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Manually Updating your WordPress – Here’s How to Do It

Posted by Alex on 13 02 2017.

Just in case you have trouble with your cPanel’s WordPress’ “Three Step Update” (creating a backup, automating the creation of background update, and choosing the “One-click Update” option), you can update the program manually.

The Manual Update Process

To manually update your WordPress, assume that the URL of your site or blog is From here, follow these steps:

  1. Change your WordPress files to the latest ones

One you have this new WordPress zip file or tar.gz file, you can proceed to unpacking them. Make sure that you have all your plugins deactivated too. Get rid of the following directories you will find via your web host, through shell access, or through FTP: the outdated wp-admin and old wp-includes. Then, through the use of shell access or FTP you can already upload the latest wp-admin and wp-includes directories to your existing web host service provider.

It is critical you upload these files separately, or in other words, individually, from the newly created wp-content folder to the current wp-content folder. You will receive a notification to overwrite the existing files, so just choose yes. What you should not do though is to delete the existing wp-content folder, as well as any folder or files found in your existing wp-content directory (except for those that you will receive the notification for overwriting for). Finally, you can upload all of the new loose files found in the root directory of the latest version to the current root directory of your WordPress.

  1. Eliminate the “.maintenance” file

Just in case you had to resort to this manual update due to troubles during an auto upgrade, look for the “.maintenance” file found in the WordPress directory. Use FTP for this step. You need to perform this step so that you can get rid of the message telling you again and again about the “failed update.”

  1. Make the necessary updates to your installation

Go to the main admin page of your WordPress account (/wp-admin). In the event you have to re-log-in, just go ahead and enter the appropriate credentials. Also, when an upgrade to the database is in order, WordPress will notify you and provide you with a link for the upgrade. Just follow and click on the provided link. This will take you to a page where you will see instructions you have to follow.

As soon as you have completed everything, your database will receive the critical updates in order to prevent non-compatibility issues with the latest code to occur.

  1. Reactivate all your plugins

Step number 3 actually completes the manual update of your WordPress. However you should not forget to reactive and re-enable all of your plugins. In case you encounter problems during the log-in process, just clear the stored cookies in the browser you use for accessing cPanel and WordPress.

Troubleshooting any other issues

It is still likely that something will go wrong during the manual updating of your WordPress. In this case, your first troubleshooting step should involve going through all the steps in WordPress’ “extended upgrade instructions.”