Allows plugins and themes to be updated using the standard WordPress plugin or theme update process.

When you want to update a custom plugin or theme but don’t have an automated process
then you can use this plugin to allow you to install a new version of a plugin or theme
without having to delete the existing plugin or theme.

Tested with WordPress 6.4 and WordPress MultiSite.
Note: This plugin is no longer necessary. WordPress core functionality allows you to update existing plugins and themes.


  • Upload fails when allow-reinstalls is already installed but inactive
  • Try again after activating the allow-reinstalls plugin
  • Upload succeeds this time.


  1. Upload the contents of the allow-reinstalls plugin to the /wp-content/plugins/allow-reinstalls directory
  2. Do nothing until you want to update another plugin or theme.

If you’ve attempted to upload a plugin and you’ve received the message that says

Destination folder already exists. path-to/wp-content/plugins/your-plugin/

Plugin install failed.

or you’ve attempted to upload a theme and got

Destination folder already exists. path-to/wp-content/themes/your-theme/

Theme install failed.

then you need to

  1. Activate the allow-reinstalls plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  2. Upload the plugin or theme you want to replace.
  3. Deactivate the allow-reinstalls plugin.


Does this work on WordPress MultiSite?

Yes. Use it as a super administrator.

Can I downgrade a plugin or theme?

You’ll be able to do it, but whether or not the system works afterwards depends on the plugin or theme.

Can I leave the plugin active?

No point.

Why doesn’t WordPress allow this anyway?

It does now.

Safety and security; just in case you overwrite the latest version with a back level.

WordPress expects to receive most of its updates automatically, not via a manual upload process.

Where can I read more?

allow-reinstalls on oik-plugins


April 29, 2020
Thank you for this plugin. It works very well. Use it instead of ‘Reinstall Plugins’ now on all our sites.
Read all 1 review

Contributors & Developers

“allow-reinstalls” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “allow-reinstalls” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Tested: With PHP 8.1 and PHP 8.2 #2
  • Tested: With WordPress 6.4 and WordPress Multisite
  • Tested: With PHP Unit 9.6


  • Tested: With WordPress 6.3
  • Tested: With PHPUnit 9
  • Tested: With PHP 8.0


  • Tested: With PHPUnit 8
  • Tested: With WordPress 5.3
  • Tested: With PHP 7.3 and PHP 7.4


  • Changed: The PHPUnit tests in the GitHub version for WordPress 4.7 compatibility. See [github bobbingwide oik-batch issue 16]
  • Tested: With WordPress 4.7


  • Changed: Added PHPUnit tests in the GitHub version [github bobbingwide allow-reinstalls issues 1]
  • Tested: With WordPress 4.6


  • Added: New plugin – to allow oik-weightcountryshipping-pro to be updated using WordPress Plugin Install