How To Downgrade Or Reinstall WordPress

Reinstall WordPress core files is one of the common solutions if your website having a problem. Whether because of the incompatibility issue, infected by malicious code or anything, this is the solution that always recommended by WordPress experts.

Before you follow any of the instructions in this tutorial, please do a complete backup of your website. In case anything went wrong, you can always go back anytime.

Please note that this is tutorial to downgrade or reinstall WordPress core files which will preserve your contents, theme, and plugins. If you want to install a new WordPress, please check out on how to install a new WordPress.

Reinstall WordPress From Admin Dashboard

Estimated completion time: 1 - 5 minutes.

The easiest and the fastest way to reinstall WordPress core files is through your admin dashboard. However, this method only allows you to reinstall your WordPress to its current version. If you would like to downgrade your WordPress to the previous version, please go to the next method.

First, log in to your website admin area and go to Dashboard » Updates. Next, click on the Re-Install Now button to start reinstallation. Please refer to the image below.

How To Reinstall WordPress
Reinstall WordPress from admin dashboard.

Once you click on the button, it will automatically download the current version of WordPress and start the reinstallation in the background. This process usually took a few minutes to complete. As soon as it complete, you should have a fresh copy of WordPress on your website.

Downgrade Or Reinstall WordPress Using FTP Client

Estimated completion time: 5 - 10 minutes.

Download From The Official Site

Unlike previous methods, this one allows you to downgrade your WordPress to earlier versions. To get started, first, please download the latest version of WordPress from the official website.

Alternatively, you can also download the previous version of WordPress from this page. But, I would not recommend it since the latest version is much safer with more security patches.

Nevertheless, there are a few situations that might need you to use the older version of WordPress. For instance, incompatibility of your plugin or theme with the latest version of WordPress which breaks your site after the update.

Extract And Delete Unneeded Folder.

Once you download a copy of WordPress, next, extract the contents using any file archiver you prefer. Some of the popular and most used file archivers are WinRAR, WinZip, and 7-Zip. After you extract it, open the file and delete the wp-content folder. Please take a look at the image below.

How To Reinstall WordPress
Delete unneeded wp-content folder before uploading.

Upload Using FTP Client

Before you start to reinstall your WordPress, please deactivate all your plugins. While it is unlikely, but let's be on the safe side to avoid any possible issue.

If this is your first time using FTP, please read how to set up and upload files using FTP. Assuming you already know how to work with FTP, let's start by selecting all the remaining files and folders. Next, upload all of it to the same folder where you have to install your WordPress previously.

Usually, this is the root directory of your domain unless you have changed it during the previous installation. Please refer to the image below. Have you noticed that there is no wp-content folder uploaded on the right side, right?

How To Downgrade Or Reinstall WordPress
Upload all remaining files and folders to your web server.

During the upload process, your FTP program should prompt you with a message of Target file already exists or similar. Just select the overwrite option and continue the upload process.

In case you are using FileZilla, to make it easier for you, simply select Overwrite and check both of the boxes below. Then, click on the OK button to continue uploading. Please take a look at the image below.

How To Downgrade Or Reinstall WordPress
Overwrite popup appear during reinstallation.

After the upload process finished, you should have new WordPress core files according to the WordPress version you have uploaded. And since you have deleted the wp-content and didn't upload it, all your contents, theme, and plugins have been preserved.

Downgrade Or Reinstall WordPress Via WP-CLI

Estimated completion time: 1 - 5 minutes.

Alternatively, you can also downgrade or reinstall using WP-CLI. If you have set up your SSH before and can access WP-CLI, then this method is the best for you. With WP-CLI tool, you can reinstall your WordPress core files in less than a minute.

Before you do anything, please take a look at the command explanation below.

  • wp core download = The required command to install or reinstall your WordPress.
  • --version=4.9.7 = To install using the stated version of WordPress. For downgrading purpose. Please remove this command if you want to use the latest version.
  • --skip-content = To preserve your contents, theme, and plugin during reinstallation. Remove this ONLY if you want to remove everything.
  • --force = To force overwriting any existing files, if present. Use this command if you are reinstalling your WordPress.

If you are ready to downgrade or reinstall your WordPress, please enter the combination of above command to your WP-CLI. Please take a look at the command example and image below.

How To Downgrade Or Reinstall WordPress
Downgrade or reinstall WordPress using WP-CLI.

Your WordPress installation should be complete once you see the success message.

Footer Note

As shown above, it is easy to reinstall WordPress core files. I hope by reinstalling your WordPress core files will fix any of your problems. If you have any tips to share or encounter any issue during reinstallation, please don't hesitate to share it in the comment section.

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