Solution: When WordPress automatic update fails

Solution: When WordPress automatic update fails

By Luke on

At SEO Creative we use WordPress as our preferred blogging platform, and in some cases we use WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS) due to it’s intuitive admin and powerful capabilities. Recently another update has become available (version 2.8.6) which you can download and update manually, or you can use the ‘automatic update’ functionality. After receiving a few emails from puzzled clients, I decided to write a quick blog post about what to do when the automatic update procedure fails.

If the automatic update fails, you will most likely see something like this (see screenshot):

Wordpress automatic installation failed

Initially I thought this might be a permission issue, so I opened up the FTP client and temporarily changed the permissions of the folder from 755 to 777 as a test, and tried to perform the update again. It still failed… interesting. After a little bit of research on the web, I found that the cause of the problem seems to be an issue with files left in the upgrade folder from previous updates. The solution however is quite simple! From your FTP client, go to your blog folder and open the ‘wp-content’ folder. Here you should see a folder called ‘upgrade’ (see screenshot below):

Wordpress wp-content folder

All you have to do is delete the ‘upgrade’ folder completely. Now next time you try the automatic update it will create a new folder, and there shouldn’t be any conflict with previous update files (see screenshot below):

wordpress delete upgrade folder

Success! Hopefully that will solve the update issue. If you are still having problems then contact your webmaster or feel free to leave comments on this post, and we will get back to you.

Wordpress  automatic installation success

About Luke

Luke is the owner of Falkon Digital Ltd, the head honcho. He likes strong coffee & fried chicken but not at the same time.

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Comments (2)
  1. Matt

    Thanks for this I found it really useful I got a wordpress blog a few months ago but the update keeps failing I didn’t want to keep trying in case I broke it or something ha ha

  2. Manchester PR

    Thanks! This is great, worked straight away! It was so frustrating trying to work out why the automatic upgrade wasn’t working!