Envato WordPress Toolkit Guide For Automatic Theme Updates

Millions of people use WordPress themes, and many users and developers choose to purchase premium themes from Themeforest. It’s a reputable theme store they can trust that is know for quality WordPress themes, and awesome theme authors (like WPExplorer, of course). Another great feature of Themeforest is their Envato WordPress Toolkit plugin for automatic WordPress theme updates. Envato created this plugin so that Themeforest authors can provide buyers with fast, efficient updates to keep their themes bug free and compatible with the latest version of WordPress. This quick guide will show you how to download, install and setup the Envato WordPress Toolkit plugin (we also made an Envato WordPress Toolkit Video Guide if you’d prefer to watch rather than read).

Get Your Envato API Key

Before you install the plugin, you should request your Envato API key since it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours for the key to be recognized. All you have to do is login to Themeforest and visit your user profile page. Click on Settings. You Should see an API Keys tab below. Just click the button to generate your API key.


Envato will create a random 32 character API key for you to use. You can create multiple keys if you need to (some users prefer to do this if they are installing each theme purchase on a different domain).


Download, Install & Activate The Envato WordPress ToolKit Plugin

Now that you have your API key, you’ll need to get the plugin. Visit the Envato WordPress Toolkit Github page to download the plugin zip file.


You install the Envato WordPress Toolkit just like any other plugin. Login to you WordPress dashboard and navigate to the plugins section. Click Add New, then select the Upload method. Browse for the plugin file you downloaded from Github (it should be named “envato-wordpress-toolkit-master.zip” or something similar). Click Install Now, then Activate the plugin.


Once installed and active you should see an Envato Toolkit menu item in your dashboard.

Setting Up The Envato WordPress Toolkit

Setting up the plugin is super easy since you already have your Envato API key. Simply click on the Envato Toolkit menu item in your dashboard and enter in your Envato username and API key. Then Save your settings.


Once saved, the toolkit should recognize your API key and display all of your Themeforest purchases. If the plugin doesn’t recognize your API key it’s possible your key is still too new. Remember I mentioned that it can take a few minutes or a few hours? Try clearing your cache or refreshing your browser, and if that doesn’t work then wait it our by reading our WordPress blog for an hour and try again in an hour.


So, once you have your list of purchases displayed you can install and update your Themeforest themes right from your dashboard. This means you don’t have to login to Themeforest to check for theme updates – you can quickly, easily and automatically update your themes instead.

Automatically Update Your Themes

All you have to do to update a theme is click on the Update Automatically link for that theme in your toolkit. The plugin will prompt you to confirm your update. This is to remind you that if you’ve edited your stylesheet or other core files without using a child theme you will lose your changes. Don’t worry about the styling options you’ve set in the WordPress Theme Customizer or in the Theme Options Panel – those options will not be effected by updating your theme.


Since you always follow best practices and you have used a child theme for any changes to the theme’s code, click OK to update your theme. Next you’ll see an update screen that your used to.


Once the update is complete, if you go back to the Envato Toolkit tab you’ll see that your theme is now up to date.


That’s it. Easy right? Just check the Envato WordPress Toolkit Github page from time to time to see if there’s a plugin update. At the moment it doesn’t feature an auto updater so you won’t see an update notification in your WordPress dashboard.

It’s always a good idea to fully update your themes since authors are frequently fixing bugs, updating for the latest version of WordPress and adding new features. Hopefully this quick tutorial will help help make updating your Themeforest themes even easier!

Post Author:

Hi! My name is Kyla, and I'm the VP at WPE. Although I'm still new to WordPress, I love every bit and I have fun sharing what I learn with all of you!

Disclosure: This page contains external affiliate links that may result in us receiving a comission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own. We do not receive payment for positive reviews.
Got something to say? Join the discussion.
  1. Onur Demirsoy says:

    What if we have multiple Envato accounts? Is there any solution for this

    • AJ Clarke says:

      You would still only have 1 theme running on a website at a time, so you would create an API for that site with the account you used to purchase that specific theme.

  2. TonyBB says:


    Thanks for sharing this great tutorial. MUST Bookmark for all WordPress Themes Developers on ThemeForest. It’d definitely SAVE time on support.

    Do you have any information about plans for making the toolkit for Joomla! Templates?

    • AJ Clarke says:

      I’m not sure if there are any plans for making it available for Joomla, but it would be a good idea if possible!

  3. David Tiong says:

    Hi Kyla,

    thanks for sharing this plugin, I use Envato and didn’t even know about this feature. Do you know if it works for plugin updates, or if it’s just for theme updates from Themeforest? Another question if you know, how would this work if I purchase themes for clients and install on their WordPress sites? Could I just create multiple apis, or is better to setup a separate account for them, then create an api for each site this way?

    Again thanks for sharing this valuable tool.

