Update WordPress manually

Step 1 - Download WordPress
Step 2 - Extract WordPress files
Step 3 - Locate the files in your FTP client
Step 4 - Log in via FTP
Step 5 - Delete two folders
Step 6 - Upload folders
Step 7 - Overwrite files in wp-content
Step 8 - Upload individual files
Step 9 - Congratulations!

Normally you can update WordPress with one click from the WordPress dashboard. Minor updates are even done automatically. It may happen that you cannot access the WordPress dashboard. In that case you can update manually via FTP.

In this guide we use an FTP client. There are several clients you can use to connect to FTP, however we recommend using FileZilla. Download the latest version from the FileZilla website.

Note: Before you continue we recommend that you make a backup of your site and disable active plugins. Check out our guides below if you are unsure how to do this.


Step 1 - Download WordPress

Download the newest WordPress installation files from the WordPress website to your computer.


Download the latest version of WordPress

Step 2 - Extract WordPress files

Extract the zip file that you just downloaded to a location on your computer.


Extract the WordPress files to a location on your computer

Step 3 - Locate the files in your FTP client

Open FileZilla, or another FTP client of your choice and locate the folder where you saved the WordPress files.


Open FileZilla and locate the installation files

Step 4 - Log in via FTP

Log in to your web space via FTP.


Connect to your web space with FTP

Step 5 - Delete two folders

Delete the following folders from your web space:

  • wp-includes
  • wp-admin

Delete 2 folders from your web space

Step 6 - Upload folders

Upload the folders wp-includes and wp-admin from your computer to your web space, replacing the ones you just deleted.


Upload wp-admin and wp-includes

Step 7 - Overwrite files in wp-content

Open wp-content and upload the files and folders in this folder from your computer to the corresponding folder on your web space. You overwrite the existing files, but keep any other files and folders that are there.

Note: The wp-content folder contains your plugins and themes so make sure not to delete any files and folders that are already there!
Upload content from the wp-content folder

Step 8 - Upload individual files

Upload all individual installation files that are not in a folder from your computer to your web space, replacing the existing files.


Replace individual installation files

Step 9 - Congratulations!

You have now done a manual update of WordPress.

If you have updated to a newer WordPress version you might need to update your database. If this is the case, you will be prompted to do so when you log in to WordPress for the first time.

Tip: Check for updates for your plugins and themes and remember to reactivate all plugins once you are logged in.

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