For these instructions, it is assumed that your blog’s URL is
Step 1: Replace WordPress files
- Get the latest zip (or tar.gz) file: https://en-gb.wordpress.org/download/
- Unpack the zip file that you downloaded.
- Deactivate plugins.
- Delete the old
wp-admindirectories on your web host (through FTP access).
- Using FTP upload the new
wp-admindirectories to your web host, in place of the previously deleted directories.
- Upload the individual files from the new
wp-contentfolder to your existing
wp-contentfolder, overwriting existing files. Do NOT delete your existing
wp-contentfolder. Do NOT delete any files or folders in your existing
wp-contentdirectory (except for the one being overwritten by new files).
- Upload all new loose files from the root directory of the new version to your existing WordPress root directory.
NOTE – you should replace all the old WordPress files with the new ones in the
wp-admin directories and sub-directories, and in the root directory (such as
wp-login.php and so on). Don’t worry – your
wp-config.php will be safe.
Be careful when you come to copying the
wp-content directory. You should make sure that you only copy the files from inside this directory, rather than replacing your entire
wp-content directory. This is where your themes and plugins live, so you will want to keep them. If you have customised the default or classic themes without renaming them, make sure not to overwrite those files, otherwise you will lose your changes. (Though you might want to compare them for new features or fixes..)
Lastly you should take a look at the
wp-config-sample.php file, to see if any new settings have been introduced that you might want to add to your own
Step 1.5: Remove .maintenance file
If you’re upgrading manually after a failed auto-upgrade, delete the file .maintenance from your WordPress directory using FTP. This will remove the “failed update” nag message.
Step 2: Update your installation
Visit your main WordPress admin page at /wp-admin. You may be asked to login again. If a database upgrade is necessary at this point, WordPress will detect it and give you a link to a URL like
http://example.com/wordpress/wp-admin/upgrade.php. Follow that link and follow the instructions. This will update your database to be compatible with the latest code. You should do this as soon as possible after step 1.
Don’t forget to reactivate plugins!
Step 3: Clear the cache
If you have caching enabled, clear the cache at this point so the changes will go live immediately. Otherwise, visitors to your site will continue to see the old version until the cache updates.
Your WordPress installation is successfully updated.