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Hi David,

      At the moment I think it’s only for themes. If you are setting up client sites I would recommend you use your own API for this, simply because if you create multiple accounts if you ever need support you won’t have to be login in and out of your different accounts to request support. That said, you might not want to provide them with updates once they stop paying you so in that case it may be good. Just have to weight out the pros/cons I guess.

  4. Sourav K says:

    This is the best thing to happen to developers and WordPress newbies:

    1. Counters piracy
    2. Saves enormous time for the developers

    Hail Evanto! 😀

  5. Christin Fernandez says:

    I downloaded and installed it, but it doesn’t show up in the dashboard like it’s supposed to. I refreshed. I logged out and back in. Nothing. What do I do now?

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Are you running a Multi-site installation Christin? I’m fairly certain either you would have to network activate it or it won’t work on MS.

  6. Justin Hemsley says:

    I also downloaded, installed, and activated it but it still doesn’t show up in the dashboard. I have tried multiple times to no avail. Any ideas?

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Are you by any chance on Bluehost? For some reason it won’t work on this host.

    • AJ Clarke says:

      If you ask BlueHost about it and they help you fix it, I’m curious to know the fix!!

    • AJ Clarke says:

      It won’t work on WP multisite and also there are some known issues with some hosts such as Bluehost.

  7. Kevin says:

    I installed this a few days ago, entered the correct info and my theme did show up under the Envato toolkit on the dashboard. However, it still hasn’t shown that there’s a new version available (I’m on Total 1.39 and the newest one is 1.5.4). How can I fix this?

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Edit the theme’s style.css file and change the version number to 1.0 and that should fix it up so the auto update shows up. It’s a bug with me changing my version naming convension.

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Contact Hostgator, I think the toolkit doesn’t work on their servers for some reason. Maybe if enough people complain they will fix it.

  8. Elise says:

    The Envato plugin is not showing up in the left-hand sidebar of my dashboard. I called JustHost (my provider); the tech looked at the zip folder and found just an “assets” and “includes” file. Apparently this is much less than most plugins have. He reviewed the “readme” and that didn’t shed any light on the situation. His best suggestion was that some files are missing from the plugin. Please help!!

    • AJ Clarke says:

      For some reason on some of the more affordable hosting solutions the auto updates don’t work, this includes JustHost, BlueHost and a few others. I don’t know the exact reason why, but it has something to do with the way their servers are setup unfortunately. By any chance do you have a plugin called “Mojo Marketplace” active? That plugin is known to conflict as well and prevent the Toolkit from working.

  9. Elise says:

    De-activating the Mojo Marketplace plugin fixed the problem. I’ve gotten the theme installed correctly. Thanks so much for the help!!!

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Oh great! Thanks for letting me know, I wasn’t 100% sure if that could cause the problem, so glad to know for sure! I am not a fan of the Mojo Market I used to be a part of it but it was nothing but stolen themes and poor authors (people rejected from ThemeForest). I am not sure if things have changed…maybe?

  10. Elise says:

    I happened upon Themeforest by accident… I didn’t even know there were other sources for WordPress themes beside through Mojo. The only good theme from them I found is Cirrus, which is excellent. Now I realize by contrast how pathetic almost all their others are. Discovering Cirrus was the first I realized how much better it could get, and got me searching. Thanks for the help!!!

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Awesome, hopefully you had a chance to look at our Themes on ThemeForest 😉 We have great ratings and some quality items on there!

  11. heinimortensen says:

    Hi there. I have different problem, but it’s a problem nevertheless :)
    I installed the Envato-plugin, and it showed up on the backend-menu. I clicked it, and entered Usr + API key, and clicked “Save settings”, and the Themes-tab appeared next to the Settings-tab. I clicked the Themes-tab.
    I then clicked the “update automatically” on my current theme, and confirmed the dialog box, and instead of seing a usual WP-update view, I instead get a blank screen.

    Could this be due to some file writing permission issue?

    • AJ Clarke says:

      A blank screen normally means there is a PHP error, you’ll want to enable WP_Debug on the server so you can see what the error is and be able to locate the problem.

  12. UserName says:

    I’m on GoDaddy, and I wasn’t able to activate the p[lug-in after download as it would give a fatal error: Fatal error: Cannot redeclare envato_backup_pclzip_callback() (previously declared in /home/content/p3pnexwpnas04_data01/45/2362245/html/wp-content/themes/heap/wpgrade-core/vendor/envato-wtl/class-envato-backup.php:866) in /home/content/p3pnexwpnas04_data01/45/2362245/html/wp-content/plugins/envato-wordpress-toolkit-master/includes/class-envato-backup.php on line 890
    I just deleted my old theme and installed update. Could that be a problem? However, other plug-ins activated smoothly. Please, advise.

    • AJ Clarke says:

      According to the error it looks like the theme you are using has the plugin built-in already (and poorly done) so it gives this error. Contact your theme developer for help with this.

