I am reinstalling CiviCRM on Wordpress after Civi quit quit working. I deleted the folder civicrm in /plugins and also in /uploads. This allowed me to upload the new plugin version of Civi and took me to the CiviCRM Installer. However, I get this message "CiviCRM data from previous installation exists in 'database_april'" which is the name of the database from my previous installation. How can I get the Installer to allow connection to the prior database? Thanks for your help!

1 Answer 1


You'll need to use mysql or phpmyadmin or equivalent to run sql/civicrm_drop.mysql. You may also need to manually remove the civicrm_install_canary table.

What it's technically complaining about is that you still have data in the civicrm_contact table.

UPDATE for more instructions using phpmyadmin: On the Import tab browse for the sql/civicrm_drop.mysql file and then click the Go button. You won't be able to browse on the server, so you'll need a copy of the civi download unzipped on your machine to browse for it.

To drop civicrm_install_canary, go to the SQL tab and enter DROP TABLE civicrm_install_canary and click Go.

  • Thanks Demerit! However I'm not technically proficient in phpmyadmin to know how to run sql/civicrm_drop.mysql. Are you able to provide some step-by-step directions? Sorry to be such a newbie! Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 0:45
  • Ok have updated answer.
    – Demerit
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 1:02
  • Thanks for the detail. I'll let you know if that works. Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 2:15
  • 1
    I guess it depends why it quit working to begin with. If the problem was something wrong in the database then keeping it could be a problem. If the problem was something wrong with the files, then you'd be ok just replacing the files but then you'd want to keep civicrm.settings.php and NOT run the installer. If the original problem was something in civicrm.settings.php then you wouldn't want to delete anything you'd just want to fix civicrm.settings.php. If you have a running version somewhere you could export contacts and whatnot from the UI, then do clean install, then import.
    – Demerit
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 17:24
  • 1
    UPDATE Turns out that I had updated the CiviCRM but the database had not been updated as well. Updating the database solved the issue. Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 17:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.