How to Fix the Missing Temporary Folder WordPress Error

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Are you encountering the missing temporary folder WordPress error on your site? 🤔

In this post we’ll tell you what causes it, and then we’ll give you step-by-step instructions that will teach you how to repair it.

As a basic explanation, it’s a common WordPress error caused by incorrect PHP settings in your hosting environment. It then prevents you from uploading any files to your WordPress website, which means you can’t add new functionalities, nor can you update any of the software installed on your site.

So if you encounter the “missing a temporary folder” error on your WordPress website, you need to fix it immediately.

Luckily, the fix for this particular error is straightforward. All you need to do is go to the backend of your website and add a code to a configuration file.

This may sound like a daunting 😱 task, but don’t worry. We will guide you every step of the way.

Let’s get started.

What causes the missing temporary folder WordPress error?

As we said in the beginning, the “missing a temporary folder” error typically appears when you are trying to upload a new image, plugin, or theme to your WordPress website. You can also encounter the error during a plugin or theme update because updates also involve uploading new files and folders to the site.

The error is the result of incorrect PHP settings on your hosting server. A particular PHP setting dictates that files uploaded to your website will be stored in a temporary folder before being transferred to their actual location.

You may have accidentally removed the folder, or WordPress cannot find the folder due to network failure or some other reason.

The bottom line is that WordPress can’t upload files to your website if it can’t access the temporary folder.

So what needs to be done is add the temporary folder to your site or ensure that the folder is found in the right location and can be accessed by WordPress.

👇 In the next section, we will show how to implement the above and fix the missing temporary folder WordPress error.

How to fix the missing temporary folder WordPress error

To fix the missing temporary folder WordPress error, you need to carry out the following steps:

  1. Access the files on your server using cPanel File Manager or FTP
  2. Locate and open the wp-config.php file
  3. Add a code snippet to the wp-config.php file
  4. Ensure the wp-content folder has the correct file permissions

When step 4 ends, you should be able to upload files and update your plugins and themes. But before you start diving into the steps, you need to take a backup of your website. As we have said before, to fix the error you will need to go to the backend of your website, open a WordPress file, and add a code snippet.

Accessing WordPress files is risky. A single misstep can cause your website to crash. To safeguard your site, take a backup. It’s your safety net. If things go wrong, you can use the backup to get your site up and running in no time.

And after you have taken a backup, you can start with the first step below.

Step 1: Access file manager

Your WordPress website is made of files and folders. These files and folders are stored on your hosting server. You can access them through your hosting account or by using FTP software. We will show you how.

Access file manager via hosting account

Most hosting providers allow access to WordPress files and folders via the cPanel File Manager.

Not all hosts use cPanel, but there’s a pretty good chance your host does.

To access the WordPress files and folders, you need to log into your hosting account and go to cPanel. The exact location of the cPanel differs from hosting to hosting but you should find it on your hosting dashboard:

Next, on the cPanel page, scroll down to the File section and select File Manager:

file manager in cpanel

If you don’t find the cPanel, that means your hosting provider does not support cPanel.

Hosting services that don’t support cPanel usually offer some sort of custom-built in-house tool. For instance, Hostinger offers hPanel that gives you access to the File Manager.

So if you don’t see the cPanel on your hosting account, it means your hosting provider offers a custom-built tool. You need to find out what that tool is and how you can access it. Look into the official help documentation from your hosting service or ask the support team via email or chat to help identify the tool that lets you access the File Manager.

If you end up managing to access the File Manager successfully, then feel free to move on to step two.

Alternatively, if you aren’t successful, or you simply don’t want to go the hosting account route, then try the FTP route below.

Access file manager via FTP client

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and FTP client is software that allows you to remotely connect to your website server and access your WordPress files and folders.

There are several FTP clients to choose from. We use FileZilla as it is the most popular FTP client and it’s easy to use.

Download and install FileZilla on your local computer.

Next, open the software. You will see a window appear on your screen:

FileZilla window

The top of the window has boxes where you will need to enter your FTP host, username, password, and port:

ftp credentials

You can usually find FTP credentials in the welcome email of your hosting provider or on your hosting dashboard.

The exact location is hard to tell because it would differ from hosting to hosting. But you can take the help of official documentation published by your hosting provider to find where your FTP credentials are stored.

