WordPress Error: “Unable to create directory /wp-content/uploads/ Is its parent directory writable by the server?”

Sometimes when you first install WordPress not all of the right permissions are in place.
By default, WordPress upload any files or attachments to posts to a folder called /uploads/ that is located in your /wp-content/ folder.
When you first install WordPress, be sure to test file uploading. You might get this error:
Unable to create directory /…something…/wp-content/uploads/…. Is its parent directory writable by the server?
What is happening is WordPress is trying to put the attachment or file into the uploads directory but the server doesn’t give it permission to do so.
To change this:
Connect via FTP.
Navigate to /wp-content/
Right-click on the /uploads/ folder. Your FTP client should give you an option like ‘set permissions’ or sometimes it is called CHMOD.
A pop-up opens allowing you to set the permissions of the /uploads/ folder.
Try setting it to 755.
Then attempt to upload and post a file again.

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Andy is an award-winning blogger and author of the book Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Wired, Business Week, Forbes, and other national and international media. He was worked at several San Francisco startups including Typepad, Get Satisfaction, SInMobi, Keas, and Mindjet. Currently, Andy is Director of Marketing at Lucidworks. Tw · Fb · G+ · Li

15 thoughts on “WordPress Error: “Unable to create directory /wp-content/uploads/ Is its parent directory writable by the server?”

  1. Jessica

    I have this problem too. Only the problem seems to be that there is NO UPLOADS FOLDER! I downloaded it again to see if I had delelted it somehow and it’s just not there. What am I missing?

  2. Jessica

    Okay, for any dummies like me, I finally just tried making my own uploads folder
    make sure to change the permissions
    also, not sure if I need to make a folder for each month or what but at least I’m getting somewhere!

  3. Josep

    Hi Jessica, it has work indeed. You need to change the permissions (CHMOD) to 777.
    I recommended you to change it again after uploading the file.

  4. Maras

    Yes it’is working you must change from 755 to 777.
    Witch Total Commander program folder
    “uploads” go to Files-change atributes and write 777.

  5. edcel

    ey, thanks a lot guys for the help! I got so effin’ frustrated cause i’m such a noob with creating sites. sheesh. i just created my own. I copied and pasted the error in google and this is where it got me. thanks for this post!
    my default was 755 and changed it to 777.
    thanks again!

  6. Steve

    Hi All
    I had the same problem on a mac pro running Leopard.
    It’s easier to solve though:-
    Navigate to …/wp-content on desktop.
    Select the uploads folder (if there’s not one there – create a new one make sure it reads ‘uploads’in lowercase).
    Whilst it’s selected Get info (command I) scroll to bottom of pallette and set permissions to read and write. (no need for ftp, 755 or 777)
    many thanks to all for the help!

  7. Bard

    Here’s what fixed it for me…
    Go into Misc Settings and check the address for the uploads folder. Mine had an extra slash.
    It should be “wp-content/uploads/”
    NOT “/wp-content/uploads/”

  8. André

    In case that someone land here just like me:

    I’ve been very stressed with this.
    I searched a lot and nothing worked for me but now I figure it out! (At least for me)

    Try this if none of the previous solutions worked for you:

    1 -Go to PHP MY ADMIN to see your DB where do you have WordPress installed.
    2 – At the top, click in the two tools, in english will be something like “OPTIONS” or “OPERATIONS”.
    3 – select the AUTO INCREMENT and save/execute.


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