Preparing to Update WHMCS

To avoid problems when updating WHMCS, you will need to take some preparatory steps to ensure that your system is ready.

Before you update WHMCS, we recommend following the process below.

1. Check the release notes.

Always start by checking the release notes for your new WHMCS version. They contain important information about new features, changes, deprecations or removals, and template changes.

If you are upgrading through multiple versions, check the release notes for each intermediate version.

For example, if you are upgrading from WHMCS 8.4 to WHMCS 8.7, check the release notes for WHMCS 8.5, WHMCS 8.6, and WHMCS 8.7.

2. Check the system requirements.

Before updating, you must ensure that your setup meets the system requirements for your chosen version of WHMCS and any intermediate versions that you will upgrade through.

For more information, see Checking for WHMCS System Requirements.

3. Check your customizations.

If you use custom system themes or order form templates, make certain that these exist within their own directories. Updates will often overwrite changes that you make to the default themes or templates.

You can find information about template changes and links to view those changes in our GitHub® template repositories in the desired version's release notes.

4. Test updates before production.

WHMCS performs comprehensive automated and manual testing of each new release, but differences in environments, system configuration, and customization can cause unanticipated issues for individual installations.

Because of this, we recommend creating a test installation to check for potential update issues before you apply updates to your production system. The test system should be an exact replica of your production installation.

For steps to create a testing environment and check it for issues, see Setting Up a Development and Testing Environment.

If you buy your license directly from WHMCS, you can contact our Customer Service team for a free testing and development license.

5. Back up your installation.

Always create backups before applying an update.

Before you update, create backups of the WHMCS database and the entire WHMCS directory. If you experience problems while updating, doing this will allow you to quickly revert your changes.

For more information, see Backups.

6. Check MySQL® permissions.

The update process will need to create and alter tables in the MySQL database. Make sure that the MySQL user has all available permissions for the duration of the update process.

7. Perform the update.

When you are ready to perform the update, you can choose between two update methods:

Automatic Updates

The Automatic Updater utility in the WHMCS Admin Area downloads, validates, and extracts the new files and updates the database in one process.

For steps to use this method, see Update Using the Automatic Updater.

We strongly recommend this method.

Manual Updates

If you want or need to update WHMCS manually, you can use either your browser or a command line tool.

For steps to use this method, see:

We only recommend this method for advanced users.

8. Check the update's results.

After the update finishes, check to ensure that WHMCS is working properly. We recommend testing all of the important features and functions in WHMCS, like logging in as a client and as an admin, viewing products, submitting support tickets, and placing new orders.

We also recommend monitoring the alert messages at Configuration > System Health (Help > System Health Status prior to WHMCS 8.0) for the 24 hours following the update.