ExpressionEngine Docs

Updating ExpressionEngine

When To Update

It is recommended that you always update your installation of ExpressionEngine when a new version is released to ensure that you have all bug fixes, security updates, and new features.

Note: Shortly after a major version is released, the previous major version will become a legacy product. Once a product is designated a legacy product, it will only receive security updates and will automatically become a retired product 1 year later (meaning no updates of any kind). Reference the Version Support page of the ExpressionEngine website for more information.

Upgrading Major Versions

Important Upgrading major version (example from v5.x to v6.x) typically includes major updates and breaking changes. Do not upgrade major version manually or via 1-click without testing in a test or development environment first. Always following best pratices when Upgrading ExpressionEngine

One Click Updating

ExpressionEngine supports one-click updating as of Version 4.0 or newer. If you are running a version older than 4, then you must perform a manual update.

Note: If updating from a version prior to ExpressionEngine 6, you may need to rename or remove system/ee/EllisLab directory manually. You will also need to manually copy the latest index.php and admin.php files to your site’s root folder.

When an update is available, you’ll see the version number in the control panel footer turn yellow or red. Click the version number, then click “Update Now”.

Upgrade Steps

  1. Backup files and Database
  2. Confirm all add-ons are updated and compatiable with new major ExpressionEngine version
  3. Test in staging environment
  4. Review the Version Notes for any version-specific changes that you may need to make to your installation.

In the rare case an update fails, please read Troubleshooting Automatic Updates.

Website Online Status: In some versions of ExpressionEngine the current Website Online status is not available to the updater. In this instance an alert will be displayed post-update with the current Website Online status and the option to turn the system on or off. Please make sure to review this alert and your Website Online status to ensure your website is working as expected. system status

Updating Via EECLI

You can also update ExpressionEngine via the command line on your server. This allows you to keep your installation’s files only writable by your user and not also by your web service.

To update via the eecli tool, run:

php eecli.php update

Options

rollback: Rollsback last update verbose,v: Verbose output force-addon-upgrades: Automatically runs all addon updaters at end of update (advanced) y: Skip all confirmations. (advanced)

Updating Manually

Feature Update: As of ExpressionEngine 5.4, you may now upgrade directly from ExpressionEngine 2 to the current version.

1. Backup and Prepare

  1. Back-up your ExpressionEngine database and files.
  2. Download the latest release of ExpressionEngine and unzip the files to a folder on your computer.

Note: Check your third-party add-ons to see if you need updated versions for the latest version of ExpressionEngine. Most add-ons do not need major changes when updating from v3 or higher. Your add-on vendor(s) can let you know what, if anything, you need to do for your installed add-ons. Any add-ons not compatible with the version you are upgrading to, should be uninstalled and removed before attempting the upgrade.

2. Copy Files

Working either locally with your backed up files, or on the server (not recommended), copy the following files from the newly downloaded release to your site:

If updating from ExpressionEngine 2

Copy the following files from the backup of your current site to the new folder where you unzipped the new version of ExpressionEngine on your computer:

  1. Copy system/expressionengine/config/config.php to system/user/config/config.php
  2. Copy system/expressionengine/config/database.php to system/user/config/database.php
  3. If you have any languages other than English in your Control Panel, copy all files and directories except english from system/expressionengine/language/ to system/user/language/.
  4. If you have the forum module installed, copy the directory themes/forum_themes/ to themes/user/forum/.
  5. If you have the wiki module installed, copy the directory themes/wiki_themes/ to themes/user/wiki_themes/.
  6. If you save templates as files, copy all files and directories from system/expressionengine/templates/ to system/user/templates/.

Note: If you’ve moved your system directory, make sure to change both index.php and admin.php to point to the correct directory. And don’t forget to update all admin.php files if you’re running your control panel from multiple Sites!

Note: We recommend putting ExpressionEngine 6 compatible third-party add-ons into the system/user/addons/ directory now.

On the server, rename the following files and directories:

Then upload the following files and directories:

If updating from ExpressionEngine 3 or higher

  1. Copy admin.php to admin.php
  2. Copy index.php to index.php
  3. Copy system/ee/ to system/ee/
  4. Copy themes/ee/ to themes/ee/

Note: If you’ve moved your system directory, make sure to change both index.php and admin.php to point to the correct directory. And don’t forget to update all admin.php files if you’re running your control panel from multiple Sites!

Note: We recommend putting ExpressionEngine 6 compatible third-party add-ons into the system/user/addons/ directory now.

3. Run The Update Wizard

Go to your site’s control panel URL (typically found at https://example.com/admin.php or https://example.com/system/) and follow the on-screen instructions to update ExpressionEngine.

4. Clean up

You’re Done! ExpressionEngine is now fully updated. But before you go…