Fixing Manifest and Service Worker Generation Failed Error

You are reading this because you saw something like this in your SuperPWA > Settings > Status

Manifest And Service Worker Generation Failed

Here is why this happened.

SuperPWA generates (or attempts to) two files to convert your WordPress website into a Progressive Web App. You guessed it, the manifest and the service worker.

These files are generated in the root folder of your WordPress install (the same folder where wp-config.php is) during plugin activation.

To generate these files, WordPress needs folder permissions to write to the root folder. In your host however, WordPress couldn’t do it because your web host has limited the permissions on this folder.

Note how I keep saying WordPress needs permissions and not SuperPWA? This is because SuperPWA uses the Filesystem API of WordPress to handle file generation and deletion. So if WordPress can do it, then SuperPWA can do it too.

Fixing File Permissions For WordPress

The ideal way to resolve this, is to contact your web host. Tell them what is happening and maybe even point them to this article. They know your server and they will know what to do.

  • They might have to adjust the folder permissions on the root folder to 755 as suggested in the hardening WordPress guide.
  • They also might have to adjust the owner / group of the root folder to the user who runs the process that handles WordPress.
  • Some hosts does not allow writing to the root folder for security reasons. See if that might be the case.

It is a relatively simple fix and should be a very common support request to your web host and they should be able to help you out in no time.

Once the permissions are adjusted, remember to deactivate SuperPWA plugin and then reactivate SuperPWA from the plugins list in your WordPress admin.

Pro Tip: Instead of deactivating and reactivating SuperPWA, you can simply visit the SuperPWA > Settings page to check the status. Starting with version 1.8, SuperPWA will attempt to generate the manifest and service worker automatically when you visit the SuperPWA > Settings page, if these files do not exist.

TLDR: Ask your web host to adjust the folder permissions on the root folder of WordPress to 755 and make sure that owner / group is the same as the user / group of the process that runs WordPress. Then deactivate and reactivate SuperPWA.

Leave a Reply

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Chullans says:


When I contacted WP re this they said it is not possible to write in the root folder as it would jeopardise its security. So I think I am going to delete this plugin.

Anyways thanks and wish you all the best!

Arun Basil Lal says:

Hey there, thanks for checking out SuperPWA!

Sorry to hear your host doesn’t allow that. Simply allowing to write on superpwa-manifest.json and superpwa-sw.js would be good enough, in case you want to negotiate with your host. (The filenames will be different if you are using Multisite btw.)

In any case, we have plans to move to a setup where this will not be necessary. So maybe you can try again later.

Thanks once again for the kind words!

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