Fix WordPress “Destination Folder Already Exists”Issue

I encountered an issue with my WordPress hosted site when I was attempting to install a plugin, in this case the WP Statistics plugin. I know I had previously installed this plugin but it did not show up in my installed plugin list in the WordPress Admin dashboard. The installation fails with an error: “Installation failed: Destination folder already exists.”

When you install a WordPress theme or plugin, WordPress will extract and copy the folder from a zip file into the wp-content/themes or wp-content/plugins directory. If the folder already exist, then WordPress is unable to copy the files and therefore generates the error. This can happen if the theme or plugin files that are already installed are missing or corrupted.

Here’s the fix for this issue:

  • Use a FTP client such as FileZilla, and connect to your WordPress site.
  • Drill down into the wp-content/plugins directory and delete the plugins folder which you are having issues with. In my case the WP Statistics plugin folder.
  • Once the folder is deleted, go back to your WordPress admin site and reinstall the plugin. You should see a successful installation and at which point, you can activate the plugin and configure the settings if necessary.

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