Fix WordPress Download Failed Errors on Update

If you run into problems trying to update WordPress, it could be caused by the temporary directory WordPress uses for downloads. You can easily fix this by defining a WP_TEMP_DIR in your wp-config.php file below.

WordPress update failing

If you’re trying to upgrade WordPress itself, you might encounter this error when trying to update:

Download failed.: Destination directory for file streaming does not exist or is not writable.
Installation Failed
WordPress core update failed

WordPress plugin update failing

If you were trying to update a WordPress plugin, you might have encountered this error instead when updating:

An error occurred while updating (Plugin Name). Download failed. Destination directory for file streaming does not exist or is not writable.

WordPress plugin update failed

Define a WP_TEMP_DIR in your wp-config.php file

If you’ve encountered issues trying to update WordPress, you can simply follow the steps below to resolve them.

  1. Open you wp-config.php file with the cPanel File Manager Code Editor
  2. You should see this code towards the top of the file:
    * @package WordPress  */  
    // ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** // 
    /** The name of the database for WordPress */ 
    define('DB_NAME', 'anotherd_wrd1');

    Place this definition of define(‘WP_TEMP_DIR’, ABSPATH . ‘wp-content/’); in-between the lines mentioned above, so it ends up looking like this when you’ve completed it:

    * @package WordPress  */ 
    define('WP_TEMP_DIR', ABSPATH . 'wp-content/'); 
    // ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** // 
    /** The name of the database for WordPress */ 
    define('DB_NAME', 'anotherd_wrd1');

    Now Save your wp-config.php file.

  3. Try to update WordPress again, if for some reason it is still failing, be sure to check file permissions on your wp-content folder, and ensure it’s set to 755 so that the server can write to it.
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61 thoughts on “Fix WordPress Download Failed Errors on Update

  1. Wow! Thanks! I tried a few things I found out there but your site and support was the only one that worked. Thank you!

  2. Thank you, this little tip has helped us to transfer a site from one server to another without too much hitch. Great

  3. Someone just shared this link in our WooCommerce Facebook group:

    ( )

    …and I just wanted to pop in over here and another “fix”.

    If, for security measures, you might have read along the way that moving the wp-config.php file ‘UP’ one level so that it is no longer in your /public_html folder, then that will also cause this identical error message to appear.

    Simply FTP back into the root of your account, move the wp-config.php file back to within the /public_html file again, and you’ll be able to update without the error message.

  4. WOAH, thank you. I was like searching for an hour and I didn’t find anything to fix this problem, and your solution came nicely.

    Thank you so much.

  5. In my site I have issude with this error

    RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: Failed to connect to port 80: Connection timed out.

    I tried to change update.php file back to 4.0 version still, not able to solve.

    Cant install any Plugin. Can anyone check my site and can solve problem..

  6. Hi All, I’m receiving this error everytime I update my wordpress or even plugins…

    Have you ever encountered this problem? 

    Warning: An unexpected error occurred. Something may be wrong with or this server’s configuration. If you continue to have problems, please try the support forums. (WordPress could not establish a secure connection to Please contact your server administrator.)

    Please help me 🙁



  7. Download failed.: There are no HTTP transports available which can complete the requested request.

    Installation Failed


    If this kind of error when upgrade wordpress you know why?

    1. Hello Nurul,

      This error has been reported in the WordPress support forum. One of the developers has answered the question based on different configurations. Please review is his posts for more details and possible resolutions for your error.

      Arnel C.

  8. Doesn’t work for me. Has anything changed since this fix was added?

    After I add define(‘WP_TEMP_DIR’, ABSPATH . ‘wp-content/’);  to the wp-config file, should I see a temp file somewhere? I don’t.


    1. Hello Isak,

      To our knowledge this should still work. Are you getting any particular error message?

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  9. Thanks a lot, for giving me best and easy solution. I was trying to recover from this problem past 2 days, after reading your instruction, i followed the same and finally i am out of the problem. Again a big thanks

  10. Hi I am having the same problem, I can’t update wordpress or my plugins, or upload photos to my posts – I tried your solution and it didn’t resolve the problem for me, unfortunately.  I’m wondering is the configure file Daphen mentioned is the wpconfigure or a different one located somewhere else?  Thanks for your help!

    1. Hello Carter Adopt,

      Sorry for the continued problems with WordPress. Yes, the “config.php” references “wp-config.php” which is located in the root of your WordPress installation. If you continue to have the problem, please provide us more information on your account. Give us your URL or customer ID (if you are an IMH customer) and we would happy to look further into the problem.

      Arnel C.

    2. Thanks. This solved my issue with opdating i plugins, but – unfortunately – not the uploading of images. But I fearthere may be some overall php-settings that needs to be fixed in my case.

  11. Hi Scot,

    Yes ofcourse!

    What resolved the issue for me was removing: “DEFINE(‘WP_TEMP_DIR’, ABSPATH . ‘/PUBLIC/TMP’)” in the config.php file.

    After that I could update all my plugins again!

    Kind regards,

  12. Hi Jacob,

    I posted a question earlier today but it’s not showing here.

    But in case you did receive this question…I resolved it so please ignore that post 😉


    1. Hello Daphne,

      Yes, the questions will not display unless they are approved due to lots of spammers. However, we are glad to hear you were able to resolve the issue. If you would not mind sharing how you did it, it may be helpful for others who run into the same situation.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  13. Hi Jacob,

    For me this sollution is still not working.
    I have also put this problem up on the wordpress forum but still no luck.
    Do you have any other ideas what could be wrong?

    I have the: define(‘WP_TEMP_DIR’, ABSPATH . ‘wp-content/’);

    as follow: define( ‘WP_TEMP_DIR’, ABSPATH . ‘/public/tmp’) ;
    in my config.php

    My tmp folder is in my public-folder

    Everything is set to 755

    Hope you can help me out.


    1. follow the instructions above then Kindly remove this the last line in wp-config.php file, it worked for me

      define(‘WP_TEMP_DIR’, dirname(__FILE__) . ‘/wp-content/temp/’);

    1. Thanks for the help. Perhaps the text on the website could have a bit more whitespace around it as it is a tiny bit cramped. Great site. Thanks!

    2. Hey Nick, thanks a lot for commenting!

      This is one of my guides that hasn’t been updated for quite some time, and Google Analytics doesn’t give me human input about styling. So I really appreciate your observations for hopefully making this content easier to read for another person down the road!

      Please take another look at the guide if you can, and let me know if you have any other recommendations!

      Thanks again 🙂

      – Jacob

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