it just the same.

        Thanks for the tip.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        hey, thanks for the info ... its works well in my web...

      • profile image

        fthiesen 5 years ago

        Nice tip! I had this problem before and spent days trying to solve it.

      • profile image

        syauqy 5 years ago

        Hey, thanks for the information! i never know the solution was pretty easy:)

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        I am running wordpress eCommerce site using woocommerce, but my product categories are not working, and this method did not help fix it. My site works fine with the buttons next and previous on www.ethiopianclothing.net/shop but the problem is on www.ethiopianclothing.net/shop/ethiopian-womens-clothing/ after displaying the products on this category when you click next to go to www.ethiopianclothing.net/shop/ethiopian-womens-clothing/2/ it returns error 404 message Please help me with this

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        I've just changed common settings in the Permalink Settings to "Day and name" and it all worked for me :)) the Thank you very much for your very helpful information !!!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thanks so much for your very helpful information.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        I don't know why, but the categories wouldn't work, then i saw your post and i change the permalink from "date and name", to "post name" and its working now! (: You point me to the solution, the permalinks, so thanks a lot!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        great, helped me too. Good post...thank you! Keep the good job

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Nice blog. Read More @ NAIJA SOFTWARE CHEATS www.naijasoftwarecheats.com and softwarecheats.blogspot.com

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thanks for the post. Read more @ www.naijasoftwarecheats.com and softwarecheats.blogspot.com

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Hi, I wanted to reinstall the script for my site. So, I deleted all files in public_html, now I am getting error when I am trying to install the site. So, please help me. I think I have deleted .htacess file also. It is very urgent for me, please help me.

        Thanks.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        @anonymous: Hi, I wanted to re-install the script in for my site and what I did was, I deleted all files that are available in public_html folder. I really don't know what is .htaccess, I think, I deleted that also. Now I am getting error when I I am trying to install my site. The error is "requested URL was not found on this server". Please help me on this.

        Thanks

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        Thank you very much this fix saved my life lol

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        Woofff, you save me from installing my blog again :P Thank you honey ilove you

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        I right clicked on my ..htaccess file file, but permissions was not an option and I don't know how to "open its CHMOD settings. Please clarify. Thank you.

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

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        anonymous 6 years ago

        thanks so much

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        The best blog I have come across check it out http://realnexus.com. Very candid reviews of pretty much everything...

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        anonymous 6 years ago

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        anonymous 6 years ago

        where can i find chmod settings?

      working

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