I was working on a WordPress website several days ago and got this error when trying to reinstall a plugin: “Installation failed: Destination folder already exists.”.


destination folder already exists error in wordpress

So, I thought that this calls for a post to share the fix with all of you!


That’s so kind of me, right? :D

Why is this error occurring in WordPress

When a plugin or a theme fails to install, for whatever reason, it can leave behind the destination folder.

Or, when a plugin or a theme is deleted, some files might not get removed, therefore the destination folder remains in place. <– This happened to me.


So, when trying to reinstall the plugin or the theme, an “Installation failed: Destination folder already exists” error pops up, because when WordPress performs a check, the destination folder is already there, and it looks like you already have that plugin or theme installed.

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

The fix is quite easy!

1. First, you need to access your WordPress files.

2. Then, you have to find the destination folder left behind by the theme or plugin that failed to install or delete.


Themes are usually found in /public_html/wp-content/themes/, and plugins in /public_html/wp-content/plugins/.

If you have more than one domain on your account, and you want to access the files of one of your add-on domains, then make sure to access that domain’s folders, like this: /public_html/yourdomain.com/wp-content/plugins/.

3. Delete the folder by right-clicking on it and selecting Delete.

I’ll use cPanel as an example.

delete wordpress plugin folder in cpanel

4. Now you can go ahead and reinstall your plugin or theme from your Dashboard.

If it fails to install properly again, leaving the destination folder behind, delete it once more, and then try to do a manual installation, directly on your FTP.

That’s a wrap

Hope you found the post comprehensive enough, and you’ve fixed the “Installation failed: Destination folder already exists.” error in WordPress.

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