Prepare to Update WHMCS

To avoid problems when updating WHMCS, you will need to take some preparatory steps to ensure that your system is ready.

Prepare to Update

Before you update WHMCS, we recommend following the process below:

1. Check the release notes.

Always start by checking the release notes for your new WHMCS version. They contain important information about new features, changes, deprecations or removals, and template changes.

If you are upgrading through multiple versions, check the release notes for each intermediate version. For example, if you are upgrading from WHMCS 8.8 to WHMCS 8.10, check the release notes for WHMCS 8.9 too.

2. Check the system requirements.

Before updating, you must ensure that your setup meets the system requirements for your chosen version of WHMCS and any intermediate versions that you will upgrade through.

For system requirements for updating from older End-of-Life (EOL) versions, see Updating Through EOL Versions.

3. Check your customizations.

If you use custom system themes or order form templates, make certain that these exist within their own directories. Updates will often overwrite changes that you make to the default themes or templates.

You can find information about template changes and links to view those changes in our GitHub® template repositories in the desired version’s release notes.

We recommend using Git™ to update most customizations, including custom themes and order form templates. However, we recommend using override files to make the following customizations:

4. Test updates before production.

WHMCS performs comprehensive automated and manual testing of each new release, but differences in environments, system configuration, and customization can cause unanticipated issues for individual installations.

Because of this, we recommend creating a test installation to check for potential update issues before you apply updates to your production system. The test system should be an exact replica of your production installation.

For steps to create a testing environment and check it for issues, see Setting Up a Development and Testing Environment.
If you buy your license directly from WHMCS, you can contact WHMCS Customer Service for a free testing and development license.

5. Back up your installation.

Always create backups before applying an update.

Before you update, create backups of the WHMCS database and the entire WHMCS directory. If you experience problems while updating, doing this will allow you to quickly revert your changes.

For more information, see Backups.

6. Check MySQL® permissions.

The update process will need to create and alter tables in the MySQL database. Make sure that the MySQL user has all available permissions for the duration of the update process.

Performing the Update

When you are ready to perform the update, you can choose between several update methods:

Update MethodDescription
Automatic UpdaterGo to Utilities > Update WHMCS to check for and perform updates. This feature downloads, validates, and extracts the new files and updates the database in one process.
We strongly recommend this method.
Command Line (Manual)Use the included install.php script to update WHMCS. This requires manually staging the necessary update files before running the PHP script.
We only recommend this method for advanced users.
Browser (Manual)Go to, where is the domain for your WHMCS installation, and follow the displayed prompts to update WHMCS. This requires manually uploading the files to your WHMCS installation.

Last modified: June 24, 2024