Why uninstalling the following (empty) plugin results in error?

Here is my-plugin/my-plugin.php:

Plugin Name: My Plugin

and my-plugin/uninstall.php:


When I click 'Delete' and then confirm, I get the following error:

Plugin could not be deleted due to an error: Could not fully remove the plugin(s) my-plugin/my-plugin.php.

What's wrong here?

~/Sites/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/my-plugin $ ls -ll
total 16
-rwxrwxrwx@ 1 me  staff  34 13 Aug 21:43 my-plugin.php
-rwxrwxrwx@ 1 me  staff   6 13 Aug 21:44 uninstall.php
  • which plugin you want to delete ?
    – Amit Kosti
    Aug 13, 2012 at 12:00
  • The plugin in question (the empty one). Aug 13, 2012 at 13:49
  • // my-plugin/uninstall.php what's that ?
    – Amit Kosti
    Aug 13, 2012 at 14:37
  • It's not part of the file. I updated the question. Aug 13, 2012 at 21:57

2 Answers 2


I also had the same problem. It was due to the permission issue in wordpress directory. Navigate to the Directory where you have installed WordPress and…. run the following in your terminal:

sudo chown www-data:www-data * -R 
sudo usermod -a -G www-data username

Replace username with the username you are using like root.


It could be a result of either local file permissions or WordPress configuration.

To fix local file permissions, you can either:

  • If you have root shell access (such as on a VPS server) you can run something like:

    sudo chown www-data:www-data * -R 
    sudo usermod -a -G www-data YOUR-USERNAME-HERE

    This ensures that the groups and permissions are set correctly.

  • Change the file and directory permissions to 775 (or 777 if that fails) so that PHP can write to the necessary files/folders. For best security (especially if you're on a shared host), some recommend only doing this temporarily for performing updates and then removing the write permissions again afterward.

More rarely, this error can also occur if your WordPress configuration in /wp-config.php is set to use something like:

define( 'FS_METHOD', 'ftpext' );

This tells WordPress that it needs to use FTP to make file changes instead of working directly with the local file system. The line will likely be followed by FTP login information. If this login information is incorrect then WordPress will be unable to login and perform file-system changes.

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