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How to solve ‘Could not copy file – Installation Failed’ while Upgrading WordPress


How to solve ‘Could not copy file – Installation Failed’ while Upgrading WordPress

I was trying to upgrade WordPress for one of my client’s website. Although it is easy to do from WP-Admin, all of my client are depending on me to keep all their websites up to date with latest version of WordPress as well as latest version of WordPress plugins.

I just logged in to admin to auto upgrade WordPress using one click from WP-admin. Please make sure you should back up the files and database before auto upgrade the WordPress version just in case anything went wrong. When i click on upgrade button, I got the below error.

Upgrade WordPress

Downloading update from

Unpacking the update.

Could not copy file: /public_html/wp-content/upgrade/...

Installation Failed.

Here are the few solutions to overcome from this error message.


Please make sure there should be “upgrade” directory available under wp-content directory. WordPress uses the upgrade directory to temporarily write some file.


Make sure that you have enough space left on server for the update package to be fully decompressed. If you are not sure, you can go to your Server control panel and take a look for space availability.


This is tricky. Sometimes, files on the server were not owned by Apache web server user. You can check it by uploading the test file under your FTP and you can see the groups and users for your file and other files placed over there. If you see the difference over there, just contact server person and ask them to change all files of server should own by Apache web server user. Once it is done, you can do auto upgrade from your WP-admin panel.

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  1. jack

    11/04/2020 at 16:43

    Installation failed: Could not copy file. woocommerce/vendor/pelago/emogrifier/src/Emogrifier/HtmlProcessor

  2. Brian

    13/08/2020 at 20:39

    My issue was due to lack of space for the “update package to be fully decompressed”. Thanks for the tip.

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