Using WordPress ‘filesystem_method’ PHP filter

The filesystem_method WordPress PHP filter allows you to modify the method used by WordPress to interact with the file system.


add_filter('filesystem_method', 'your_custom_function', 10, 4);

function your_custom_function($method, $args, $context, $allow_relaxed_file_ownership) {
    // your custom code here
    return $method;


  • $method (string) – The filesystem method to return.
  • $args (array) – An array of connection details for the method.
  • $context (string) – Full path to the directory that is tested for being writable.
  • $allow_relaxed_file_ownership (bool) – Whether to allow Group/World writable.

More information

See WordPress Developer Resources: filesystem_method


Change filesystem method to FTP

Force WordPress to use FTP as the filesystem method.

add_filter('filesystem_method', 'force_ftp_filesystem_method');

function force_ftp_filesystem_method($method) {
    return 'ftp';

Change filesystem method based on the current user

Set the filesystem method based on the current user’s capabilities.

add_filter('filesystem_method', 'set_filesystem_method_based_on_user', 10, 4);

function set_filesystem_method_based_on_user($method, $args, $context, $allow_relaxed_file_ownership) {
    if (current_user_can('manage_options')) {
        return 'direct';
    } else {
        return 'ftp';

Disable direct filesystem method

Prevent WordPress from using the direct filesystem method.

add_filter('filesystem_method', 'disable_direct_filesystem_method');

function disable_direct_filesystem_method($method) {
    if ($method == 'direct') {
        return 'ftp';
    return $method;

Allow relaxed file ownership for specific users

Enable relaxed file ownership for users with specific capabilities.

add_filter('filesystem_method', 'allow_relaxed_file_ownership_for_specific_users', 10, 4);

function allow_relaxed_file_ownership_for_specific_users($method, $args, $context, $allow_relaxed_file_ownership) {
    if (current_user_can('manage_options')) {
        return true;
    return $allow_relaxed_file_ownership;

Change FTP credentials

Modify the FTP credentials when using the FTP filesystem method.

add_filter('filesystem_method', 'change_ftp_credentials', 10, 4);

function change_ftp_credentials($method, $args, $context, $allow_relaxed_file_ownership) {
    if ($method == 'ftp') {
        $args['hostname'] = 'your_hostname';
        $args['username'] = 'your_username';
        $args['password'] = 'your_password';
    return $method;