How to Fix W3 Total Cache Error? Read This Expert’s Guide

W3 Total Cache is a great Plugin for caching and optimization in the WordPress repository. Unlike the other plugins, it provides complete control over the WordPress site’s caching configuration.

Its customizable and powerful features help to reduce load times and increase website performance. This plugin is the total performance solution for optimizing your WordPress website. Still, being the most advanced and highly configurable caching solution, it has some downsides. Occasionally, things go wrong with this plugin.

The majority of the time, it causes problems with your WordPress installation or W3 total cache settings. To avoid any mistakes, Checkout this step by step guide to setting up W3 Total Cache. Through this guide, I’ll help you to fix the common w3 total cache error that you encounter while using this plugin. So, why are you delaying? Let’s dive into this guide.

W3 Total Cache Error

How to Fix W3 Total Cache Error

For WordPress, most webmasters use W3 Total Cache to add a minimal cache mechanism to their website. But, unfortunately, there are several errors that you may encounter while using the W3TC plugin. Here are some common errors-

W3 Total Cache Error Some Files Appear to Be Missing

If you get this error, you should uninstall this plugin and ensure removing the residual files before reinstalling. You can do the following-

  1. Purge Cache
  2. Deactivate and Delete Plugin
  3. If you aren’t able to work on your WordPress dashboard, you should use FTP or cPanel and then log in to your server and follow the next steps.
  4. Check your .htaccess File (ensure making a backup): W3TC creates many directives in the .htaccess file to control the caching behavior. Every section start and ends with comments like “#BEGIN W3TC Page Cache core” and “#END W3TC Page Cache core”. Make sure that no residual entries are leftover in your .htaccess file after deleting the plugin.
  5. Delete wp-content files and folders like-
  • Cache folder
  • W3tc-config folder
  • Object-cache.Php (if exists)
  • Advanced-cache.Php (if exists)
  • Php (if exists)
  • Upgrade folder
  • Delete W3-total-cache folder in wp-content/plugins/ (if exists)
  1. Delete Cached Files from CDN (if using CDN): Once deleting all the relevant files, then ensure to purge the cached content from your CDN if you use CDN. This is crucial when you enable the minify option in W3TC settings. You should delete the minified and combined scripts and CSS files from your CDN server to avoid the site breaking on the browser.
  2. Go to your WP dashboard and re-install the W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache Status Not Cached

Sometimes this plugin can’t cache certain resources. In that case, you can use the debug feature of this plugin to see what things are or aren’t cached. To solve this issue, log into the admin panel of your WP site and navigate to Performance > General Setting. Then do the following-

  • Go to the Debug section and check the boxes for caches that you wish to investigate.
  • Now go to any page of your site and right-click on it. Select View page source.
  • Navigate to the source code, and at the bottom of the code, you’ll find the commented text which is embedded by the W3TC plugin. Through this text, you’ll understand how many caches are configured on your site.
  • If the W3TC is not delivering cached pages while you are logging in, then you’ll see that cache is disabled. Here, you should log out and then reload your webpage, and the cache will be enabled.

W3 Total Cache Error 404

Due to the latest WordPress updates, W3TC can cause 404 errors. In this case, you can disable caching of 404 pages in the plugin’s settings. But, if you have been using this plugin for several years, you should reinstall the plugin to find something that will remain up-to-date and 100% compatible with WordPress.

W3 Total Cache Error 500 or Wp-Admin Error Notification

With W3TC, you may come across a 500 internal server error. However, this issue also has diagnoses like the above ones. The first thing you need to check is your .htaccess file to confirm the W3TC has added its .htaccess rules to the end of an existing line. It will look like something like this-

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule># BEGIN W3TC Browser Cache
<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
<IfModule mod_setenvif.c>
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch \bMSI[E] !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html

This part </IfModule># BEGIN W3TC Browser Cache, actually causing this issue. The “# BEGIN W3TC Browser Cache” should be a specific line. So, just hit enter before the # to break that line, then save the file and reload the page.

W3 Total Cache Error Unable to Resolve Hostname

This problem occurs when you use a CDN. The main fix is to downgrade the plugin version. But it is not recommended for security reasons as it has a high-risk XSS vulnerability.

W3 Total Cache Error FTP Credentials Don’t Allow To Write To File .htaccess

The root of this error is in the file permission. You may know that WordPress files have 644 permission levels, which implies that the file is readable by the owner, group, and public. But it can only be writable by the owner. Here, you can use the cPanel, FileZilla, or another FTP client to change the numeric value.

W3 Total Cache Error FTP Credentials Don’t Allow To Write To File .htaccess

So, change the file permission to 644, mark write for owner permission, and after that, refresh the page.


The W3 total cache plugin is jam-packed with features and settings. It has everything from page caching, to asset minification, to Cloudflare integration which can help you to boost the performance of your WordPress site.

Even after all these, sometimes your site may face some common W3 total cache error. Hopefully, this guide will help you to fix the above errors whenever you encounter them.

Let me know in the comments below if you liked this guide or about your thoughts. Also, for any suggestions, you can Contact Us here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top