How to Update Drupal 8


April 1, 2018 by al

These instructions for installing security updates manually, but they are very similar to updating an entire version.

  1. Backup your current installation, including the database.
  2. Download the most current version of Drupal core from
  3. Drupal core will be a compressed file that must be extracted.
  4. You can either extract it on your local computer or upload it to your server and extract it into a folder that is not part of the web space used for your drupal web space.
  5. Login to your Drupal website as an administrator
  6. Go to the Performance Tab on the Administration Menu and place the site in Maintenance Mode.  Administration -> Configuration -> Development -> Maintenance Mode then check “Put into Maintenance Mode” and “Save Configuration”.
  7. Go to the directory/folder that contains the Drupal files and delete the “core” and “vendor” directories and replace them with the “core” and “vendor” directories of the updated Drupal distribution.
  8. Delete all the files (not the folders) in the website directory except the .htaccess file.
  9. Move all the updated files to the website directory. The following files will probably be among those being moved, and there may be others.
    • autoload.php
    • composer.php
    • composer.lock
    • index.php
    • license.txt
    • readme.txt
    • robots.txt
    • update.php
    • web.config
  10. Go to the “sites” directory and highlight the “default” so you can change the permissions on it to have “write” permission. Then go into the “default” directory and give the “settings.php” file “write” permission.
  11. Edit the “settings.php” file and change the $settings[‘update_free_access’] = FALSE line to $settings[‘update_free_access’] = TRUE;
  12. On the browser’s address bar type the (with “” being the domain of the website) and follow the prompts on the screen.
  13. Go to Administration > Reports > Status report to verify that everything is working as expected
  14. Go to Administration -> Configuration -> Development -> Maintenance mode and disable the “Put site into maintenance mode” checkbox and save the configuration.
  15. Your site is updated.


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