WordPress missing a temporary folder: Easy fixing guide

WordPress missing a temporary folder: Easy fixing guide

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One of the things that annoy WordPress users, especially new ones, is the “missing a temporary folder” message. This appears when you want to add some new animations, photos or clips on your pages. However, it is easily fixed and the solution is found online, so it’s best not to waste time trying to fix it on your own.

You do not require programming skills to fix this error because WordPress is so intuitive there is no need to edit codes. You only need to understand the cause of the problem and how to eradicate it. This article will show you how to fix the WordPress “missing a temporary folder” error quickly and easily.

Which is the main cause of WordPress missing a temporary folder error?


The WordPress “missing a temporary folder” message is a common WordPress error that prevents any kind of media item being uploaded to your page including updating or editing your theme.

In many cases, the WordPress user is not responsible for the error. The cause may have its roots in some settings set by your host. However the user should be able to understand the problem and try to find solutions.

To understand the main cause of WordPress missing a temporary folder error you need to know how the process of uploading media items works on WordPress.

In this process, the CMS on WordPress must enter some specially created temporary folders, but CMS isn’t always able to do this because of a PHP setting in your cPanel. This is when the error pops up. The settings must state that WordPress has no restrictions on accessing those files, otherwise, the system is unable to finish the task. It will get stuck and show the error.

If you’ve been randomly changing things in settings, there is a chance that you restricted the CMS access to those files, however in most cases, it’s something the host controls.


If you contact your host and report the problem, it should be quickly resolved and the error should no longer appear, because once set, the settings rarely change.. However, if your host doesn’t take the problem seriously, it may cause some delay in your activity in which case you should consider switching to another host.

If you can understand why the message appears, here are some specific methods to fix the problem without your host’s assistance.

Ways to fix the missing temporary folder WordPress error

To recap, this error occurs because of some inadequate settings in your PHP file, where these temporary folders are located. It is possible that these directors hadn’t been set before. Another possibility is that the CMS has no permission to access these files.

Here are some ways to solve the problem, regardless of the cause.

The first option to fix “Missing a temporary folder” error


The following steps will guide you in the process of editing the wp-config.php file in WordPress, which is found in the wp-content folder containing all the items related to your themes and plugins.

Firstly, create a new folder inside it, but also to save a backup version of the PHP file, just in case something unpredictable happens!

Follow this guide to ensure success:

  • Log into your account on the website. Use either the FTP one or the File Manager account.
  • Find the file manager section, which should be in the sections of the files, but it may differ from host to host.
  • Access the Home directory and choose the one named public_html.
  • Access the wp-config.php file. If you own more websites, you’ll find the necessary file in the folder of the domain that has the problem.
  • Complete the code with the next code section. Insert it before the line “That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing”.
  • define(‘WP_TEMP_DIR’,dirname(_FILE_). ‘/wp-content/temp/’);
  • Save the edited file.
  • Update the code of your website with the new version of the wp-config.php file.

At this point, you’ve already defined the temporary files, but this isn’t enough to solve the problem. You also have to create them and this is how to continue the procedure:

  • Stay in the file manager and find the wp-content directory which is where you need to create a new folder.
  • You should find a special button for a new folder - +Folder. in the cPanel navigation menu.
  • Add the name of the folder in the box that appears.
  • Complete creating the folder by clicking the Create New Folder button.

The second option to fix "Missing a temporary folder” error


This method is shorter and equally effective:

  • Log into your FTP directory the same way mentioned in the previous list.
  • Find the folder called public.html in the WordPress menu.
  • Open it and create a file named php.ini.
  • Insert the following code snippet into the file:
  • upload_tmp_dir= /home/username/public_html/temp/
  • Save the changes and update them by re-uploading the edited file in the website server.
  • After defining the temporary folders, create them in the same way as explained in the previous step-by-step guide. This time you have to locate it in the public.html folder, following the example we created.

Either of these methods should solve your problem. Go to your admin page and try to upload an image or update the theme.

At this point, as a safety measure, it is very important to save a backup version before making any changes to your code because a little change in your code can break the entire website. This is especially vital if you lack coding skills or you’re a beginner in website development.

Other options to solve the problem


The above-mentioned methods may not work on your system because your wp-content folder doesn’t have enough permissions. These are the remaining steps needed to eliminate the WordPress missing a temporary folder error.

  • Login to your account as an FTP client or using the File Manager credentials.
  • Enter the WordPress directory and select all the directories from there.
  • Using the right-click button, find and select the File Permission option from the menu.
  • You’ll see different types of permission displayed. You have to work with each of them as it follows:

a) Owner Permissions – check all the options – read, write and execute.

b) Group Permissions – check only the "read“ and "execute“ boxes.

c) Public Permissions – activate only the "read“ and "execute“ options.

  • Insert the 755 numeric value and then choose to Apply to Directories Only. The FTP saves the edits but check afterward anyway if the changes
  • activated the necessary permissions.
  • Go back to the WordPress file and repeat the process, following these next instructions:

a) Owner Permissions – enable all, but the "execute“ one

b) Group and Public Permissions – activate only the "read“ option

  • Now replace the numeric value with 644 and re-check into subdirectories. The FTP saves the changes and the problem should be fixed.

NOTE: This is not an error caused by your lack of experience or knowledge. It’s only a configuration issue. Once the defining is done correctly, there should no longer be any problem.. Request help from your host to solve this problem safely and quickly.

Ending thoughts on how to solve WordPress missing a temporary folder error

This error can cause a lot of problems. You won’t be able to post on time and maintain your posting schedule, thus disappointing less patient fellow viewers, so don’t let it interfere with your plans.

Firstly, contact your host and report the problem. If they don’t respond in time, you can find a solution on your own, providing you don’t make some edits that worsen the situation.

To avoid such cases, the solution is always having a backup file with the latest version of your website code. Thus you have a way back in case of mistakes.

Nonetheless, this is an error your host should take care of. Make sure that you don’t move or work in system folders which only your host should manage. Your area of activity should be limited to posting good content, building an appealing and professional website on the front end. Let your host take care of the rest.

If you enjoyed reading this article on how to fix the WordPress missing a temporary folder, you should check out this one about how to fix the jQuery is not defined.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like WordPress publishing failed, cannot login to WordPress, fixing the defer parsing of JavaScript, WordPress stuck in maintenance mode, WordPress sorry, you are not allowed to access this page and how to fix the http error when uploading images to WordPress.

Albert Ślusarczyk
Albert Ślusarczyk
As the co-creator of Be Theme, I am a strong believer in designing with care and patience. I pour my energy, time & knowledge into perfecting the theme for our 260,000+ customers.