From WHMCS Documentation

Revision as of 06:37, 18 June 2019 by AlexN (talk | contribs) (Helpful Hints)

We always recommend staying up-to-date with WHMCS in order to benefit from the latest development and improvements, and you can do that either by having us perform the update for you or by updating as per the steps below.

Automatic Updating

If you are running WHMCS 7.0 or later, you can use the built-in Automatic Update utility.

  • Navigate to Utilities > Update WHMCS to begin the process.
  • Click Update Now
  • Follow the on-screen wizard through the update process.
  If the update was released recently, you may need to click the Check for Updates button before the update will show as available.

For more information about the Automatic Updater and troubleshooting please refer to Automatic Updater

Performing a Manual Update

Watch Video Tutorial

To update WHMCS manually, follow the steps below. Some updates may require steps in addition to the standard update steps provided below. Should these be required you will find them in the Release Notes. Please always refer to the release notes for a version before attempting any update.

A Full Release distribution contains all the files of a WHMCS product installation. It can be used to perform a new install or update an existing installation (regardless of previous version).

Patch Sets contain only the files that have changed between the immediate, previous version and the latest version, (ie. a patch set for version 1.1.2 is valid for a 1.1.1 installation and nothing else). We provide these to make updating both quicker and easier for those of our customers who stay current and up-to-date with the latest WHMCS releases. By including only the changed files, patch sets have less files to upload which makes the update process quicker and simpler for you to perform.

More information on our release types and distribution types can be found on our Releases page.

Update Steps

For a Full Release Version

A full release version is denoted by the presence of _full within the zip folder filename and "Distro Type: Full Version" within the included README.txt file. If the zip file you have instead contains _patch, please refer to the below Patch Set update Steps instead.

Make a Full Backup - We cannot stress enough how important it is to *always* take a full backup before attempting any kind of update. Both for WHMCS and any other software you use. A full backup should be taken of both the WHMCS files and the database.

  1. Begin by making sure your server meets the system requirements,
  2. Obtain the latest full release download of WHMCS either from http://download.whmcs.com/ or from your license provider (if using a reseller)
  3. Unzip the contents of the WHMCS zip file download to a folder on your computer
    Custom Admin Directory?
    If you have renamed your "admin" directory, be sure to rename the /whmcs/admin directory in the new files to match.
    Custom Cron Directory?
    Similarly, if you have customised the location of the /crons/ directory, be sure to upload that to the custom location.
    Custom File Permissions?
    If you have customised the permissions on any of the files eg. /crons/pipe.php. These changes will need to be re-applied once the update is complete.
  4. Upload the new files to your existing installation folder replacing any existing folders & files
  5. Visit your WHMCS installation and you should then be automatically redirected to the update process. If you are not automatically redirected, you may visit the installer page directly at yourdomain.com/whmcs/install. If you see a message saying WHMCS is not installed, this indicates you have overwritten the configuration.php file for your installation. Stop and restore that file from your backup before continuing.
  6. Agree to the WHMCS End User License Agreement and follow the steps on screen to update your database.
  7. When prompted, delete the install folder from your server.
  8. Your update is now complete.

We recommend now that you check the release notes for the version you just installed here. And if you have custom template files you will also need to review and make any necessary changes to your custom templates using the information provided in the Template Changes section of the Release Notes.

For a Patch Set

A patch set version is denoted by the presence of _patch within the zip folder filename and "Distro Type: Patch Set" within the included README.txt file.

IMPORTANT: Before you begin please ensure you are running the version required by the patch. Patch Sets contain only the files that have changed between the previous release and the Patch Set Version. Therefore they should only be applied if you are running the immediately previous version.

The previous release version that these patch sets are designed for is clearly indicated as the first and smaller number in release notices providing the patch set download link.

  1. Download the patch set from http://download.whmcs.com/
  2. Unzip the patch set files
    Custom Admin Directory?
    For patches that have updates for the “admin” directory: If you have renamed your "admin" directory, then make sure you rename the /whmcs/admin directory to match
  3. Upload the files from the /whmcs/ directory to the root directory of your WHMCS installation
  4. Visit the admin area of your WHMCS installation to trigger the version number bump and complete the process

No install or update process is required.

Confirming a Successful Update

To confirm an update has been successfully applied, login to your WHMCS admin area and check to make sure that the Version Number displayed either on the admin homepage (in the sidebar of all default templates) or in Help > System Health Status is the version you attempted to apply. If it has not incremented, then one or more of the files has not uploaded successfully. You should double check file permissions and attempt the steps again from the beginning.

Helpful Hints

Database Privileges

Updating requires that the database user have access to the following privileges:

  • DROP

Additionally, you will want to ensure that the database user have access to all privileges listed on the Further Security Steps page.


If you have customised templates, please ensure you always follow the recommended method for creating a custom template folder to ensure your changes aren't overwritten during updates. Similarly for language file customisations please ensure you use the Language Overrides feature vs editing the language files directly.

Bad Formatting

If when you first login you see a display where formatting is mixed or unclear, this can indicate your browser cache has not updated. Try clearing your browser cache or performing a hard refresh (typically Ctrl + F5) and delete the contents of the template cache directory (templates_c by default) to ensure you see the new templates and styling.

What to do if you get a Down for Maintenance or update in Progress message after uploading a patch set

If after uploading the files from a Patch Set you see a "Down for Maintenance" or "update in progress..." warning message then this indicates that the patch set files you attempted to apply are not compatible with the version of WHMCS you were previously running. To complete the update you will need to download the latest Full Release version and update using the regular update process as described above.

We're here to help

We offer a professional update service where our staff will update your WHMCS installation for you. Please refer to https://www.whmcs.com/services/upgrade-service/ for more information and to order.

And of course our support team is always available to answer any questions or concerns you might have when performing the update process yourself. Simply open a ticket @ http://www.whmcs.com/get-support/ and a member of our team will get back to you..