How to Change Joomla Folder and File Permissions

How to Change Joomla Folder and File Permissions

Sometimes when you're trying to upload extensions to your Joomla site, you'll be faced with error messages like this: "JFolder::create: Could not create directory" or "Warning! Failed to move file."

Often this is because your Joomla site doesn't have the correct permissions to upload the extensions. What are permissions and how can you fix this problem? Read on ...

Explaining Permissions

  • Self: That's you. When you access your site with username and password, you're connected as the user.
  • Group: That's you, too. And maybe others. If your site can be accessed with more than one username and password set, then those sets are also part of the group.
  • Public: That's everybody else. You want to be very careful about the permissions you give them.
  • Read: the ability to read a file.
  • Write: the ability to modify a file.
  • Execute: the ability to execute a file.

There's one final thing you need to know. Those permissions are sometimes given numbers:

  • Read: 4
  • Write: 2
  • Execute: 1

They are also added up. So, if the "Self" has permissions of 7, that means they can Read, Write and Execute. If the "Public" has permissions of 4, they can only Read.

Explaining How Permissions Affect Joomla

/images/  or /language/ folders. If I want to upload images or edit language files, I'll need to change the red Unwritable to green Writable. Here's how to do it:

Log in to Your FTP or Hosting Account

File Manager" which will allow me to access my files. However you get there, you should end up seeing a screen like the one below:


  • Check the box next to /images/
  • Click "Change Permissions".

Change Permissions

The lower the numbers, the safer your site will be. A good setting to try here will be 755 but you may need to experiment because all servers are set up differently.

Once you've made a change and clicked "Change Permission", go back to System >> System Information >> Folder Permissions to see if the red "Unwritable" has changed to the green "Writable".