General Support - Troubleshooting - "mod_rewrite is missing" what is it and how to fix it?

What is mod_rewrite

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"mod_rewrite" is an Apache library responsible for creating so-called " pretty permalinks", which allows websites to have links looking like this:

Rather than looking like this:

False Positive

The script responsible for checking if the mod_rewrite is enabled can only work on Apache HTTP servers, which are by far the most common servers in the world.

However, there are also others that may have the same functionality but for them, the script will fail to recognize the "mod_rewrite" and display the error message.

How to check if that's what's happening:

  • Ask your hosting provider or check what your HTTP server is - if it's not Apache then the message will appear.
  • Check if the Settings → Permalinks are enabled in your WordPress installation.

Below: If you have Settings  Permalinks using anything other than "Plain" and your site works fine, then it's a false positive.

Real Positive

In rare cases, it may be that the Apache hosting won't have the "mod_rewrite" library enabled. 

In which case setting the Settings  Permalinks to anything other than "Plain" will make your site crash.

If this is the case it's best to ask the hosting company to enable the mod_rewrite for you or change hosting company.

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