Step-by-Step Tutorial to Resolve Media Upload Error in WordPress

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“Upload: Failed to Write File to Disk” is a common issue encountered while uploading media files in WordPress.  As a beginner to WordPress, this error could be very disappointing and obstructs the otherwise seamless features of WordPress.  The media upload error is probably one of the most occurred errors, in WordPress, but it is of not much concern. This article covers a thorough guide on the occurrence of this error, and the ways available for users to resolve it.


What causes Media Upload Error in WordPress?

A number of reasons can be listed as the cause for this error to occur. But the most frequent reason for a user to encounter this error is when a file is uploaded as an admin or a sub-admin. Also, Wrong file permissions often prompt this error. Setting permissions for each and every folder is necessary, for WordPress websites.

Web server controls and manages the access to these files and folders. The user can write or modify incorrect permissions on the web server if incorrect permissions are assigned, i.e. when the web server fails to create or add new files to the given folder.

Media Upload Error Messages Displayed in WordPress

Three error messages are displayed when a user encounters media upload problem –

  • Upload: Failed to Write File to Disk
  • Unable to create directory /wp-content/uploads/ Is its parent directory writable by the server?
  • WP has failed to upload due to disk error

Ways to Resolve Media Upload Error in WordPress

1. Updating the Uploads Directory Settings

This is a very primary approach to resolve the encountered error and is very easy too. It requires the WordPress admin login credentials to the following –

  • Login to the WordPress Admin Dashboard
  • Now click Settings and then open Media (Setting->Media)
  • Now set the path of ‘Store uploads in this folder’ text box as wp-content/uploads
  • Save the settings by hitting ‘Save Changes’ button

‘Store uploads in this folder’ is by default path taken by the WordPress.

2. Changing the folder permissions manually

This method requires changing permissions on the web server. First, connect the WordPress website using an FTP client. An FTP client is a software that with the aid of the File Transfer Protocol transfers files between two computers over the internet.

It works on TCP/IP. Various free FTP clients can be used like FileZilla, Cyberduck, CuteFTP. Before you start resolving the error using FTP client login details on the Web Server and Remote Directory must be known. To illustrate how to resolve media upload error in WordPress, FileZilla as FTP is used here-

  • Connect to FileZilla FTP client and right click on ‘wp-content’ folder.
  • Now from the list of available options in the pop box, click on ‘file-permissions’ listed at the last
  • A new pop up window will be displayed which will show file permissions for owner, group and public.
  • Set the numeric value to ‘755’ in the numeric value field (For security reasons it is set to 755)
  • And apply check on ‘Recurse into subdirectories’ checkbox
  • Lastly, click on ‘Apply to directories only’ option and click on OK.

This will set folders permission and sub-folders under ‘wp-content’ to ‘755’ and easily the media then can be uploaded by the user in WordPress.

3. Ensure File Permissions for Individual Files

In this approach we will change file permission. For this the user needs to follow steps below-

  • Again right click on ‘wp-content’ folder and select ‘file-permissions’
  • Now enter ‘644’ in the numeric value and then check the box next to ‘Recurse into subdirectories’.
  • Lastly, click on ‘Apply to files only’ option and then click on OK

This will set the file permissions to ‘644’ and the user can visit the WordPress website to upload the media then.

4. Check the storage space

“Upload: Failed to Write File to Disk” is an error that occurs when the storage quota limit gets limited or gets over. It is necessary for a user to keep a track of the usage of storage space. While finalizing the plan for Web Hosting take care of future requirement for storage space. ‘CPanel’ allows keeping a check on the storage space.

  • Login with the required ID and password in the CPanel
  • ‘Disk space usage’ will let you know the space allotted by Web Hosting Plan for storage and the percentage of space used by the user.
  • In case the storage space is completely utilized, then it is the time to shift to a plan that provides space according to your requirement.
  • You can also delete the irrelevant files and continue with the same plan

In case the above-listed methods do not work, report and discuss the issue to a company that provides and manages WordPress Hosting asking them to clean the temporary files directory. WordPress using PHP first uploads the media to a temporary folder on the web server and then to the WordPress upload folder.

A poorly configured temporary folder might be the reason for WordPress denying media upload. This folder is not easily accessible using FTP. So contact your Web Host to clean the temporary directory.

You can also share your query and issue at the various forums on the Internet. WordPress also has its own support forum and an FAQ section that provides quick fix to WordPress Websites.

Hopefully one of the above methods helps you to resolve the Upload Media Error in WordPress.


WordPress is the most popular Content Management System that lets you built and manages blogs and websites effortlessly. It is SEO friendly and provides efficient SEO tools and plugins. Uploading a media in WordPress is a general issue, and the article provides easy solutions for it.


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Ankur Purohit

Article by Ankur

Ankur Purohit is working with Baymediasoft – a renowned Custom WordPress development company. With Six years of experience working in the field of development and digital marketing, he has technical as well as marketing skills to deliver valuable web solutions

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    So helpful – thank you!

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