Difference between revisions of "Updating from an existing version"

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Revision as of 15:00, 19 April 2022

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Always back up your site before updating.


The recommended way to update installations of Joomla! is to use the Joomla Update Component.

A standard installation of Joomla 4 includes a helpful notifications panel on the Home Dashboard after logging in. You can see at a glance if an update is available and the version number.

Although Joomla will notify you when an update is available, it requires you to carry out the update. It is a straight forward process and should be carried out at the earliest opportunity to keep the site up to date.

If you are updating from a Joomla version prior to 4.x please see one or more of the following:

Accessing the Update Component[edit]

If the notifications panel is displayed in the Home Dashboard, clicking the notification takes you straight to the Update Component.

J4x joomla update notification-en.png

Alternatively, to access the Update Component from the Administrator sidebar menu, click System. This will take you to the System Dashboard.

J4x joomla system dashboard update-en.png

The System Dashboard has an Update Panel which includes a Joomla link that will show the available update version number. Click the Joomla link and you will be taken to the Update Component.

Carrying out the Update[edit]

J4x joomla pre update check-en.png

When you arrive at the Joomla Update Component you will be presented with a Pre-Update Check which provides you with information about the readiness of your server, settings and installed extensions for the update.

Pay careful attention to these and take action to rectify any issues highlighted before updating. You may need to double check extensions and update them first if necessary.

It is not uncommon to see warnings for Recommended Settings as these are often server specific and hosting related - it is likely they existed when you installed Joomla and most likely won't prevent the update from happening.

Note the reminder that you are strongly advised to take a backup if you haven't already!

There is a link below the update button. In most cases you can ignore this link. It provides an option to manually upload the update files if your server is behind a firewall or otherwise unable to contact the Joomla update servers.

When you have reviewed the Pre-Update Check and are happy, click Update.

Confirming the Update[edit]

J4x joomla start update-en.png

Click the checkbox to confirm you have made a backup and checked extensions are compatible then click the Start Update.

Update Progress[edit]

J4x joomla update progress-en.png

Once the update starts a progress bar will appear as the Joomla files are updated.


J4x joomla updated-en.png

When the progress bar reaches 100% a system message will confirm your site has been updated and the version number. The version number will also update in the top toolbar, next to the site name.

Click the Back button and you will be returned to the Joomla Update Component where it is possible to check for updates again.

Post Update Checks[edit]

Once the update is complete you should carry out some checks to make sure everything went as expected, that no errors are present and that there have been no changes that require further action.

Frontend Check[edit]

Go to the front end of the website and check it is working and displaying as it did prior to the update.

As a matter of course, clear your browser cache as this will load any changes to stylesheets and scripts.

System Checks[edit]

Joomla makes it easy to do a "health" check. From the sidebar menu click System to be taken to the System Dashboard. This gives you an overview of the current status of your Joomla site.

J4x system dashboard-en.png

In this example we can see that since the update we have two items that require attention. They are marked with a label that includes a number. The number relates to how many items require attention. Clicking on each one will allow you to fix them.

Note The System Dashboard makes a check each time the page is loaded. Bear in mind that browser caching settings could affect this. It's good practice to clear the browsers cache when checking.

Recommended Steps and actions: It is recommended that you follow these steps when updating a production site:

  1. Back up your site before updating to a new version. That way, if something goes wrong during the update process, you can easily restore your site to the earlier version.
  2. Review the release notes for the new version to be familiar with what was changed.
  3. Update using one of the recommended methods outlined in this document. These methods install the new program files, delete unneeded old program files, and update the database as needed for the new Joomla version.
  4. Clear your browser cache and check that the update was successful, using the steps outlined in the Checking Site tab.

Checking Your Site[edit]

After an update, it is a good idea to clear your browser cache and check your site to make sure the update was successful. There are two quick checks you can do from the Extension Manager.

Navigate to Extension Manager  Database. If your database is up to date, you should see a screen similar to the one below:

Database Screen With No Problems

If your database is not up to date, you will see a screen listing the problems found, similar to the one below:

Database Screen With 3 Database Problems

In this case, press the Fix button in the upper right corner. Joomla will update your database to correct the issues listed and then it will re-display the screen. If the fix was successful, the display will indicate that the database is up to date.

N.B. If any errors still exist make sure all the database tables are checked in.

Extension Manager: Discover[edit]

In some cases, when you update to a new Joomla version, new core extensions are added. If there were problems with the database update, these extensions may not have been correctly installed. To check this, navigate to System  Discover. Then click on the Discover icon in the toolbar. The screen should show as follows:

Discover Screen With No Extensions To Install

If so, you know that any new extensions added during the update were correctly installed in the database.

If there are uninstalled extensions, they will show similar to the following screen:

Discover Screen With One Extension To Install

In this case, check the boxes and click on the Install icon in the toolbar. Joomla will install the extension(s) and then display the screen showing no extensions discovered. At this point, the new extensions have been installed in the database.


If you have any questions, problems or errors before, during or after the update, please ask them on the Migrating and Upgrading to Joomla! 4.x Forum.

If you have problems or errors during the update process, here are some tips.

  • Clearing your browser cache. There may have been changes to the CSS or Javascript that will need to be reloaded by your Web browser after an update.
  • If any database error messages show after the update, be sure to check the System  Maintenance panel  Database link. In some cases, if a database error occurs it will prevent all of the database updates from running. In this case, you can run them from the Database link and then use the System  Install  Discover method to check and install any new extensions.