This post explains why downloads can fail when trying to upgrade a plugin using WordPress 1-click automatic updates. It also provides a list of common reasons and possible solutions. For example, you are in the WP Admin Area and click to upgrade any plugin. Usually everything goes fine, but once in a while the upgrade may fail with an error that says something like, “Update package not available”, or similar. Such errors can happen with any WordPress plugin, it’s a general issue that can happen for a variety of reasons.

What Happens

In the Admin Area, on the Dashboard “Updates” screen. When you click to upgrade a plugin, it shows something like:

The update process is starting. This process may take a while on some hosts, so please be patient.

Enabling Maintenance mode…

Updating Plugin Name (1/1)

Downloading update from…

An error occurred while updating Plugin Name: Download failed. Update Package Not Available.
Note: There are numerous reasons why upgrade/downloads can fail. So in the above example, instead of the “Update Package Not Available” error, it might show the reason as “Unauthorized”, or “Destination directory is not writable”, or simply “Forbidden”, or some other reason. This is important and specific information that should be included when searching for possible solutions online.
Note: Check out this related post for how to fix upgrade fails due to “Unauthorized”.

This also can happen when clicking to upgrade on the “Plugins” screen, but the error message will be simpler and displayed in an admin notice. Then next to the plugin you are trying to upgrade, where it normally shows the “Upgrade” link, it will display the following message instead:

There is a new version of Plugin Name available. View version 2.9 details. Automatic update is unavailable for this plugin.

Again, there are myriad reasons why this sort of error can happen for any WordPress plugin. Let’s take a look at some possible causes..

Possible Causes

There are lots of posts around the Web that attempt to resolve upgrade errors such as “Update Package Not Available”. Here are some common things to check (in no particular order):

  • Check your site’s error and/or access logs for any recorded errors. Any related error information would be very helpful in determining the cause of an upgrade failure.
  • Is the plugin a premium/pro plugin that requires an active license? If so, check to make sure that your license is in good standing and active, then try again with the 1-click upgrade.
  • Is your site running any security plugins that may be blocking outbound/external URL requests? If so, you can check if there is a way to add the domain to an allow list/whitelist.
  • Check if the site (or whichever site is providing the plugin update) is currently unavailable. If so, wait until the site is back online and then try again with the upgrade.
  • If your plugin requires a license and the license is active and all good, try deactivating the license key and then re-activating it. Then try again sometimes will do the trick.
  • Is the plugin current? I know you’re trying to upgrade to the latest version. But if there is an issue with your active version, manually upgrading via (S)FTP may resolve the issue for subsequent upgrades.
  • Are outbound HTTP requests blocked on your site? There are several ways that this can happen, for example if WP_HTTP_BLOCK_EXTERNAL is defined in your site’s wp-config.php file.
  • Is it possible that your theme or other plugins are somehow interfering with normal functionality? If so, you can do some quick troubleshooting to narrow it down and find which plugin (or theme) is causing problems.
  • Are there any outstanding bugs in WordPress core files? For example, WP v6.4 had a bug that prevented PHP’s cURL from working properly on certain server setups. Fortunately the bug was fixed very quickly in WP v6.4.1, which was released shortly after. So check through Trac and the latest WordPress general support tickets for any related issues.

If none of those ideas are useful, try searching the Web for something more specific to your setup. For example try including the plugin name in your search query, as well as the specific reason for the error (e.g., “Forbidden”), may return some more relevant/specific results.

If all else fails and it’s not possible to upgrade via 1-click update, it’s always possible to upgrade the plugin manually. Here is a quick guide that explains how to upgrade any plugin via (S)FTP. Also, if you need any help with upgrades, please reach us anytime via our contact form and we’ll try to help asap.