Updating Drupal 7 to the Latest Version


Updating a Drupal site is vital for security.

In this tutorial we’re going to show you how to update your Drupal 7 site from one minor version to another. That means from 7.0 to 7.2 or 7.2 to 7.4. and so on.

Unfortunately moving between major versions such as from 5 to 6 or from 6 to 7 is a much bigger topic and too large for a single tutorial.

Before you start, please remember one thing: backup, backup, backup, backup, backup, backup, backup, backup your site!

Step 1: Check for Available Updates


To get started with updating your Drupal site, click on “Configuration” and then “Available updates”.


This page will show you an updates you need to make. They will be marked in red as in the image above. If there are updates, it is worth putting your site in maintenance mode at this point to avoid any problems for your users as you update. Instructions for doing that are here.

Step 2: Download the Update Files


Drupal will show you a link to download the files for the new update.

Step 3: Upload the Update Files


Unzip the files that you’ve just downloaded.

IMPORTANT: Delete the /sites/ folder from these unzipped files. Do not upload the /sites/ folder as this will overwrite any custom work that you have done. Make sure that you leave the exisiting /sites/ folder intact on the server.

Then open up your FTP program or file manager and navigate to your existing Drupal site files. Simply upload the new files over the top of the existing ones.


Once the upload is complete, you can refresh your “Available updates” page and hopefully it will now be marked in green rather than red.

Step 4: Run the Update Manager

Drupal Updates

Click on “Modules” and then click on “Always run the update script each time a module is updated”.

Click “Continue”.
Click “Apply pending updates”.
You should now see a page saying the update has been successful with no errors.
Click on the “Administration pages” link and go “Configuration” then “Maintenance mode” to put the site back online.


  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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I am currently running the updates, and it has been on the run updates section for a while now…. it does not tell you it is running the update or anything… it is just there blank… with only the left menu being displayed and the word “updating” at the top

How long is the process supposed to last, for 12 updates?


thx for the info but why everyone staying away of the real useful information people need or want to see? thats drupal 6 upgrade to 7. or d6 with cck/views upgraate to 7.

that the real info who might just set you on the top.


“Then open up your FTP program or file manager and navigate to your existing Drupal site files. Simply upload the new files over the top of the existing ones.”

I wonder why we should ” upload the new files over the top of the existing ones.”

After uploading the new files, do we need to delete the existing old files?


Hi rsmkung,

Good question. Uploading the new files over the top of existing ones replaces the old ones that have the same name, but not any others. So there’s no need to delete existing old files because they are replaced (deleted and new ones put in their respective places if you want to think of it that way).

Kind regards,



Unless the “writer” has some videos to

show people that using his method is “right” for updating Drupal 7.



Hi rsmkung,

Try it on a test site if you’re not sure πŸ˜‰ Or you can create one single folder with a single file in it to test FTP the same folder name with a different file name.

Kind regards,



Actually, you didn’t explain in more details, which confused more “Drupal Beginners” in my department.

One staff has designed his front page in his old Drupal 7.4 version, and store in

the site/all/themes directory.

Because you said, uploading all new files to the top of the old files, so

the NEW “site” directory override the old “site” directory, then hid OLD front page is totally gone.

And will you take any of the responsibility for this?


rsmkung points out that it is crucial to READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS before ranting at authors who provide free help.

“IMPORTANT: Delete the /sites/ folder from these unzipped files. Do not upload the /sites/ folder as this will overwrite any custom work that you have done. Make sure that you leave the exisiting /sites/ folder intact on the server”

Rick Jamson

This worked perfect! Be sure to take a backup before you start the update process.


Glad it was of help, Rick! πŸ™‚

By the way, we just recently launched our Drupal Beginner and Intermediate classes. They are worth checking out if you have some time: [url=http://www.ostraining.com/online]www.ostraining.com/online[/url]

Kind regards,


Ashish Thakur

works perfect. thanks for the tutorial.


You’re very welcome, Ashish!

If you’d like to learn more about Drupal, we just launched our Drupal Beginner and Intermediate classes πŸ™‚ Here’s the link to the landing page: [url=http://www.ostraining.com/online]www.ostraining.com/online[/url]

Kind regards,



Excellent tutorial; very helpful. Worked perfectly fine for me. Please keep adding useful stuff like this.


You’re very welcome, PK! We’re glad we could help! πŸ™‚

Kind regards,


Josh Habdas

Thanks for hosting this page. It was helpful in getting me started. While working through the 7.12 upgrade I noticed there was an UPGRADE.txt file included in the archive that provides instructions for minor versions updates.


Thanks for the great tutorial. After using WP for many years it found upgrading a bit complicated, but this guide helped a lot. Thanks


I’ve read many update tutorial on the internet but so far your version is the best.

Again, thanks

new 2drupal

Hmmm I’ve been trying to upgrade our test system which is 7.7 to 7.20. I’ve tried a number of times (4-5 times). I used your method:

1. Extracting all “update files” and removing the sites dir from it.

2. Put it in maintenance mode.

3. Coping all “update files” over the old files.

4. Had to “chmod 775 -R *” change the permissions, cause the extracted files were 644.

5. Took it out of maintenance mode

6. But upon trying to access the updated site (reports status says it’s 7.20). There is no content, none at all. I had to revert to a snapshot to get the system back to where I started. Any suggestions?

Thank you.

new 2drupal

Left out a step between 4-5, before putting Drupal back out of maintenance mode. I ran the update of course. Left that important piece out.


Did you manage to find a solution for this?


Great, It works!


As for drupal core i can update straigth to the latest version.What about drupal modules? can i go straight to the last minor version of a module or i have to install the intermediate updates until the final version?

Rao Abdul Mannan

Works fine. I have to add these lines in my .htaccess file to remove the 500 internal server error after updating from 7.22 to 7.23
# Follow symbolic links in this directory.

Options +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch


For those who have problems to update the Drupal core may help the automatic core update module CMS Updater:[url=https://www.drupal.org/project/cms_updater]https://www.drupal.org/proj…[/url]


Seems like an interesting module. However, two things to note about the comment above:
1) Bill doesn’t mention it, but he’s involved with that module.

2) “The use of this module requires the purchase of a CMS Updater licence key for € 29.99 incl. VAT”.

dinesh naphade

thanks for tutorial works perfect ans saved my lot of time .


Thanks for the tutorial, updating drupal can be hard especially if you are novice user. We also have similar tutorial for our clients: [url=http://www.hostinger.com/tutorials/drupal/how-to-update-drupal]http://www.hostinger.com/tu…[/url] check it out!

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