Fixing The BackWPup Error: “Dropbox API: (59) Unknown cipher in list”

Keep calm and install this plugin

A few days ago I published The Ultimate WordPress Tutorial To Bulletproof Your WordPress Blog Backup, where I show step-by-step how to set up an automatic backup process for your WordPress site, that’s saved both to your server as well as your Dropbox.

The WordPress Error

Ever since then I’ve been getting questions from people who are receiving the following error when trying to authenticate Dropbox in the BackWPup plugin.

Dropbox API: (59) Unknown cipher in list

The Fix

This is actually really easy to fix. All you need is to install an additional plugin, and you’ll be able to carry on with your BackWPup setup uninterrupted:

  1. Download the ‘BackWPup Disable SSL Verify’ plugin. Clicking on the link will download the plugin as a ZIP file to your computer.
  2. In your WordPress admin, on the left menu, hover over ‘Plugins’ and select ‘Add New’
  3. Once the page loads, under the ‘Install Plugins’ title, select ‘Upload’
  4. Choose the ZIP file that you downloaded ( and click ‘Install Now’
  5. Once the plugin is installed and the page refreshes, click on ‘Activate’

That’s it. You can now return to your BackWPup set up.

Did This Help?

I’d love to hear if this fix helped you, and obviously – would love to try to help if it didn’t. Just comment below and let me know your verdict πŸ™‚

Stay amazing,

P.S. I want to thank John Colley and Kathy Wheeler for being the first to report this issue, and for being so generous with their time for the benefit of the rest of us by testing out my solutions on their own sites. Much appreciated!

19 thoughts on “Fixing The BackWPup Error: “Dropbox API: (59) Unknown cipher in list””

  1. Thanks for the awesome instructions. I got this little error fixed and not my site it fully set for backup. What a relief it is.

  2. Just curious, any idea whether this error will be fixed in the next version of wordpress, and if so will we then need to deactivate the additional plugin? Also thanks so much for the help. My initial Google search brought up a couple of other wordpress forums discussing this error, but your site was by far the simplest and most user friendly example of how to fix this error when I encountered it. For someone who is brand new to running my own site on a hosting server versus a free blog, I really appreciate it when someone can take the behind-the-scenes technical side and explain it simply for beginners.

    Thanks for the help!

    1. Hey Kallie! I’m so glad I could help! πŸ™‚

      Congrats on making the switch to self-hosting. Even with the challenges – it’s worth it. Feel free to come back and ask me if there’s anything else that you’re struggling with in this migration!

      To answer your question(s) – 1. No idea when this will be fixed. 2. This plugin deactivates a validation that’s failing because it’s broken. Even if they fix the validation, the plugin shouldn’t break anything – because it just avoids this (currently faulty) validation process all together.

      Let me know if this makes sense, if not I’ll try to do a better job explaining myself πŸ™‚

      Happy 4th, if you’re in the USA πŸ™‚

      1. Meron,

        Thanks that makes sense and good to know! I will definitely be coming back at some point I’m sure given how new I am to self-hosting. There is so much to learn, its rather overwhelming. Until something specific comes up, I will just be exploring around your site and following your posts for the much needed advice. πŸ™‚

        Happy 4th of July from Japan πŸ™‚


    1. Glad it helped! πŸ™‚ I see you’re from Denmark, Catherine? I have tons of good memories from spending several summers and Xmas holidays in a small town near Copenhagen πŸ™‚ Where are you from?

    1. Wow, small world! I’ve been there! A beautiful, beautiful town. The market at Xmas time was gorgeous and of course, the magnificent castle! πŸ™‚ I was staying in Vejby πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you Meron for this crucial plugin! I recently started using BackWPup and when installing it on my sites I quickly ran into this issue. What is the reason for it happening on some sites and not on others? Does it have to do with the web host? Hopefully whatever it is will be fixed in a future version of the plugin.

    1. Hey Chris, glad this was helpful! πŸ™‚

      As to your question – I’m afraid this won’t be fixed in a future version – because the issue isn’t in the BackWPup plugin itself: The problem lies within the mechanism which BackWPup uses to upload files to Dropbox. Not to get too technical here – DropBox has an initial stage in the setup of the file upload process that adds additional security, but requires a specific protocol that many web hosts don’t support. This is what causes this error. The plugin simply skips this test (but the file upload process remains encrypted and secure!).

      Let me know if you have any other questions about this fix and I’d be happy to answer! πŸ™‚

      Stay awesome,

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