WordPress Image Upload Problem using IIS on Windows Server 2008

by Matt on September 24, 2009

We had some issues at work with uploading images to our WordPress blog. It was super annoying. We kept getting the following error when trying to upload an image using the Upload/Insert function in WordPress:

“The uploaded file could not be moved to C:\inetpub\www\website\wp-content\uploads”

It was difficult to find a solution because there is a large majority of WordPress users who use Apache as the web server. I was finding little info on IIS7 and Server 2008.  I saw plenty of forum posts with the exact problem.  The particular poster would then reply to his own detailed question and say “Thanks everyone! I figured it out on my own.” Ah WHAT? Post what your solution was so it benefits the community. So this is why I am posting this on my blog.

Most of the recommenced solutions were to give the IUSR account write/modify permissions to all the directories down to the uploads directory.  This did not work for me.  We dug into IIS7 and started looking at the authentication section of IIS7 for that site. “Anonymous Authentication” was set to a user that did not exist. So we changed it to use the application pool identity and it worked great.


Go to the authentication section of the site.


Select the "Anonymous Authentication" from the middle list once in the authentication section of the site.


Click on Edit on the Action menu on the right side.


Select the Apllication pool identity radio button

This worked great. I could instantly upload a image to a WordPress post.  I hope this helps you out in your journey to solve the permissions issue with the image unloader in IIS7 and WordPress.

Feel free to comment if the solution worked for you.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Doychin July 19, 2013 at 8:03 am

Thank you, man ! 🙂

Qcl Anton May 15, 2014 at 2:43 am

It’s still helpfull.
Thank you.

James W July 19, 2014 at 7:16 am

My god, this was driving me nuts! Thanks so much

Guilherme Augusto Marin August 20, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Aw thank you so much I took hours to find you!!! God bless you!

AntonTheunissen September 3, 2014 at 9:27 am

And again a happy reader! But I also needed RBubaru’s comment as well: “using windows explorer, go to the ‘uploads’ folder and set permissions for II_IUSR ‘modify and write’. Then, it worked for me.” (Maybe this also works without the authentication change. Not sure becasue I couldn’t reverse the authentication setting…)

Ozzie December 18, 2014 at 8:23 am


Андрей February 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Все работает! Спасибо!

Stan... April 19, 2015 at 10:23 pm

You freaking rock… I was killing myself over this issue. thanks big time

Daniel Lamarca June 13, 2015 at 9:12 am

This was driving me crazy, thank you so much!

chirag prajapati August 1, 2015 at 3:57 am

Yup this is working for me.. nice solution great men

Tony September 19, 2015 at 2:31 pm

So this was helpful but my issue turned out to be that the default settings for the upload folder under Settings-Media was not part of the site. The folder was in fact created, and the uploads were there, but the links were all showing as broken. Check that first.

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