Similar to the behavior of this Upgrading WP to 5.0.1 deletes civicrm uploads folder, I had deactivated then decided to delete a site on our WP multisite. Once I clicked delete I got a fatal error (sorry I did not copy) that referenced line 916 of civicrm.php file. Deactivating CiviCRM plugin got the multisite backup.

require_once 'CRM/Core/ClassLoader.php';

Then I saw that the uploads/civicrm folder was empty. It had the /ext /uploads and /template_c folder but they were all empty. The rest were gone.

We restored the directory from backup and now it works. Anyways, this is a word of caution.

Question is, why did this happen?

  • was the /uploads/sites/ folder somehow symlinked to /uploads/civicrm ? Apr 16, 2020 at 17:30
  • Yes,symlinks are still in /uploads/sites/XX. Those symlinks should be removed, right?
    – Andy Burns
    Apr 16, 2020 at 17:44
  • I'd test it first, but Yes, I think the symlinks are the issue. If WP follows the link when deleting the site it will remove files it should not. This does bring up a point that we should ensure the documentation is correct on docs.civicrm.org as well. Apr 17, 2020 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


Deleting a site in WP triggers deleting sites/nn/uploads folder contents. Unfortunately, that site still had a civicrm symlink pointing to /uploads/civicrm which the delete trigger followed and subsequently deleted.

Don't use symlinks. I removed without issue. Instead you can define resource paths in civicrm.settings.php file. Will take a look at updating docs.

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