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How to Fix Destination Folder Already Exists Error in WordPress

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Are you seeing the ‘Destination folder already exists’ error in WordPress?

This error usually occurs when installing a theme or a plugin on your website, but WordPress thinks the same file has already been installed previously.

In this article, we will show you how to fix the ‘Destination folder already exists’ error in WordPress.

 How to Fix Destination Folder Already Exists Error in WordPress

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If you prefer written instructions, then just continue reading.

What Causes the Destination Folder Already Exists Error in WordPress?

The ‘Destination folder already exists’ error occurs when you are trying to install a WordPress theme or plugin, but the folder for these files already exists. WordPress then cancels the installation with the following error message:

Unpacking the package…

Installing the plugin…

Destination folder already exists. /home/websitename/public_html/wp-content/plugins/plugin-name/

This plugin is already installed.

Example of the Destination folder already exists error in WordPress

To figure out the cause of this error, you should visit your Themes or Plugins page to see if you have the plugin or theme already installed on your WordPress website.

If it isn’t already installed, then this could mean two things. One is that a previous attempt to delete the plugin or theme didn’t succeed, and it left the plugin or theme folder behind.

If so, then you should read our beginner’s guides to uninstall a WordPress plugin and uninstall a WordPress theme.

Alternatively, it could mean that a previous installation attempt was interrupted and left an empty destination folder.

In either case, there will be a folder with the same name as the theme or plugin you are trying to install. This folder is stopping WordPress from completing the installation.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily solve the ‘Destination folder already exists’ error in your WordPress blog or site. You can use the quick links below to jump to the method you wish to use:

Note: Since this tutorial deals with deleting and replacing files, we strongly recommend creating a backup with a plugin like Duplicator before moving forward. This way, you can roll back to a previous version of your site in case of errors.

Method 1: Replace the Current Folder With the Uploaded File

First, you can try to replace the existing plugin or theme folder on your website with a fresh upload. For this method, you will need the zip folder of the plugin or theme that you wish to install.

Simply go to the Plugins or Appearance » Themes page and manually upload the zip folder from your computer.

WordPress will then tell you that you already have the plugin or theme installed on your website and ask you if you want to replace it.

Clicking the Replace current with uploaded button in WordPress

Simply click ‘Replace current with uploaded.’ The plugin or theme should now work on your website.

Method 2: Delete the Plugin/Theme Folder and Reinstall It

If the ‘Replace current with uploaded’ feature is not available or doesn’t work, you can manually delete the existing folder.

First, you will need to connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client or cPanel file manager.

Once connected, you need to go to the /wp-content/plugins/ or /wp-content/themes/ folder (depending on what you were trying to install).

Now, look for the folder named after the plugin or theme that you were trying to install and then delete it.

Delete folder

You can now go back to your WordPress admin area and retry installing the plugin or theme as you would normally do.

For more tips and tricks for using FTP, you can read the following guides:

We hope this article helped you learn how to fix the ‘Destination folder already exists’ error in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate list of the most common WordPress errors and our expert picks for the must-have WordPress plugins to grow your site.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

57 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Vivian says


    Thanks for the great post. The solution seems quite straight forward method to use when working on a live site that has a cpanel. How do I apply this method if I am using a Wamp server as my local host for a wordpress site. I had uninstalled a plugin and when I tried to reinstall it I got the error message: Installation failed: Destination folder already exists.

    Please help

    • WPBeginner Support says

      For a localhost installation, you should be able to navigate to your site’s folder in your WAMP installation and there you would be able to go to your plugins folder and delete the folder.


  3. Florencia Doy says

    Hi, thanks for this quick tutorial. I was wondering if uploading the plugin with a different zip name would also work since then a new folder would be created with another name? I’m not too sure if this is the right way to go about it though, but I’m looking for other options than FTP since I don’t have access to that myself, just to WordPress. If you could clear that up, that’d be great!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      We would not recommend using that method as depending on the plugin it could cause problems with its features or if you were able to install it under a second name it would cause errors with duplicate function names.


  4. Midas Peng says

    The Filezilla has connect to the Hosts server. and I can see the dirrectory, but when I want to delete the files. Filezilla show message of “permission denied”. Do I need to do anything on Hosts server to permit the files can be deleted?
    thx for promt reply

    • WPBeginner Support says

      We would recommend reaching out to your hosting provider and they should be able to check your permissions for your FTP user.


  5. Vighnesh Acharya says

    Instad of delete you can also rename for the backup purpose (like woocommerce to woocommerce backup )

    • WPBeginner Support says

      That is another option as well but normally if there is an issue with a plugin it would be better to delete the files that are causing the problem.


  6. Feli says

    Is there a way to fix this without using an FTP client? I’ve never used one before but believe the issue I am having is due to deleting a plug in that I should not have deleted.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Your hosting provider may have a file manager that would work as an FTP that you could use if you reach out to them for assistance.


  7. Fallon says

    I am a little apprehensive about deleting the Woocommerce folder as I had a bunch of things setup in my Woocommerce shop already-products, etc. Will doing this restore those or will I have to start over? I lost Woocommerce in my plugin list after WordPress update and now I get this message when trying to install. Thanks.

  8. asif majeed says

    I had a problem with my website
    after using this method, now it is fine.
    thanks for such a great article.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you are still receiving the error, we would recommend reaching out to your hosting provider and they should be able to assist.


  9. Lohith jayashancar says

    Thank you for helping. Jetpack plugin was unable to install with your help i downloaded filezilla in PC and solved the issue.

  10. Dimitris Mar says

    I use an older version of WPBakery plugin on my site. The updated version of it is included in my template that I use. What can I do? I tried to upload it but I did not make it.

    Can I delete the old version via FTP method and upload I again? Any risk of losing my current settings on the front-end of my site?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      While normally that shouldn’t be an issue, you would want to reach out to WPBakery for if you can safely do that with their settings.


  11. Steve says

    Thank you, Thank you.
    A really clear explanation with helpful links, that solved the problem with no fuss.

  12. Tameka M says

    This was a very helpful video! Solved my problem in less than 10 minutes. Thanks so much! My Jetpack plugin is working again!

  13. Vivek says

    this works i have deleted the folder through FTp and reinstalled visual composer plugin and it worked


  14. Chris says

    I am installing a DIFFERENT plugin that uses the same folder name (I guess) so there’s no real solution…? They are both ‘accordions’ and it seems crazy WordPress struggles with this at all.

  15. Jessica says

    I received this error message when trying to update a plugin (Modern Events Calendar) to its newer version because an auto-update option is not available.

    If did this manually through the cpanel and deleted the old folder, would I lose my existing content?


      • Ricky Spanish says

        To be on the safe side, you can rename the existing plugin folder. I usually just add an underscore and the word “old” (_old) to the end of the directory name. Run the new install and test to see if it’s working. If it doesn’t work properly you can just delete it and then go back and change the name of the original folder to its original name. If it does work properly I leave the old folder there for a month or so just to be on the safe side.

  16. Elsa says

    This only works for sites. Do you have a solution for site where FTP and cPanel are not available?

  17. Beth says

    What an amazing post! I have been waiting for support from my plugin provider for 3 days!!!!! And when speaking to my hosting provider this morning they suggested I Google the error, saying that it was quite common. And you guys came through once again, providing simple and to the point guidance. I’m new to WordPress and appreciate what you do so much.

  18. Randal Byrd says

    I’ve deleted the offending folder both through FTP, and through my provider’s back end file manager.

    I STILL get the error. I’m stumped.

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