How to Fix WordPress Can’t Change or Update Permalink

Permalink has become a major role in running WordPress website. A good permalink could help you rank better in any search engines. While bad permalink can hurt your website as well. Permalink is supposed to be short, easy to read and less likely to change. It’s a best practice to keep your permalink unchanged to keep all the link juices and build your page reputation.

In WordPress editor changing your post or page permalink is a piece of cake. You can click change the Edit button below your post or page title box to edit the auto generated or existing permalink.

There will be time that you try to change permalink to something and it turns to sometime else. In example you want a permalink i-want-this and all the sudden right after you click OK button it changes to i-want-this-2 automatically.

This problem occurs for one and only reason which is your permalink is duplicated to existing page, post, or media. 

Check your Permalinks Setting

First of all go to Settings -> Permalinks in the Left hand side menu of your WordPress admin to check whether you have already enable custom permalink or not.

In my blog, I’m using a post name as permalink so it looks like this

Check Existing or Deleted Post and Page

A deleted post or page can ended up in the Trash tab which is consider as not deleted. This happens to be the top reason why you can’t use your permalink.

  1. Go to Posts or Pages
  2. Click on the Trash link
  3. Check whether you have any existing post or page that have duplicated permalink
  4. Click Delete Permanently

Check the Media

When you upload a media to WordPress its name becomes permalink. This can cause a duplication to happen as well. You can easily edit your media permalink to free up that link.

How to Edit Media Permalink

  1. Go to Media -> Library
  2. Click on the media file you want to edit
  3. At the bottom of right panel in the popup box click Edit more details
  4. The link will take you to Edit Media page
  5. Click Edit button near the permalink just like what you usually do in post and page
  6. Click OK to save and Update button on the right panel

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