Reinstall WordPress core files in an existing site


The instructions in this article reinstall the core WordPress files into your existing WordPress site. These steps assume your original WordPress files are still in your current website directory.

What do these steps do?

The following methods only reinstall the core WordPress files. This means your themes, plugins, database, and wp-content folder are not affected.

If you need to install a new copy of WordPress on an empty website, view the following articles instead.

Should I reinstall WordPress?

You should first exhaust all other troubleshooting options before reinstalling WordPress. The following articles provide solutions to the most common problems.

Contact support if you're still unsure if you should reinstall WordPress.

Back up your data

You should always back up your data before making any changes to your site. View the following article for instructions on how to back up your web site files and database:

Option 1 — Reinstalling in the WordPress dashboard

You can reinstall your core files in the WordPress dashboard if you are still able to log in.

  1. Log into your WordPress site at
  2. Navigate to the Dashboard > Updates page.
  3. On the next page, click the Re-install version x.x.x button.

Option 2 — Reinstalling using FTP

If you don't have access to your WordPress dashboard, you can upload and overwrite the files using an FTP client.

  1. Visit to download the WordPress .zip file to your computer.
  2. Unzip the file on your computer. This unpacks all WordPress files and directories.
  3. Within these files, delete the wp-content directory
  4. Log into your site using an FTP client.
  5. Upload all files and directories you just downloaded into your current site. When prompted, choose to overwrite the files on the server.

Option 3 — Reinstalling using wp-cli

wp-cli is a command-line tool you can use to manage your WordPress site. The following example uses the --skip-content option to download WordPress without the default themes and plugins. You can read more about this command here.

  1. Log into your site via SSH.
  2. Navigate into your website directory. Make sure to change username to your Shell user.
    [server]$ cd /home/username/
  3. Run the following command to download your core files.
    [server]$ wp core download --skip-content --force

See also

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Article last updated PST.

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