When some site owners try to activate the WooCommerce plugin, they receive the error seen above. For certain customers, this error message appears on a regular and permanent basis.
The plugin woocommerce/woocommerce.php has been deactivated due to an error: Plugin file does not exist.
What causes this error to appear?
The cause for the issue is likely caused by unclean deactivation and uninstallation procedure that didn’t unregister the plugin from WordPress wp-options table. Causing the plugin still registered itself as active. That’s why you cannot reinstall WooCommerce, because the folder already exists and cannot be overwritten, hence the installation fails.
How to Fix this
Fixing and resolving the issue is easy. Just try the following steps:
- Use your FTP credentials (server address, username and port number) to log into your FTP account using FileZilla
- Go to wp-content/plugins directory
- Delete the woocommerce folder manually from /wp-content/plugins/ (using Cpanel or FTP)
- Re-install the WooCommerce plugin through Dashboard > Plugins
Note: You will need server access (usually Cpanel) or FTP (FileZilla) or something similar to perform this. If you are unfamiliar with FTP, you should contact your hosting provider for more information.
If you continue to receive the “Plugin file does not exist.” problem. Then, ask your web server what PHP extensions/options are enabled/disabled, as well as what PHP version is in use.
It’s possible that the PHP configuration on the web hosting needs more extensions to be enabled. If this is the case, contact your site host.