Alternatively, you can speak to the support team and seek help locating your FTP credentials.

When you have your FTP credentials, enter them in FileZilla and hit the Quickconnect button. FileZilla will connect with the backend of your website, and you will see a panel on the right side of the screen populating with folders.

These are WordPress folders located in the File Manager of your hosting server. Thanks to the FTP client, you can now access the WordPress folders in the File Manager without having to take the cPanel route.

public html folders in FileZilla

After the right panel populates with your WordPress folders, move on to the second step.

👉 If you want a more detailed guide here, check out our full post on using FTP with WordPress.

Step 2: Locate and open wp-config.PHP

The File Manager contains a ton of folders, one of which contains your website. It’s called the public_html folder.

Look for the public_html in the File Manager. When you find it, click on the folder to gain access to files inside the folder. The public_html folder contains a file called wp-config.php. You will need to find the file and open it.

Locate and open wp-config.php via cPanel

If you accessed the File Manager via cPanel then you will find the public_html folder on the menu located on the left side of the screen:

public html file in file manager

Select the folder. As soon as you do that, the files inside the public_html folder will show up on the right side of the screen. Go over to those files, scroll down and look for the wp-config. When you find it, right-click on the file and select Edit.

The wp-config file will open on a different window.

editing wpconfig file

Locate and open wp-config via FileZilla (FTP)

On the FileZilla window, you will notice two panels on the right side of the screen. The top panel is populated with folders from your hosting server. In that panel, you will need to find the public_html folder, which contains the files and folders of your WordPress site.

public html folders in FileZilla

The bottom panel is populated with files and folders from inside the public_html folder.

public html files in FileZilla

wp-config.php is a file and it will be located in the bottom panel. Scroll through the panel and find the file. After you locate it, right-click on the file and select View/Edit:

editing wpconfig file in FileZilla

The file will be downloaded on your local computer. Go to your Download page and open the file by double-clicking on it.

Step 3: Add code snippet to wp-config.php

In order to fix the missing temporary folder WordPress error, you need to add a short code snippet to the wp-config.php file that you just downloaded.

When you opened the file, it should have appeared in a text editor. Scroll down to the bottom of the editor and find the sentence that says That's all, stop editing! Happy publishing.

Found it? Now add the following code snippet right above that sentence:

define(‘WP_TEMP_DIR',dirname(_FILE_). ‘/wp-content/temp/');

That’s all. Save and exit the editor.

If you are editing the wp-config via the cPanel File Manager, then you should see a Save Changes button on the top right-hand corner of the screen. Select that and then proceed to exit the editor.

adding code snippet to wpconfig file

If you are using FileZilla to edit the wp-config file, then save the changes you made to the file by pressing Command + S on Mac and Ctrl + S on Windows.

Step 4: Ensure wp-content folder has correct file permission

In the previous section, you added a code snippet to your website to inform WordPress about the location of the temporary folder. In this section, you will check its file permissions to make sure WordPress is able to access the temporary folder.

Open the public_html folder and go to wp-content. You should find a folder called temp inside the wp-content. If it’s not there, then create one.

On the cPanel File Manager, you should see a Folder option with a plus sign at the top of the screen. Select that and proceed to name the folder as “temp.” Then hit the Save button to save the folder in wp-content.

On FileZilla, right-click on any open space on the bottom right-hand panel and select the Create Directory option. Name the folder and save it.

Next, right-click on the temp folder and select the File Permission option.

As soon as you do that a popup window will appear. In the popup window, go over to the Numeric Value and add the number “755” if it contains any other numeric value:

wpcontent file permission

That’s it, folks. This should fix the missing temporary folder WordPress error. Now you can go ahead and add or update files on your site. 😎

Fix the missing temporary folder WordPress error for good

The missing temporary folder WordPress error typically appears when you are trying to upload a new image, plugin, theme, or some other file to your WordPress website. It can also appear when you are updating plugins and themes because updates involve uploading files.

📌 By following the instructions above, you should now be able to upload files to your WordPress website. If you are still encountering the error, then you will need to seek professional assistance from your hosting provider or hire a WordPress maintenance service to fix it for you.

📌 If you encounter any other WordPress problems, be sure to check out our post on the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

Do you still have any questions about how to fix the missing temporary folder WordPress error? Let us know in the comments!

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