Drupal 7 Uploading Modules and Themes


In Drupal 6, uploading modules and themes was often troublesome for beginners. They would have to follow a confusing process:

  1. Download the files
  2. Uncompress them
  3. Make sure there was a /sites/all/modules/ or /sites/all/themes/ folder on their site
  4. Upload the files manually to the /sites/ folder. Few beginners remembered that folder name – they just uploaded to the /modules/ and /themes/ folder which would be more logical.
  5. Go to Site building > modules and enable them

If you’d like to, you can still install modules the old way, but Drupal 7 also offers a much simpler process:

  1. Download the files
  2. Upload them using a graphical installer
  3. Go to Modules and enable them

Let’s walk you through the new upload process in Drupal 7:

Enable the Update Manager Module

The new graphical installer for themes and modules is actually handled by a module called Update Manager. So the first thing we need to do is check that it’s enabled. Go to Modules, scroll down and make sure there’s a check next to Update Manager.


You’ll know that you’re ready to upload if you see the Install new module link at the top of the Modules page:


Click on that link and you’ll see the graphical installer screen:


Download the File

Now let’s go and download the files for our new module or theme. The screenshot below is from Drupal.org:


There’s no need to uncompress the download files. Just leave them as they are and go to the Module installer screen.

Click Browse to find the downloaded file and then click Install:


Hopefully you’ll now get the message: “Installation was completed successfully”.


That’s it. Much easier than Drupal 6. You can now click on “Enable newly added modules” and turn on your new module.

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  • Robbie Adair

    Robbie started her career in corporate training until starting her own custom training and media company almost seventeen years ago. In 2010, she began doing classroom training for OSTraining while running Media A-Team. She is often presenting about various tech topics such as Joomla, Fabrik, Web Development, Social Media, and Augmented Reality. She loves seeing that "ah-ha" moment in peoples eyes in her sessions and workshops. She lives in Houston, Texas, but enjoys all the travel for client work and speaking gigs.

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11 years ago

Thanks Steve. Is there also supposed to be a way for the UM to install directly from [url=http://drupal.org]drupal.org[/url] over sftp/ssh to our drupal7 website server? If not, is there a way for us to install the downloaded module over sftp/ssh from our browser machine to the webserver, instead of using FTP? Which users do we need to create on the webserver to get that working? Thanks!

Mark Freemantle
Mark Freemantle
11 years ago

I tried to install the Date Module, as part of building my first site, Drupalville; I got an error which (sorry, forgot to save). After looking for some insite, I verified my system status and tried to Reload the Date module; it said it was already installed

How do I delete the Date module, so I can try a new, clean install?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x