Cannot Update Theme! Error: Destination folder already exists

This problem sometimes happens and prevents you from updating any theme or plugin. In this article, we will guide you how to fix the existing destination folder error in WordPress.

But firstly, why does it happen?

When you try to install a theme or plugin, WordPress extracts your theme’s zip file into a folder (which is named after the file itself).

If a folder with the similar name already exists, then WordPress stops the installation with the error message below:

Destination folder already exists. /home/user/example.com/wp-content/themes/martfury/
Theme installation failed.

Then, the first thing to do is visit the "Themes" page to see if the theme has been already installed on your site. If not, this could mean two things:

1. A previous attempt to delete the plugin or theme didn’t 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 you are trying to install. This folder prevents WordPress from completing the installation.

How do we fix it?

First, you need to connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client, cPanel File Manager or other services.

Once connected, you need to go to the /wp-content/themes/martfury and delete it.

Now, please go back to your WordPress admin area and retry installing the theme like you would normally do.