According to the official WordPress docs, when you save your Permalinks it updates your .htaccess file (https://codex.wordpress.org/Settings_Permalinks_Screen).

However, when I make Permalink changes and save them I don't see any .htaccess updates.

Can someone clarify if the WordPress docs are inaccurate or if there's something I'm missing.


3 Answers 3


According to the official WordPress docs, when you save your Permalinks it updates your .htaccess file ...

This isn't correct. When you switch from default-- ?= permalinks which are nothing but pure PHP URL parameter passing-- to anything else then WordPress will create a .htaccess file if it can, or tell you to create one. Once that file is created the permalinks are generated entirely internally to WordPress. The .htaccess file does not need to be, and isn't, updated every time you change permalinks. You can see the file_exists() check in the save_mod_rewrite_rules() function.

Specifically, what happens in that WordPress creates a .htaccess file telling the Apache to send all requests to the index page thus allowing WordPress to take over.

  • So the official docs are incorrect (specifically the text here - codex.wordpress.org/Settings_Permalinks_Screen#Save_Changes ).
    – Snowcrash
    Jul 21, 2015 at 14:54
  • Maybe more not like "not very clear". I made a minor edit with a reference to save_mod_rewrite_rules()
    – s_ha_dum
    Jul 21, 2015 at 15:26
  • The first bullet point under the Save Changes header says has said exactly what has been said here.
    – Alex Older
    Jul 22, 2015 at 14:37

if the .htaccess file is writeable by the server it will automatically update the file.

WordPress will try and do it, if it can't it will tell you to manually update the file.

  • No, it didn't update the file (I saved a copy of .htaccess and then did a diff between the old and new files). And no, it didn't tell me to manually update the file.
    – Snowcrash
    Jul 21, 2015 at 14:25

If you have chosen 'Default' Permalinks, .htaccess can be deleted.

Doing that in my case solved my problem of Plugins settings page & Updates settings not loading (instead index.php homepage would load).

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