Although updating WordPress manually is not needed normally since version 3.7+, WordPress updates itself seamlessly and practically you don’t have to do anything.It will update WordPress core files, any minor fixes or even a major core release automatically.

However very rarely while updating to newer version, upgrade could be unsuccessful due to certain reasons and you many not be able to access the WordPress dashboard anymore.

In a scenario like this or in similar conditions where automatic update failed, the only possibility is to update WordPress manually via Ftp and this is what we are going to show in this article.

The other possibility is to use CPanel to update WordPress. see our article transfer website from localhost to live server

Backup Before Updating WordPress

Even before starting the process, its always a good idea to take a full WordPress backup. It includes files and database backup separately so if something goes wrong you have your old files to resume at least.

Download Updated WordPress

Once you are done with your backup, download the latest version of WordPress. unzip the folder to see all the folders and files inside.

We are almost ready to make the update. Let’s move on to the ftp setup now.

If you are using any of the default WordPress themes and done changes in core files, these will get over-written.

Woopoo's Caution

Upload WordPress files via FTP

In this tutorial, we are using WinSCP FTP client. Download and install the software. See our guide FTP Easy Setup for WordPress Beginners

  • Once login with FTP you will be connected to online server (root directory) on the right side and your computer on the left side.
  • Now upload all folders and files from latest wordpress folder you downloaded earlier to root directory.


wordpress ftp update
  • Click Yes to All to overwrite all the files.
ftp overwrite wordpress

Note: It will leave your custom themes and plugins folder intact and nothing will be overwritten. They will be remain as they were before.

Updating WordPress Database

WordPress major releases may also need to update database also. To check, login as administrator and you may see the message Database Update Required.

Just click the button Update WordPress Database and it will start the process automatically.

wordpress databaase update

That’s pretty much complete the update process of manually update a WordPress site. You and other users can now login to WordPress normally.

If you need to ask any related question, do let us know and we will love to answer.

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