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What causes the Update failed: -1 error in WordPress

The “Update failed: -1” error in WordPress typically occurs when there is an issue with updating a theme or plugin. While this error message isn’t very descriptive, it usually indicates that there was some kind of problem during the update process. To resolve this error, you can follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Check your Internet Connection: Sometimes, a weak or unstable internet connection can lead to update failures. Ensure that your internet connection is stable before attempting the update.
  2. Clear Your Browser Cache: If you are updating from the WordPress admin dashboard, clearing your browser cache can sometimes resolve issues with updates not going through.
  3. Update WordPress Core: Ensure that your WordPress core is up to date. Outdated WordPress installations can sometimes cause conflicts with theme and plugin updates. Make sure you are running the latest version of WordPress.
  4. Check for Plugin Conflicts: Sometimes, other plugins can interfere with the update process. Deactivate all plugins and then try to update the theme. If it works, reactivate your plugins one by one to identify the conflicting plugin.
  5. Check Server Resources: If your server is running out of resources (e.g., low memory or limited PHP execution time), it can cause update failures. Contact your hosting provider to see if there are any server-related issues.
  6. File Permission Issues: Incorrect file permissions can prevent WordPress from updating themes or plugins. Ensure that the file permissions on your server are set correctly. The web server should have write access to the wp-content directory.
  7. Check for Theme Compatibility: Make sure the theme you are trying to update is compatible with the version of WordPress you are running. Themes that are not updated for a long time may not be compatible with newer WordPress versions.
  8. Use a Default Theme: Temporarily switch to a default WordPress theme like Twenty Twenty-One and then try updating the theme again. If the update works with the default theme, it could be a compatibility issue with your current theme.
  9. Manual Update: If all else fails, you can try manually updating the theme by downloading the latest version from the theme developer’s website and then uploading it via FTP to your WordPress installation. Be sure to back up your site before attempting this.
  10. Contact Theme Support: If you’ve tried all the above steps and are still encountering the error, reach out to the theme developer’s support team. They may have specific insights or solutions for updating their theme.

Remember to always backup your WordPress website before making any major changes or updates to ensure you can restore it if something goes wrong during the update process.

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