How to easily update your WordPress Version manually

Sometimes when you update your WordPress version using the One-click updates WordPress Wizard, it may fail and forcing you to use the second more cumbersome manual style. At WPChase, today we show you how to update your WordPress version manually after the One-click update or the automatic update fails.

As always first things first”

WARNING: The upgrade process will affect all files and folders included in the main WordPress installation. This includes all the core files used to run WordPress. If you have made any modifications to those files, your changes will be lost.

Back up WordPress

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to back up your website. This means if there are any issues you can restore your website. Complete instructions to make a backup can be found in the WordPress Backup.

Don’t worry here are some of our short instructions, that will help you through the process. If you want more you may check out the WordPress extended upgrade instructions. If you experience problems with the Three Step Update, you may want to review the more detailed upgrade instructions.

For these instructions, it is assumed that your blog’s URL is

Step 1: Replace WordPress files

  1. Go and get the latest WordPress zip (or tar.gz) file from the WordPress repository.
  2. Unpack the zip file that you downloaded.
  3. Deactivate your plugins. Read how to here
  4. Delete the old wp-includes and wp-admin directories on your web host (through your FTP or shell access).
  5. Using FTP or your shell access, upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin directories to your web host, in place of the previously deleted directories.
  6. Upload the individual files from the new wp-content folder to your existing wp-content folder, overwriting existing files. Do NOT delete your existing wp-content folder. Do NOT delete any files or folders in your existing wp-content directory (except for the one being overwritten by new files).
  7. Upload all new loose files from the root directory of the new version to your existing WordPress root directory.

NOTE – Ensure that you have replaced all the old WordPress files with the new ones in the wp-includes and wp-admin directories and sub-directories, and in the root directory (such as index.php, wp-login.php and so on). Don’t worry – your wp-config.php will be safe.

To ensure this, create a second folder and call it ‘oldcorefiles’ so you can come back tyo it incase you fail.

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 customized 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 it is very important that you 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 and update your own wp-config.php.

Step 2: Remove .maintenance file

If you had tried the one click update or the auto up date and now you’re upgrading the WordPress Version 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 3: 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 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.

Step 4: Reactivate plugins

You can now reactivate your plugins and reconfigure then to your specifications!

Step 5: Delete cookies

Sometimes you are not able to notice any changes and you might want to delete the cookies of your browser to ensure you are not seeing any old files and thinking your site is broken.

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