Updating OpenCart

OpenCart is periodically updated with new versions of itself. It is a good idea to update your store with each new version released to take advantage of bug fixes and new features. It may seem like a hassle to update the shop every time a new version comes out, but it is worth the effort in the long run. There are ways to avoid the pain of upgrades, such as using quality themes and modules that do not modify your OpenCart core, or using vQmod.

This guide will explain how to upgrade from the v2.x.x up to the latest version of OpenCart 3. Versions earlier than 1.5.4 will not be included since they are no longer available.

Checking the requirements for the new version

To see if the a store with an older version can upgrade to the newest version, your web server needs to meet the basic technical requirements. To see the latest technical requirements for the latest version of OpenCart, 3.0.x, see System requirements.

  1. Download the latest version of OpenCart and upload ALL new files on top of your current install EXCEPT your config.php and admin/config.php.
    - #1 Backup and Remove all of 2.x.x views files. Because OpenCart 3 is start to use TWIG to replace the TPL format.
    - #2 Before upgrade the latest version, you should double check the existing extensions (in your store) are compatibility with latest version or not. Please contact the developer for enquiry before you upgrade.
    - #3 Not only the extensions, all the themes in OpenCart 2 cannot use in OpenCart 3. You should set your store theme to default theme and disabled all of the extensions first.
  2. Browse to Replacing with your actual site (and subdirectory if applicable).
  3. You should see the OpenCart Upgrade script.
    - If you see the OpenCart Install page, then that means you overwrote your config.php files. Restore them from your backup first. Then try again.
  4. Click Upgrade, after a few seconds you should see the upgrade success page
    - If you see any errors, report them immediately in the forum before continuing.
  5. Clear any cookies in your browser
  6. Goto the admin side of your store and press Ctrl+F5 or Ctrl+Shift+R for several times to refresh your browser cache. That will prevent oddly shifted elements due to stylesheet changes. Login to your admin as the main administrator.
  7. Goto Admin->Users->User Groups and Edit the Top Adminstrator group. Check All boxes.
    - This will ensure you have permissions for all the new files.
  8. Goto Admin->Extensions->Extensions->Theme enabled and save the default theme again.
  9. Goto Admin->System Settings
    - Update any blank fields and click save.
    Even if you do not see any new fields, click save anyway to update the database with any new field names.
  10. Other Adjustments that may need to be made, depending on which version you are upgrading from and to. These are broken down by which version they were added in. So if you are not currently at that version, you may need to make changes.
  11. Load the store front and again press CTRL+F5 3x times to refresh your browser cache. That will prevent oddly shifted elements due to stylesheet. (If you skip step 8, you will get the error message.)

If you want to move your shop to the latest version and are currently using a 1.4.x version, you need to download a script from the OpenCart forum:

Updating from 1.5.x to the latest version

Updating from a 1.5.x version to the newest version is a simpler process than updating from 1.4.x. To access the latest version of OpenCart, visit the Download page:

latest version

The latest version will always be at the top of the Downloads list. Click "Download" to save the zip version. Unzip the zip file to a location that can be easily located later. 

The next step in updating is to upload the files from the latest version to the store's file directory via a FTP client. Transferring these files will overwrite the existing files, so it is a good idea to save the existing files from the store's root directory on the administrator's computer as a zip file. Also, if you haven't done so already, you should visit the Backup/Restore section to save a backup sql file containing the store's database information.

With the store's files backed up, the newest version can be uploaded with the FTP client. See Installation to learn how to connect to the store's directory using Filezilla. In the Local site side, locate the OpenCart version's upload folder and open it to view its contents. There are two files that need to be excluded from the upload to the store's root directory: "upload/config.php", and the "upload/admin/config.php".

delete admin config delete config

The easiest way to upload the files of the latest version, without these two config.php files, is to delete them from the local site side before uploading. That way you can select everything within the upload folder without worrying if the config.php files were uploaded accidentally. In the screen shot below, the store is located at "public_html/update", so all the files from "upload" are selected and dragged to the scroll bar. Every file within "upload" is automatically loaded to its proper path this way. These files should overwrite the existing files, so select "Overwrite" when asked by the FTP client.

ftp update version155

After uploading the files of the new version to the FTP client, the administrator must visit the install page. The install page is located at the store location followed by "/install" like so: www."mystore".com/install. The following screenshot displays the upgrade instructions after it finishes updating when viewing the install page.

upgrade install

After letting OpenCart upgrade complete, the following success page will be displayed. The install directory can be deleted now.

upgrade complete

Though the upgrade has completed, there are still a few things to do to get the administration side of your store in order:

  • Remove cookies from your browser.
  • Press CTRL+F5 three times in both the admin side and the store front.
  • Visit the store settings and fill in any missing information. See Settings to learn how to edit the store settings.
  • Visit the User Groups and give the Top Administrator all the privileges needed to run the administration. See Users for more information on how to edit User Groups.

Once the administration is in order, you can resume the routine of managing your store; except now you are equipped with all the improved tools and features brought by the update.