WordPress Failed to Write File to Disk: Troubleshoot Guide

It is very common to encounter errors when managing a WordPress website.

One such frustrating error is “WordPress failed to write file to disk.”

This error can disrupt essential tasks like media uploads, theme installations, and plugin updates, leading to a degraded user experience.

Fortunately, this issue can be resolved by following a systematic troubleshooting process.

In this guide, we will explore the common causes of the error and provide a step-by-step solution to resolve this issue.

What is “WordPress Failed to Write File to Disk” Error?

File writing is an essential aspect of any content management system, as it allows WordPress to store media files, theme data, plugin information, and other important elements.

When this process is hindered by the “failed to write file to disk” error, it can lead to incomplete installations, missing media files, and hindered website functionality.

Common Causes of “WordPress Failed to Write File to Disk” Error

  1. Insufficient Disk Space on the Server: WordPress requires adequate disk space to store and manage files. If your server is running low on disk space, it can prevent WordPress from saving new files.
  2. Incorrect File Permissions: Improper file permissions for WordPress directories and files can block the writing process, causing the error.
  3. Issues with the “Uploads” Directory: The “uploads” directory is where WordPress stores all media files. Problems with the permissions in this directory can lead to an error.
  4. Problems with the Temporary Directory: WordPress uses a temporary directory to handle files before moving them to their final destination. If the temporary directory is misconfigured or not writable, it can trigger the error.
  5. Conflicts with Plugins or Themes: Faulty plugins or themes may interfere with file writing, causing the error to occur.
  6. Low PHP Memory Limit: A low PHP memory limit on the server might prevent WordPress from performing certain tasks, including writing files.

Troubleshooting Guide to Fix WordPress Failed to Write File to Disk

Let’s now go through the step-by-step process to troubleshoot and resolve the “WordPress failed to write file to disk” error:

Step 1: Check Disk Space

Before diving into complex solutions, start by checking the available disk space on your server. If it’s low, you need to free up some space.

You can do this by removing unnecessary files or optimizing your database. Ensure you have sufficient disk space for WordPress to operate smoothly.

Step 2: Verify File Permissions

Incorrect file permissions can prevent WordPress from writing files. Using an FTP client or a file manager provided by your hosting provider, check and modify the permissions for directories (755) and files (644) to ensure they are set correctly.

Step 3: Check the “Uploads” Folder

The most common cause of this error is incorrect permissions on the “uploads” folder.

Navigate to the “wp-content” directory and ensure that the “uploads” folder and its subdirectories have the correct permissions. Set them to 755 if needed.

Step 4: Verify the Temporary Directory

WordPress uses a temporary directory to store files before moving them to their final destination. Check if the temporary directory (usually /wp-content/uploads/) has the correct permissions and is writable by WordPress.

Step 5: Temporarily Disable Plugins

Plugins can sometimes conflict with file writing. Temporarily deactivate all plugins and try uploading a file again. If the error disappears, you can reactivate the plugins one by one to identify the problematic ones.

Step 6: Switch to Default Theme

Themes can also be responsible for file writing issues. Temporarily switch to a default WordPress theme, such as Twenty Twenty-One, and check if the error persists. If it doesn’t, the problem lies with your current theme.

Step 7: Increase PHP Memory Limit

WordPress may require a higher PHP memory limit to perform certain tasks. Increase the memory limit by adding the following line to your “wp-config.php” file:

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

Step 8: Contact Hosting Provider

If none of the above steps resolve the issue, it’s possible that there is a server configuration problem. In such cases, contact your hosting provider’s support and provide them with all the relevant information to assist you further.


Resolving the “WordPress failed to write file to disk” error is crucial for maintaining a fully functional WordPress website.

By following the step-by-step troubleshooting guide provided in this blog, you can identify and fix the root cause of the error.

Remember to take necessary precautions, such as creating backups, before making any changes to your site.