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Incompatible archive error in WordPress 

Incompatible archive error in WordPress 

If you receive the “Incompatible Archive” error when going to install a theme or plugin zip file, contact your server to upgrade libzip. These themes and plugins are downloaded in zip format, therefore installation may fail and WordPress displays a generic ‘Incompatible Archive’ error.

This issue confused many of them in the WordPress community. But don’t worry; we’re here to help you understand why this is occurring and how to correct it.

What’s Causing the Error?

The root of the problem is how MacOS compresses zip files and how WordPress 6.4.3 understands them when uploaded. Recent security upgrades aimed at tightening up the upload procedure unintentionally produced issues with MacOS compressed zip files, resulting in the dreaded ‘Incompatible Archive’ error message.

Similar concerns have already afflicted WordPress and WP-CLI, and the behavior is related to PHP’s libzip version incompatibilities.

How to fix incompatible archive WordPress errors?

This issue will be resolved in WordPress version 6.4.4, however until then, you may just install the “Force using PclZip” plugin, and all zip installations will function correctly.

We’re following some steps to solve this incompatible archive error of the WordPress website.

1. Extract the zip file and recompress it.

Suppose you are a customer who made a purchase or downloaded a product file and facing the issue. In that case, you can extract the zip file you have downloaded, and compress the main directory/folder again. We’re following two ways for Windows and Mac users.

Windows users: using Windows file explorer

  1. Right-click the main plugin or theme folder.
  2. Select Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder.
  3. Use it to upload.

After re-zipping your file on Windows, try the upload procedure on your WordPress site to confirm that the “Incompatible Archive” issue does not appear. If the problem persists, it might be caused by something other than the zip file’s generation technique, such as file permissions, server configurations, or a specific issue with the WordPress installation.

MacOS users: use the command line for compression

Instead of using the MacOS right-click ‘Compress’ option, compress your plugin folder using the terminal. Here’s how:

zip -r my-plugin.zip my-plugin/

This method ensures compatibility with WordPress’s upload process.

2. Add a filter using a code without any plugin

First, go to wp-admin dashboard and hit on Appearance > Theme File Editor.

2nd, select your current theme

3rd, Click on the functions.php file and open to the editor

Finally, add the below code to the function.php file.

add_filter( 'unzip_file_use_ziparchive', '__return_false' );

After, adding the code, click on the Update File button to save.

Now try to upload your theme and plugin zip file for installation.

More information about the bug in incompatible archive bug in WordPress 6.4.3

This happened because of a bug introduced in WordPress 6.4.3, specifically this changeset: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/changeset/57388.

There is a bug fix and core trac ticket to follow about this issue here: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/60398

How to edit wp-config.php files on WordPress

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Golam Mostafa
Written by

Golam Mostafa

I'm a senior plugin developer for WordPress. I have four years of experience working as a software engineer for ADB Bank, and in 2018, I started developing plugins and founded ThemeDev.

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