upgradeThere are two ways to upgrade your Magento installation from an older version to a newer one. There may be different practices and trivia to keep in mind when you want to upgrade from a specific version to a newer one. Some older versions create compatibility problems and generate tones of errors when upgraded to latest Magento version. So make sure you follow specific instructions for some of the older versions. Having said that let’s move on to the main topic of this post.

Here I am explaining a general method of upgrading your older version of Magento to a new one. It is not intended for any specific version of Magento. You could take it as a guide to remember when you are about to upgrade your Magento store.

There are basically two different methods which you can apply to upgrade your Magento store.

  1. You can create a fresh install of the latest version and transfer your product catalogs over there. The problem with this method is that you will have to re-install any third party tools and modules as the fresh install of Magento will be out of the box and without any of your customizations. Also if you have made any changes to the core files (even rewrote them) then those changes will not get carry forward to the new installation.
  2. Second thing is you can upgrade only the core part of your Magento. This method will ensure that all your previous third party installations work even after the upgrade. But the core file changes or modifications will not be updated.

See Also : Our Magento Extensions

Ok, now that we know what different methods are there for upgrade procedure, let us go through how to implement Magento upgrade using the first method:

Magento Upgrade using Fresh Install

  1. Take a backup: Take a backup of your current Magento installation. Both the package and database. Create an SQL file for your database that you can later run to populate the data. Keep both the package and database file in a safe place. Download it and keep in your hard drive if possible instead of just keeping it online.
  2. Add database: Create a new database that you can populate with sample data of your current site by importing the database from either local server or from any other location from your server.
  3. Upload Magento Package: Use any FTP client or login to your cpanel and go to root of your server which would be public_html most likely. Upload the latest version of Magento that you want to upgrade to.
  4. Install: Open your domain name in any browser of your choice to install the latest Magento from your root.
    Follow all the steps of Magento installation and solve any errors if encountered. When asked for database details, insert the new database we created.
  5. Test your upgrade: Check your new version of Magento by logging in the administration area of the store. After you login look at the footer of the screen you can see the version of your Magento over there.
  6. Theme: Copy the Themes folder from your old backup of Magento to the new one. It is located at this path:  ~/magento/app/design/frontend/yourtheme/
    Upload the whole theme folder from this location to the server at the same path in your new Magento installation.
  7. Media: Upload the Media folder on server. Media folder contains all the images of your catalog and is necessary to include in the new installation. It is located at: ~/magento/media/

Upload this media folder from your backup to server using any FTP client or directly via cpanel.

Post Upgrade Checklist:

  • Clear your cache and Re-index all indexes after the upgrade.
  • Sometimes a Magento upgrade process may generate errors. A most common error is of missing fields from some of the tables. You can easily fix that by adding those missing fields manually from your database. You need to add the field(s) directly in the database:
    • Go to phpmyadmin, open your database, find the table that’s missing the field and add it manually there.

This is how you can perform a most basic Magento upgrade by a fresh installation of Magento without any problem on your live site. As I mentioned in the beginning of the post that there is another way of upgrading Magento and that is by changing only the core files. That task however I’ll describe in the second part of this Magento upgrade series which will be coming up very soon. So keep looking out for updates.
Update: Upgrade Magento Core to the Latest Version

If you come up with any errors or have queries regarding any steps of the upgrading process feel free to drop me a line in the comments.


GD Star Rating
Upgrade to Latest Magento using Fresh Install Technique, 3.3 out of 5 based on 3 ratings

  1. kate

    After a disastrous attempt at upgrading 1.6.2 to 1.7.2 I landed here.
    I have a backup of my old database, and a backup of 1.6.2 through Magento itself, as well as 2 exported CSV files.

    I did a clean install of 1.7.2 and everything is working again but with the out of the box look and options.
    The skin was easy and quick to put back. I didn’t have any products added yet in the 1.6.2 install, but I did have all my attributes//

    I did import the old database over the new database on my hosting providers admin panel, but no attributes are showing up?

    Do you know if there another way I can import my attributes / attribute sets from my old database? (I’m guessing that’s where they are stored?) (Or should I just try to overwrite the database again with my backup?)

    I’ve got another store that I have to update, will your method re-import all products/categories/attributes automatically?


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  2. Indies

    Take backup of database from the phpMyadmin and check the option “Disable Foreign Key check”.

    Do a clean install of Magento 1.7.2 and use the old database same as we use sample data for upgrading the Magento from 1.6.2 to 1.7.2 and don’t import any attributes from the old database which u have exported.
    This will solve your problem.

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  3. Cahouet

    Hello Indies, i didn’t really understand what u said by : “use the old database same as we use sample data for upgrading the Magento from 1.6.2 to 1.7.2 and don’t import any attributes from the old database which u have exported”.
    Can u explain it in another way ? Thanks very much!

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  4. Indies

    What I mean is that when we install a fresh Magento setup we use the sample data file to create the database first right? So just like that use the sql file that you have exported from your old database and use it as a sample data to create new database for your upgraded store. :)

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  5. michal

    Dear how I can verify that the theme is compatible with the new version of Magento before its installation?

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  6. Indies

    When you buy theme from any store they will provide the Magento versions with which the theme is compatible with. You can also ask to the store owners specifically about the compatibility of the theme with your Magento version before you buy or use it. That way you will save yourself from any break down of your store.

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  7. wik

    \app\code\core\Mage\Eav\sql\eav_setup\mysql4-upgrade-” – SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: 1032 Can’t find record in ‘eav_attribute’


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  8. Indies

    That is because attributes are not created while upgrading, try creating them manually and may be your error will be solved.

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