Using civicrm 4.7.0 on the latest wordpress. could not setup cron to run scheduled jobs because the settings file is missing. did a fresh install of wordpress in a different path on the server and a fresh install of civicrm to try to see if it would create a settings file after the installation steps were complete. it did not.

so i took the settings template file and created a settings file from that by hand, then with that in place it is possible to setup cron for scheduled jobs.

now, when i go to the civicrm dashboard nothing is displayed and the civicrm menubar in wordpress is missing. i can make it work again by deleting my settings file but then cron doesn't work.

do you have any suggestions what in settings would cause civicrm not to work but cron to work? thanks in advance.

  • Which method of running cron are you using? wp-cli, php or url method? The doc on this is here: wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/… I do recommend the wp-cli method if you have it as that is the most reliable. Feb 9, 2016 at 1:27
  • Thanks for your thoughts, I've been using the php method to run all scripts at 15minute intervals. If I use the wp-cli method can I delete the settings file or is it still needed? Feb 9, 2016 at 3:17
  • On a fresh install of CiviCRM 4.7.x the civicrm.settings.php file is placed in {wp-content}/uploads/civicrm you'll need that file to run CiviCRM. It will also look in wp-content/plugins/civicrm (for upgraded sites). You should only need one copy of the settings file. Feb 9, 2016 at 3:58
  • Thanks so much Kevin! Your information is completely different to the documentation that assures me that it will always be in wp-content/plugins/civicrm, but you are completely correct. So it seems that cron doesn't look in the {wp-content}/uploads/civicrm folder and only looks in the wp-content/plugins/civicrm folder, so copying the file from the location you suggested to the location the documentation identifies fixes cron and keeps the site working! thank you. now if only I could find a way to submit this as a correction to the documentation... Feb 9, 2016 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


In looking at this further, it appears on any external call or via cron, in version 4.7.0 CiviCRM looked for the settings file ONLY in the directory wp-content/plugins/civicrm if the CMS was WordPress.

In 4.7.1, this was changed to look in both '//uploads/civicrm' and '//plugins/civicrm'

Therefore on 4.7.0 with the civicrm.settings.php file in wp-content/uploads/civicrm you could get the failure on cron that you describe.

I would try updating to CiviCRM 4.7.1

  • Thanks again Kevin. Your comments match my findings. Unfortunately the upgrade instructions say to back up your settings file, so I had to find it and solve this first. Glad to hear that it has been fixed in 4.7.1. Now if only I can find a way to get the official documentation updated to list both locations it will save someone else this confusion...I'll keep looking into how to do that. Feb 9, 2016 at 17:28
  • Can you share the link to that documentation and I'll update (or get it updated if I cannot) Feb 9, 2016 at 17:59
  • Hi Kevin, I'm sorry, I keep upvoting your answer but it says I can't as I don't have enough reputation yet as I'm too new here. the link is wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/… and the section is 6. Locate and backup the civicrm settings file Feb 10, 2016 at 4:08
  • Stephen, I updated the docs. There is also another wiki page wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/… now. Feb 10, 2016 at 23:02

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