How to Fix the Installation Failed: Destination Folder Already Exists Error in WordPress in 4 Proven Ways

“Destination Folder Already Exists” is a common WordPress error that generally occurs during plugin or theme installation. WordPress shows this error message to prevent a destination folder with the same name and path from being overwritten.

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When a plugin or theme’s installation fails, it leaves behind an empty destination folder. The same happens when an old plugin or theme’s folder isn’t removed properly due to an interruption. This rogue folder stops WordPress from completing the installation.

Keep reading as we will cover several methods to easily solve the “Destination Folder Already Exists” error in WordPress.

Error codeInstallation Failed: Destination Folder Already Exists
Error typeClient-side error
Error variationsDestination Folder Already Exists
Error causesIncomplete plugin or theme installation
Interrupted plugin or theme uninstallation

Installation Failed: Destination Folder Already Exists is a common WordPress error that generally occurs when installing a theme or plugin. It usually happens when a previous attempt to install or uninstall a theme or a plugin has failed, leaving behind an empty destination folder.

4 Ways to Fix Installation Failed: Destination Folder Already Exists

How the “Destination Folder Already Exists” error appears on WordPress

Despite the inconvenience, “Destination Folder Already Exists” is a WordPress error with an easy fix ‒ it involves removing the unused destination folder. You can do so by accessing your WordPress website’s server and removing the folder manually.

First, back up your WordPress website to avoid losing any data in the event of misconfiguration. Then, pick one of the following four methods to solve the WordPress error.

Fix the Destination Folder Already Exists Error via the WordPress Dashboard

When you install a plugin or a theme manually, WordPress extracts the .zip file in a folder with the same name. If WordPress detects an identical folder with the same path, a comparison between the two will appear.

A warning page that appears on the WordPress dashboard when attempting to install a plugin or a theme using a .zip file

In this case, WordPress will ask for permission to overwrite the old plugin or theme folder. Select Replace current with uploaded and the “Destination Folder Already Exists” error message should be resolved.

Keep in mind that you will only see this warning page if the installation process is done from the WordPress admin area using a plugin or a theme’s .zip file.

Fix Destination Folder Already Exists via hPanel

Fixing the “Destination Folder Already Exists” error manually involves establishing a connection with your website’s server and removing the folder that’s causing the issue.

Hostinger users can follow these steps to solve the error using hPanel’s File Manager:

  1. Navigate to File Manager under the Files section of your hPanel dashboard.
The File Manager on the hPanel dashboard
  1. Access your WordPress files from the root directory. On most hosts, you’ll be looking for the public_html directory. There, locate the wp-content folder that contains all the files of plugins and themes installed on your WordPress website.
wp content in the public_html directory on the hPanel dashboard
  1. Open either the themes or plugins folder and find the folder that’s causing the issue.
Plugins and themes folder in the public_html folder on the hPanel dashboard
  1. Right-click on the folder named after the plugin or theme you want to install and click Delete.
The delete option for the folder on the hPanel dashboard
  1. Attempt reinstallation to check whether the error has been resolved.

Fix Installation Failed: Destination Folder Already Exists via cPanel

If your hosting provider uses cPanel, you can access your WordPress files through its File Manager. The process is similar to that of hPanel’s File Manager.

Here’s how to solve the “Destination Folder Already Exists” error using cPanel’s File Manager:

  1. Navigate to File Manager located in the Files section of your cPanel dashboard.
The File Manager in the files section of the cPanel dashboard
  1. Access the wp-content folder within your root directory (public_html).
wp content in the File Manager of the cPanel dashboard
  1. Open either the themes or plugins folder and find the folder that’s causing the issue.
Themes and plugins in the File Manager on the cPanel dashboard
  1. Right-click on the folder named after the plugin or theme you want to install and click Delete.
The delete option for the folder in cPanel
  1. Attempt reinstallation to check whether the error has been resolved.

Fix Installation Failed: Destination Folder Already Exists via an FTP Client

If your WordPress site is hosted on a VPS server, you can access your website files via an FTP client. After configuring the best FTP client for your needs, follow these steps to solve the “Destination Folder Already Exists” error:

  1. Establish an FTP connection to access the website’s server.
  2. Navigate to public_html -> wp-content -> plugins or themes and locate the folder that’s causing the issue.
The wp content themes and plugins folders in FTP client
  1. Right-click on the folder named after the plugin or theme you want to install and click Delete.
The delete option for a plugin folder that causes the error in the FTP client
  1. Attempt reinstallation to check whether the error has been resolved.

Conclusion

The “Destination Folder Already Exists” error occurs when WordPress detects an already existing folder with the same during a theme or plugin installation process. Fortunately, you’ll only need to remove the rogue folder named after the software you want to install to solve this issue.

We hope this article has helped you solve this WordPress error. Good luck.

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Jordana Alexandrea

Jordana is a Digital Content Writer at Hostinger. With her Information System and website development knowledge, she aims to help aspiring developers and enterpreneurs build their technical skills. During her free time, she travels and dabbles in freestyle writing.