Fix the File Type is Not Permitted error

How to Fix the “File Type Is Not Permitted” Error in WordPress (2021)

Are you getting a ‘file type is not permitted’ error in WordPress? The security settings in WordPress can limit the files that you can upload.

In this article, we’ll show you how to quickly solve the error, ‘Sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons’. You don’t need to write any code to fix this error.

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How Do I Fix ‘Sorry, This File Type Is Not Permitted for Security Reasons’?

The best way to fix this error is with a free WordPress plugin called File Upload Types. It lets you add more file upload types without writing any code.

By default, WordPress only allows images, audio, documents, and video files to be uploaded. This helps to stop hackers from uploading malicious files to your website, but it also means that a lot of ‘safe’ files are blocked as well.

Luckily, it’s easy to allow more ‘safe’ file uploads using File Upload Types.

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How to Fix the “File Type Is Not Permitted” Error in WordPress

Work through these steps to fix the ‘sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons’ error in WordPress.

  1. Install the File Upload Types Plugin
  2. Allow Additional File Types in WordPress
  3. Add Custom File Types to WordPress

At the end of the article, we also added some frequently asked questions on WordPress file uploads.

Ready? Let’s start by installing the plugin.

Step 1: Install the File Upload Types Plugin

The first thing we need to do is install the File Upload Types plugin. This plugin was created by the same team that created WPForms.

To start, open up your WordPress dashboard and head to Plugins » Add New.

Add New plugin in WordPress

Search for the File Upload Types plugin in the search box at the top.

Search for the File Upload Types plugin

Click Install Now, and then click Activate.

Activate File Upload Types plugin to fix 'file type is not permitted' error

Great! That’s all we need to do in this step.

Now let’s open the settings for the File Upload Types plugin.

2. Allow Additional File Types in WordPress

By default, WordPress allows the following types to be uploaded:

  • Images (jpg, png, gif, ico)
  • Audio (mp3, wav, ogg, m4a)
  • Documents (pdf, doc, ppt, odt, xls, psd)
  • Video (mp4, mov, wmv, avi, mpg, ogv, 3gp, 3g2)

You might want to add more file types to the allowlist. For example, you might want to accept Adobe Illustrator (AI) file uploads.

If the extension you want to upload isn’t on the list, we can search for it in the File Upload Types plugin to quickly enable it.

In the WordPress dashboard, click Settings » File Upload Types.

Click the File Upload Types WordPress menu to fix file type not allowed

The settings for the File Upload Types plugin will open in your browser.

File Upload Types plugin settings

On the left, you can see a list of preset file types. It’s easy to add any of these file types to WordPress.

To start, in the Search File Types box, search for the file type you want to add to the allowlist in WordPress.

In this example, we’re going to search for CAD file types.

Search for file type to fix file type not allowed error

All of the preset file types for CAD files along with their MIME types.

To allow any of these file types to be uploaded in WordPress, just check the box next to each one. Then scroll down and click the orange Save Settings button.

Select file types to add to the allowlist to fix the file type is not allowed error

When the page reloads, you’ll notice that the file types you selected are now listed in a new section titled Enabled.

Fixed 'sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons'

That’s it! Now when you upload these files, you won’t get the ‘sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons’ error.

Next up, let’s look at creating custom file types for files that aren’t on the preset list.

3. Add Custom File Types to WordPress

If the file type you want to upload isn’t listed in the File Upload Types plugin, you can add it as a custom file type.

To do this, you’ll need to know the MIME type for the file.

MIME types are sometimes called internet file types. The MIME type describes the actual contents of the file.

If you’re unsure about the MIME type, you can use a MIME file type checker. When you upload your file, the tool will look at the first few bytes and report the file type.

Check the MIME type for file not permitted error

As an example, let’s add the .heif extension as a custom file type in WordPress. This a file type that some smartphones use to save images.

Start in the File Upload Types plugin. At the top, click the Add your custom file types link to begin.

Add custom MIME type to fix file type is not allowed error

You’ll see the Add custom file types section now. Go ahead and type in:

  • A description for your custom file type – you can type anything you want here
  • The MIME type (if you need to add more than 1, separate them with a comma)
  • The file extension, including the leading period .

In this example, the MIME type for a .heif file is image/heif, so let’s go ahead and add that as a custom file type.

Custom file upload type added to WordPress

Once that’s done, click Save Settings.

Your custom file type will be listed in the Enabled section in the plugin.

Heif uploads enabled in WordPress

Now we can go ahead and upload iPhone photos without getting the ‘sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons’ error in WordPress.

Frequently Asked Questions on File Uploads

In this section, we’ll look at some additional questions on file upload types in WordPress.

How do I upload files to WordPress?

To create a file upload form, we recommend that you use WPForms. It’s the best file upload plugin for WordPress.

WPForms comes with a file upload form template. It lets you create customized file upload forms easily without writing any code.

You can use the WPForms Modern file upload field to let visitors drag and drop files onto your forms like this:

Modern file upload drag and drop

And with WPForms, you can also:

Can I allow any file extension using File Upload Types?

Yes, the File Upload Types plugin allows you to upload any file type, including executable files.

But unless you’re an expert user, we don’t recommend that you allow executable files to be uploaded to WordPress. It gives hackers an easy way to infect your site with malware.

Also, keep in mind that your form builder plugin may still block executable files for security reasons, even if you allow executables in the File Upload Types plugin. For example, WPForms will always block executable files like .exe .msi and .html.

After adding a custom file type, I still see the error, ‘This file was not uploaded. File type not allowed’

To fix this, check that you have the correct MIME type associated with your custom file type. You can use the MIME type checker in Step 3 to do this.

Can I block file types on specific forms?

Yes, in WPForms you can specify which file types you want to allow on a specific form.

To do that, click on the File Upload field to edit the settings. You can type in the extensions you want to allow in the Allowed File Extensions box.

Start each extension with a period . and separate multiple extensions with a comma ,

Choose the file extensions on your file upload form

You can also specify a maximum file size. By default, WPForms will use the maximum file size allowed on your server. If you’re not sure what this is, you can hover your mouse over the tooltip next to the field.

Allow file types on file upload form in WordPress

If the maximum file size setting is too low, you’ll want to increase it on your server. We recommend that you reach out to your host for assistance.

Create Your WordPress File Upload Form Now

Next Step: Add a Dropbox File Upload Form

Would you like to automatically send file uploads to a cloud storage service?

Check out this article on how to add a Dropbox file upload form in WordPress.

Ready to build your form? Get started today with the easiest WordPress form builder plugin. WPForms Pro includes a file upload form template and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.

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