  13. Alberto Era Ora Studio says:


    I have a problem:

    I downloaded, installed, but i can’t activated the plugin!


  14. Gellert says:

    I installed the plugin and updated my theme to the latest version of 3.3 without any problem. (checked it in style.css) However the message remained “There is a new version of Magicreche available. View version 3.3 details or update automatically.” and if I click on the “View version 3.3” I got a pop-up blank page. So it is kind of misleading now.

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Try enabling WP_Debug on your server to see what the error could be on the blank page. Also you may want to try contacting the author of the Magicreche theme to see if they can help you out.

  15. John Pawson says:

    I installed the plugin and it broke my site – internal server error. I’ve deactivated it and all is fine for now. Any ideas?

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Enable WP_Debug on your server so you can see an actual error. If you see an internal error your server isn’t properly displaying the actual errors (which is useful to see what’s actually going on).

  16. rakesh says:

    I’ve had problems with the Envato toolkit for a few weeks now. I cant update my theme and always get this error;

    Downloading install package from the Envato API…

    Unpacking the package…

    Installing the theme…

    Destination folder already exists. /home/MYDOMAIN/public_html/wp-content/themes/THEMENAME/

    Theme install failed.

    Has anyone had this problem?

    • AJ Clarke says:

      That’s very strange, because it should be replacing the existing folder…Honestly I have never heard of the issue, you may have to contact Envato support.

  17. danstheaterwinkel says:

    HI i have the same problem. saying Destination folder already exists. /home/MYDOMAIN/public_html/wp-content/themes/THEMENAME/ pleas let me know if you have any ideas.

  18. Joshua says:

    I’m getting an error message trying to update my theme or download a new theme with this plugin.

    Update Theme
    Downloading upgrade package from the Envato API…

    Unpacking the update…

    Could not create directory.

    How can i fix this? I have IIS and it’s has successfully created and the backups under envato-backups.

    Thanks for any help

    • AJ Clarke says:

      It’s most likely your server permissions are too strict so the updated theme can’t be uploaded to your server. You’ll need to fix up your server permissions, contact your host or ask the developer of the theme you are using for an alternative updating method.

      • Joshua says:

        I gave full permissions to the system to avoid any permissions issues. That did not help, i asked the developer of the theme and they said to install the theme manually again. Which i did, but the tool so far is useless and doesn’t provide a better error message than could not create directory.

        • AJ Clarke says:

          You can open a support request on the Github page for this issue, but they will tell you the same thing – it is a server issue. Besides setting proper permissions to your folders on the server maybe make sure also that your ownership is also correct. On some servers you may have to use the chown command to give all files/folders the proper ownership.

  19. Alan says:

    Hi, I am using the Reviver theme and I cannot edit any pages (all of a sudden). It was requested that I update the Reviver theme. I understand that I should be able to see the Reviver theme when selecting Envato Toolkit in WP Dashboard. It is not showing up. I am using HostGator which I did see a comment above referencing a potential issue with HostGator. Please advise. We really need to update our site and I am at a loss. Any help is appreciated.

    • AJ Clarke says:

      If you are using a premium theme you should contact the theme developer for assistance they should be able to help you. Usually if you have problems with not being able to edit your pages it means there is a javascript error on the page.

  20. mk230580 says:


    I am buy three theme from themeforest, can i install tolkit for all three website and get update for all on each account .with three api key.

    • Kyla says:

      Yes! The Envato Toolkit is a free plugin – so just install it on each of the websites that you’ll be using your premium themes on for the automatic updates.

  21. Luis Simoes says:

    I have installed the plugin but I am getting 500 – Internal Server Error when trying to update. My hosting is Windows based…

    • Kyla says:

      If you checkout the comments above, we recommend enabling wp_debug on your server so you can see what the actual server error is. If you see an internal error your server isn’t properly displaying the actual errors.

      • Luis Simoes says:

        When I change wp_debug to true I get the 500 internal server error imediately and I cannot use website anymore…

        • Kyla says:

          You’ll need to contact your host then since this is a server error :-( Or you could try to contact the Envato author for the theme you’re using to see if they can help you.

  22. teresa says:

    I updated my API over an hour ago and none of my themes are showing up on the list in the plugin settings page. User name is definitely correct. What could be going wrong? This works for all Envato themes right?

    • AJ Clarke says:

      It should work for all Envato themes, however, if your theme is very old there may be an issue. I recommend contacting the theme author for support.

  23. Krishnakumar KA says:

    If the theme author added many new plugins in the new theme release Envato tool kit will import that also for updating the theme?

    • Kyla says:

      That depends on how the theme author added the plugins to the theme. If they did it the right way like our Total theme 😉 where the plugin files are a part of the theme zip file, then yes the Toolkit will add and update plugins with theme updates. But, if the theme author is hosting the plugin files elsewhere the Toolkit won’t be able to import the new plugins. You’ll have to check your theme files or ask the theme author to confirm.


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