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WordPress Destination Folder Already Exists Error – How to resolve

by | Apr 29, 2021

While installation of WordPress theme or plugin users often faces the error “destination folder already exists error in WordPress”.

As a part of our Server Management Services, our Support Engineers helps to fix similar WordPress-related errors regularly.

Let us now discuss the possible reasons and fixes for this error.


What causes the “destination folder already exists” error in WordPress

WordPress users often notice the error as given below while installing a theme or a plugin.

WordPress Destination Folder Already Exists Error

WordPress extracts plugin or theme’s zip file into a folder named after the file itself. If a folder with the same name already exists, then WordPress aborts the installation with the above message.

The first thing that our Support techs do is to check the themes or plugins page to see if we have it already installed on our site.

If it is not already installed, then this means:

  1.  A previous attempt to delete the plugin or theme did not succeed and it left the plugin/theme folder behind.
  2. A previous installation attempt was interrupted and left an empty destination folder.

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

How to fix the “destination folder already exists” error in WordPress

To fix this wordpress error, we simply need to delete the existing folder and then continue the installation.

First, we will need to connect to our WordPress site using an FTP client or using File Manager. The file Manager option will be available on most of the popular control panels like Plesk and cPanel.

The error message indicates the directory that is creating the incompetency. Once connected, we need to go to the /wp-content/plugins/ or /wp-content/themes/ folder depending on what we were trying to install.

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

After deleting the folder, we can go back to our WordPress admin area and retry installing the plugin or theme. We should be able to install our WordPress plugin or theme without any error.

[Need any further assistance in fixing WordPress errors? – We’re available 24*7]


In short, this WordPress error triggers when a folder with the same name as that of the plugin or theme already exists. Today, we saw how our Support Engineers fix this error.



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