WordPress error- Is its parent directory writable by the server?

Been using WordPress now for about 4 months on my projects and I occasionally find problems with plugins and themes but not on WordPress itself. I seem to be getting good at troubleshooting some.

Yesterday my host changed servers, then I upgraded to the latest version of WordPress and everything got whack on uploading images in the admin with this error.

Unable to create directory /home/username/public_html/wp-content/uploads/2008/05. Is its parent directory writable by the server?

Most people encounter the error after upgrading WordPress or changing servers

Here are troubleshooting steps you can do.
1. With the error above, it can be assumed it is a permission problem with the folder. Default is 755, With your FTP software or WebFTP, edit the uploads folder in the wp-content to 777. Then try again.

2. If that doesn’t work, it can be an ownership issue. Wherein the owner of the files is apache and not your user account.

If you have access to SSH, you can edit the file to change ownership to

chown -R username:apache_user /home/username/public_html/wp-content/

username:apache_user for me is the ftp account, others are different.

3. If this doesn’t work. Check the upload path in the admin – Settings – Miscellaneous and make sure it is wp-content/uploads sometimes the upgrade or server move changes it to the absolute path.

The 3rd solution worked for me. Hope you find this useful

Post Author: lopau

28 thoughts on “WordPress error- Is its parent directory writable by the server?


    (November 16, 2008 - 11:20 am)

    Good for wordpress resource.


    (December 18, 2008 - 2:07 am)

    Wow thank you!

    Finally someone who explained the problem in a easy to understand way.

    I owe you a favour – shoot me an email if you need any socail media help.

    Thanks again



    (January 4, 2009 - 7:45 am)

    You’re welcome Danny. Glad to have helped.


    (January 24, 2009 - 1:32 pm)

    Nice site and information……Few days ago one of my WP article directory site was not working well with its additional plugins……Do you have any idea…….why did this happen?

    Now all are normal……but few of my submitters took u turn………I found this site informative….so looking for someone…..who will response this problem.

    Happy Chinese New Year though.


    (February 27, 2009 - 7:00 am)

    Thank very much, the third solution worked for me too


    (March 7, 2009 - 6:09 am)

    check if your web server has php safe mode disabled. if it is turned on, the upload will fail even if the file permissions are set correctly.

    Window Panel

    (March 10, 2009 - 1:09 am)

    In my one website i have same problem: “Unable to create directory /home/username/public_html/wp-content/uploads/2009/01. Is its parent directory writable by the server?”

    These type of error you can solve by below steps as per my experience

    – First pass 777 permission to WP-content & also too upload folder and its sub folder
    – Then moves to your admin section where you can find setting option, in this section check “Miscellaneous’ for uploading path ( This is the main problem please check it again)
    – After this please create folder which are mention in your error. as per above mention error i have to create “2009? and also a subfolder with name “01?
    – Now try to upload image…

    Best Luck!!


    (March 19, 2009 - 7:15 am)

    finally… i was able to upload pics… thanks man!!!

    Anthony Wakefield

    (March 28, 2009 - 5:38 am)

    Too Easy, Option 3 works for me too. Thanks for putting this up!



    (May 11, 2009 - 8:14 am)

    Many thanks, it works now!


    (May 11, 2009 - 2:15 pm)

    Wow, you are amazing. I totally forgot about there being a setting for the upload path. I was having way to much trouble… sometimes things are simpler than they seem.

    Thanks so much =]


    (June 29, 2009 - 8:02 am)

    Thank you that helped me solve my trouble. My case was the third reason


    (June 29, 2009 - 10:22 pm)

    If you’re on a Plesk server with RHEL, the following should work (and preserve security):

    mkdir wp-content/uploads
    chown -R apache:apache wp-content/uploads
    chmod -R 744 wp-content/uploads


    (July 1, 2009 - 1:44 pm)

    In my one website i have same problem: “Unable to create directory /home/username/public_html\wp-content\uploads\20097. Is its parent directory writable by the server?”


    (July 6, 2009 - 4:34 am)

    thanks for the third one it works for me…………..

    Web Browser

    (July 10, 2009 - 12:59 pm)

    Very nice guide! Worked out well for me, keep it up 🙂


    (November 15, 2009 - 11:27 pm)

    I am facing the same problem on my couple of production domains. Lets see which of these solutions works for me.


    (June 9, 2010 - 12:39 pm)

    I had this problem and spent several hours reading posts about with no luck. My permissions were right and the upload folder path was correct.

    I realised that it was a SELinux issue for me. If you run SELinux then you will need to run the command below to allow apache (httpd) to execute particular PHP commands, including creating new files and folders. Here is the command:

    chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t

    Hope that helps someone else. This was driving me crazy and I was about ready to give up and uninstall WordPress. Glad it didn’t come to that.


    (June 28, 2010 - 6:26 pm)

    Just a heads up that 777 permissions allow all kinds of security risks. Most webhosts will never recommend changing anything to these permissions as it allows you and the rest of the world full access to your folders. From there things like malicious scripts among other things can be uploaded.


    (July 5, 2010 - 11:38 pm)

    I had the same problem too, my hosting provider moved my site to a new server and I was unable to upload images any more. The 3rd solution worked for me. If you ever have the same problem, make sure the upload directory is exactly wp-content/uploads.

    Tim Harold

    (July 7, 2010 - 10:03 am)

    Option 3 worked great for me, thanks!!

    […] it was back to google and I stumbled across this excellent article, which gave me a few other ideas. It was point […]


    (August 20, 2010 - 7:32 am)

    thanks pal
    i faced Same problem today
    this post was life saver
    And I solved it by settings uploads (third option)


    N Y

    (October 13, 2010 - 4:24 am)

    Miscellaneous Settings isn’t there in WP-ADMIN…how i add this in settings


    (November 22, 2010 - 10:48 pm)

    The 3rd solution worked for me. Hope you find this useful


    (February 16, 2011 - 8:36 pm)

    Thanks man… The 3rd solution worked for me… life saver 🙂

    Kat Landreth

    (October 10, 2011 - 10:51 pm)

    THANK YOU!! I really appreciate that you took the time to write this post. It’s kept me from tearing my hair out 🙂 Thanks again!

    Dota Blog

    (December 17, 2011 - 1:53 am)

    Its not working for me 🙁
    i still getting the error

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