How to fix a broken image link in WordPress?

BIG linden / Support Docs / How to fix a broken image link in WordPress?



Occasionally, our website’s images look broken or don’t load at all. What is the easiest way to fix this?


The client occasionally encounters broken or non-loading images on their WordPress website and needs assistance with fixing them.

How to fix a broken image link in WordPress?

Whether you’re a long-time user or a WordPress beginner, struggling with broken image links could be more than a minor annoyance – it can affect the quality of your site, impede engagement, and influence bounce rate. So, what do you do when the dreaded ‘image cannot be displayed’ message appears on your site? Let’s troubleshoot.

There are several reasons why images cannot be displayed in WordPress. It could be due to incorrect file permissions, incorrect file paths, problems with file compression, caching issues or various other reasons.

Broken image links in WordPress often occur due to incorrect file paths, incorrect upload directories, or even changes to your website’s domain name if not properly redirected. Conflicting themes or plugins might also be at fault.

Here are some of the steps you can use to troubleshoot and fix broken images:

1. Check if the Image File is Still on Server: The first thing that you need to do is check whether the image file still exists. You can do this by navigating to your media library and trying to view the respective image. If you receive a 404 error message, this means that your image file is not there anymore and needs to be re-uploaded.

2. Verify File Permissions: Broken images can also occur if there’s an issue with your file permissions. In order to view your current file permissions, you would need access to the directory where your media files are stored. Check if your media files have correct permissions set usually 755 for directories and folders and 644 for individual files.

3. Test with default Theme: Sometimes custom themes can interfere with image display. As a test, switch temporarily back to a default theme like Twenty Twenty and see if the problem persists.

4. Disable all plugins: There might be a conflict with one of your plugins causing the issue. Plug-in or theme conflicts can also be the problem behind broken image links. To confirm this, deactivate your plugins one by one and check if the problem persists. If disabling a particular plugin resolves the loading issue, then a conflict specifically with that plugin was likely the cause.

5. Correct Image Paths: All uploaded media files including images are stored in determined paths – usually /wp-content/uploads/ directory of your hosting account followed by year/month-based folder structure ¬– it could happen at times that these paths get changed accidentally or because of some plugin/theme settings resulting in broken images. Update the URLs of images that don’t match their actual file paths via ‘Media’ in your wp-admin area. Here, click on the ‘Edit’ option of the corrupt image file to correct their URLs precisely.

6. Revert back from HTTPS protocols (if applicable): If your WordPress installation has been updated to use HTTPS protocols and SSL, there may be an issue related to Mixed Content where some images are being served from HTTPS while others are being served from an HTTP location. You can easily check for these types of issues by using the browser’s inspection tools.

There are also various plugins that can help you solve broken or missing image problems in WordPress, like ‘Media File Renamer’ and ‘Regenerate Thumbnails’. You can try out these plugins which are designed to resolve some common image related problems.

In extreme cases, it might just be simpler to just re-upload the image to WordPress if it’s just one or two images.

Having properly configured backups would significantly reduce downtime whenever such issues appear as you could resort back to a previous working state within no time.

Even after following these steady procedures, you might yet experience some hitches. In such cases, reaching out to a WordPress developer or utilizing the WordPress Support forum might be effective simplified next steps to resolving current issues and preventing future recurrences.

Additional reading

More articles about WordPress

More articles related to .

Capabilities related to WordPress:

Prevent attacks, regain control of your WordPress website with Enterprise security solutions.
Move your website from Wix to WordPress and get the website you need.


Get a 30 minute 1:1 consult with a BIG consultant and get a 7 page report on making digital work in your organization with key insight into paths for success and playbooks just for your unique needs.

Please understand not all requests can be met. Please contact us with any questions.