How to Fix The Theme Is Missing The Style.CSS Stylesheet Error (Screenshots)

Themes are a really important part of our website, especially, if you want better engagement, and I guess everyone knows it. A better theme could boost sales, ads impression, shares, and many other important things.

However, installing a new theme invites an error called “The package could not be installed. The theme is missing the style.css stylesheet.” This is a really common error WordPress users face when they install a theme on their website.

In today’s tutorial, we are going to look at some of the most effective ways to solve this error. The steps I’m about to show you are very simple, however, you need to pay attention in order to perfectly eliminate this error from your wonderful website.

First, let’s understand what this error exactly means before proceeding further.

What Does “The package could not be installed. The theme is missing the style.css stylesheet” Error Means?

This error is not too complex to understand because it literally mentions what you need to fix. This is rare when WordPress itself is describing why this error appeared.

In most error cases, WordPress doesn’t inform much about how to solve the error, thankfully, here we know what’s the exact cause.

When we upload a theme to our website. It contains a .zip file loaded with an intricate theme file directory that includes coding, stylesheets, and responsibilities to handle and present your dashboard, frontend interface, and many more WordPress features.

This error informal us that the theme either doesn’t have the style.css file or WordPress is unable to detect it.

There are multiple reasons why WordPress is unable to find the Style.css file, but here are some of the most common ones, a mistake has been made by the developer, maybe you’ve accidentally deleted the file, the theme does contain a style.css file but you haven’t uploaded the directory to WordPress accurately, and maybe the theme doesn’t belong to WordPress.

What is style.css Stylesheet?

According to WordPress, The style.css is a stylesheet (CSS) file needed for every WordPress theme. It handles the presentation (visual design and layout) of the website pages.

Without it, your website will just be a piece of text in WordPress that nobody would like to read. It is the backbone of your theme. A single mistake in it can break your site which won’t be really good for your site’s SEO.

How To Fix The Theme Is Missing The Style.CSS Stylesheet Error

The steps are simple, but I request you to create a backup before you proceed because a backup lets you do whatever you wanna do with your site without the fear of breaking it.

1. Unzip The Theme And Then Install It

When we download a theme from third parties like or, a whole package gets downloaded. That package contains themes zip files, keys, licenses, and other important things.

To get rid of the things that the package contains, we need to unzip the whole folder. Let’s check with some screenshots to understand it better.

For example, I’ve downloaded the Ave theme. It’s currently looking like this:

If I go to my WordPress dashboard and install the theme without unzipping it, chances are, I will get the theme is missing style.css stylesheet error.

So, I will first Unzip the file. To unzip a file simply, right-click on the file and click Extract All.

Theme Extract All

Confirm again.

Wait for some time. It may take a few minutes to extract the file.

Once it is finished, you’ll see some new folders, and one of the folders will have your main theme file. For example, after extracting the Ave theme file, I got multiple new folders, which is looking something like this:

Now. I will open the folder “Ave Theme 2.8” because that folder contains my theme’s zip file.

As you can see from the above screenshot, I’ve two versions of the theme, the chile version, and the main version. I just need the main version because that can do the job for me.

Now, go to your WordPress dashboard’s themes section and try uploading the compressed theme version. It will work!

If you face any other issue like “The PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT (-10): Unable to find End of Central Dir Record signature” error, then go to the website from where you downloaded the theme, like if you downloaded the theme from, then go their download and don’t forget confirm the purchase.

2. Try Again

This is the simplest solution you can try. Sometimes, WordPress shows this error because it was unable to detect the files properly. You can try uploading again to fix it.

If you don’t know how to properly upload a premium theme. Follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Go to the theme section of your website
  • Step 2: Click “Add New”
  • Step 3: Click Upload Theme
  • Step 4: Click Choose File
  • Step 5: Click Install Now

Wait till WordPress completes installing the theme.

3. Upload The Theme Using cPanel (Hosting Control Panel)

This method may help, but it is a little technical, I do not advise it to beginners. cPanel is another way you can try uploading your themes zip file. Follow the steps below to do it properly.

Step 1: Log in to your cPanel

Use “” it is a shortcut.

Step 2: Click File Manager

The File Manager option will be available under Files.

Step 3: Click public_html

The public_html is a root folder that holds important information about your website. It will be available on the left side menu. Click on it.

Step 4: Go to the themes directory under the wp-content folder

Click on the themes folder, it is present inside the wp-content folder.

Step 5: Click the upload button, then click the Select File button.

Now, click on the Upload button present at the top of the page. When you’ll click on it, a new page will open, simply click Select File.

Step 6: Upload the .zip file of your theme

Upload the .zip file of the theme you would like to see on your website. Once the file is successfully uploaded, the progress bar will shift to green and show 100%.

Step 7: Go back to the main File Manager. Choose the file you uploaded and click Extract
Step 8: Add the name of the theme you’ve uploaded to the end of the directory string. 

You will now need to add the name of the theme to the end of the directory string. So change to /public_html/wp-content/themes to /public_html/wp-content/themes/nameOfYourTheme and after that click Extract File(s)

Step 9: Wait for some time

The extraction results will show. Close the pop-up box and refresh your page to witness the new theme in the folder.

Ultimately, delete the zip file or transfer it to another folder; otherwise, you may have a file display as a theme in the WordPress dashboard.

Step 10: Activate the uploaded theme

Now go to your WordPress theme section and activate what you’ve uploaded via cPanel.

4. Fix The Style.CSS Stylesheet Location

Maybe the style.css stylesheet is not at the place where it should be. Sometimes developers make mistakes, it is not really common but it could happen.

For example, if the style.css stylesheet is present in the template folder or any other folder but not in the themes root folder then WordPress will struggle to find to which can cause The package could not be installed. The theme is missing the style.css stylesheet error.

To fix this problem, review the theme’s root folder and look for the style.css file.

5. Maybe The Theme Is Not For WordPress WordPress

There are thousands of themes available online, not every theme is made for WordPress. Some themes only support other CMS (Content management systems) such as Bigcommerce, Shopify, Drupal, or Magento.

However, there are many people who by mistake purchase a theme that doesn’t support WordPress, it is quite common. Big theme buy & sale sites like sell website templates for various content management systems and website builders, including Drupal, Joomla, Webflow, and Shopify. So it is really easy to make a mistake.

If you have done all the above steps but still the error hasn’t been resolved yet. You should check whether the theme really supports WordPress or not.

Here is how to check it.

First, go to the website from where you made the purchase, and review the theme’s supported versions. For example, I made a purchase from so I will go there and open my theme’s buy page. Once I’m there, I will scroll down and check the supported software versions.

If you see any other software, then the theme you’ve downloaded won’t work on your site. Ask for a refund or buy a new theme after reviewing the supported versions.

And, if you see WordPress as a supported version, then follow the next solution.

6. Contact The Theme’s Developer

If you tried everything shown in this post and still the issue is there, then contact the theme support, they’ll surely help you! Normally, their contact details are available on the buy page itself. Some customers receive emails from the support team once they make a purchase.

Tell the developer the issue you’re currently facing with the theme. If the issue is not going away even after contacting the developer, then ask for a refund, it is your right!

I hope you found this post helpful!

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Sumit is a regular contributor to He has 6 years of experience in blogging, and he loves football, his favorite player is - Lionel Messi (GOAT), but he has no hate for Ronaldo.

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