Now, let's dig into the most common fixes for the WordPress missing theme stylesheet error.
1. Confirm that you're uploading the correct zip file.
One common cause of this error is that you're accidentally uploading the wrong zip file to your site. Some theme developers give you a downloadable zip file that includes multiple different files inside — not just for your theme.
In order to access the zip file for your specific theme, you need to find and upload the individual theme file within the comprehensive zip file. This is most common with ThemeForest because of the way that ThemeForest handles its downloads, but it can happen in other situations, too.
For this example, let's say you purchased a new theme from ThemeForest. Once you finished your purchase, you might've gone to your dashboard, clicked the Download button, and selected All files & documentation.
That will download a zip file to your computer and, because you downloaded that zip file directly from ThemeForest, you might assume that you can just upload it to your WordPress site.
There's a problem, though. This zip file is not the actual installable theme file. Instead, it contains documentation, license information, and everything else.
If you try to upload it to WordPress, you might encounter the missing stylesheet message because the file structure doesn't match what WordPress expects.
To access the actual theme file, you need to extract this file and find the actual theme file inside:
Or, at ThemeForest, you can choose to download just the WordPress installable file.
If you're not sure whether or not you have the proper zip file, here's what you should look for:
When you first open the zip file, you should see a folder with the theme's name.
When you open that folder, you should see files with names like index.php and functions.php. You should also see a file called style.css.