Last updated June 2, 2015. Created on March 22, 2012.
Edited by Steve -ccssiruguritalvishamioLog in to edit this page.
These instructions are for updating - not upgrading. Documentation for upgrading (changing from D6 to D7 etc.) an existing Drupal site, see
Instructions on how to update Drupal core with a newer version of Drupal of the same category or same base version [ ie Drupal 7.1 to 7.2 etc ]
  1. Make a backup of your Drupal instance (database). (For ex: with MySQL)
  2. Download the latest release of your current Drupal version.
  3. Extract the [tar ball or zip] Drupal package.
  4. Set your site on maintenance mode (For ex: How on D7)
  5. Delete all the files & folders inside your original Drupal instance except for /sites and its sub-folders. This assumes that all of your custom work - including themes - is in the recommended spot - the /sites folder tree. If you have made custom changes elsewhere you will need to either preserve them or plan to replace the later. .
  6. Copy all the folders and files except /sites from inside the extracted Drupal package [tar ball or zip package] into your original Drupal instance location.
  7. Some updates do not include changes to setting.php and some do. See There is a way - Comment below for more on this. If the update release includes changes to settings.phpyou will need to replace your old settings.php in .../sites/default/ with the new one, and then edit the site-specific entries (eg database name, user, and password) in the setting file.
  8. If you have modified files such as .htaccess or robots.txt re-apply those changes to the new files.
  9. If you have a favicon.ico file that was deleted replace it too
  10. Login to your site as administrator or as user no 1
  11. Run update.php by navigating to http://...yourdrupalsitename/update.php
  12. Follow the process to update your Drupal instance
  13. Disable maintenance mode