Why won't WordPress on localhost find updates?

I’ve got WordPress running on WAMP. For some reason, when I check for updates to the core and to my plugins, it tells me that everything is up to date, even though I know that I am one version behind on the core and on three plugins. Why am I not picking up these updates?

I checked file permissions, and they’re all good. Tried disabling all plugins. No difference. Also, I tried to re-install my current version of the WordPress core, and got the following output;

Downloading update from http://wordpress.org/wordpress-3.5.1-no-content.zip…
Download failed.
Installation Failed

I get no other feedback. Any ideas what is going on? An almost identical version on the live server is showing the updates just fine.

Update: I haven’t gotten any answer that solve this problem. Useful information would be what domains or subdomains WordPress needs to connect to in order to check for and download updates. That way I could debug the connection to those domains.

Update: I still haven’t gotten any solutions. I suspect it has something to do with Apache not being able to connect to outside servers, but I have no idea how to solve that.

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I use XAMPP myself, but WAMP isn’t much different.

I’ll bet you have not enabled the curl module. WordPress can use other methods (streams and fsockopen) as a fallback, but these may be disabled by default as well in a stock install. Curl is preferred and easy to enable.

  1. Close WAMP
  2. Go your the \bin\php\version directory in WAMP
  3. Edit the php.ini, and uncomment the line that reads extension=php_curl.dll
  4. Do the same thing in \bin\Apache\version\bin\
  5. Save and restart WAMP.

Edit: WAMP may also have an easier way to do this through the graphical interface. Look for “PHP extensions” and “php_curl” and make sure it is enabled.

  1. First Open /wp-config.php

Now the first thing you need to do is to open the wp-config.php file from your WordPress root folder, the file is located at wordpress/wp-config.php

  1. Insert FS_METHOD

Paste the following code to your wp-config.php file, preferably just below every other line of code.


And Save it, It will definitely work. It worked for m successfully.

“Download failed.” comes from failing the download_url()

can you try running this inside one of your files:

$url = "http://wordpress.org/wordpress-3.5.1-no-content.zip";
require_once(ABSPATH . "wp-admin/includes/file.php");
$file = download_url($url);
echo "<pre>";
echo "</pre>";

That should give you one of the folowing error messages:

WP_Error('http_no_url', __('Invalid URL Provided.'));
WP_Error('http_no_file', __('Could not create Temporary file.'));
WP_Error( 'http_404', trim( wp_remote_retrieve_response_message( $response ) ) );
WP_Error('http_request_failed', __('A valid URL was not provided.'));
WP_Error( 'http_request_failed', __( 'User has blocked requests through HTTP.' ) );
WP_Error( 'http_request_failed', __( 'Destination directory for file streaming does not exist or is not writable.' ) );

I’ve noticed that weird things happen when running WAMP without admin rights. If none of the above works, try launching WAMP Server as an adminstrator and see if that helps (even if your user account has admin rights). If it’s not running as admin, that might be preventing WordPress from seeing there is an available update.

To run WAMP as Administrator, click on your start menu, type wamp, right click “Start wampServer” then click on “Run as administrator”.

Screenshot of running WAMP as administrator

I have similar issues and first and foremost I would say use XAMPP it’s awesome for any PHP development on windows as WAMP gave up on me many times earlier and xampp has worked always & even has a portable edition (using it for past 4-5 years now).

Now, for your problem you have tried other suggestions so i wont say those like(permission,admin privileges etc. ) it but i think that can be a issue of slow internet connection as that’s how it is on my side .

try to see if it is even downloading anything by using some network monitoring tool (task manager > network tab can give you a rough idea if any other internet app is not running ) , and if you see data transfer and that too for sufficient duration to download 4-5 MB’s then it’s Ok, other wise the problem is in WAMP or File system permissions etc.

I also had a hunch that your host file might have been changed by someone , so check if wordpress.org is not there in your host file & is not pointing to or something other than actual wordpress.org servers .

I hope that helps you !

I remember I encountered a similar situation a while back what solved the problem in that instance was to specified a temp directory on my wp-config file see if this works for you. just add the following line to your wp-config.php file


You could modify the wp-config.php.

And add below code :

define('FS_METHOD', 'direct');

On my side, it’s resolved.