Joomla 1.6 to 1.7 Upgrade Tutorial

How to upgrade Joomla from version 1.6.x to version 1.7

Upgrading Joomla 1.6.x to 1.7 is not a difficult process. Fortunately, it's much easier than the upgrade from version 1.5.x to 1.6. The exact steps depend on the version that you have (e.g. 1.6.0, 1.6.2, 1.6.5, etc.) and on the method you decide to use.

Before beginning any upgrades make sure you back up the Joomla files on your hosting account and the database used by your Joomla installation.

Joomla 1.6.0 and newer versions have a built-in automatic updater but it has some problems and it might not produce the expected results. It's located in the Extension Manager of your backend. To open it either click on the Extension Manager button of your backend's control panel or go to the Extensions menu and click on Extension Manager:

Backend Control Panel

Once you open the Extension Manager click on the Update tab. Then in the Update Manager click on Purge Cache in the upper right corner and then on Find Updates right next to it. Joomla will display the last version which at this point is 1.7.0. However, you could try and update to it through the automatic updater only if you have at least version 1.6.5, not any older ones:

Extension Manager Update Search

To upgrade just mark the checkbox in front of the update and click on the Update button in the upper right corner.

It's also possible to upgrade using the Extension Manager in the same way as installing an extension:

Joomla Extension Manager

You have to download the respective patch package from the download section of Joomla's site to your local computer. Then you can use the first option (Upload Package File) to upload and install the package (without unzipping it). See the tutorial on installing Joomla extensions for more details on using the Extension Manager. Unfortunately, now there are only patch packages from version 1.6.5 to 1.7.0; they don't have, for example, from 1.6.0 to 1.7.0, or neither from 1.6.0 to 1.6.5. So if your version is older than 1.6.5 this might seem a bit like a vicious circle. But don't worry you'll be able to upgrade your Joomla.

What we recommend is the good old manual upgrade. If you have version 1.6.5 just download to your local computer the patch package 1.6.5 to 1.7.0 from the official Joomla site. Then unzip it and using your favorite FTP client (e.g. FileZilla) upload the unzipped folders and files to the root Joomla directory on your hosting account overwriting the old files there. If, for example, you have your Joomla installed in a folder called joomla on your account, the path to it would be public_html/joomla. If you haven't used an FTP client or you don't know how to configure it, visit the tutorials on configuring FTP clients.

As we mentioned, the only upgrade package that exists for updating to version 1.7.0 is the one from 1.6.5 to 1.7.0. If you have version 1.6.6 (the last 1.6.x version) you can use the same package since 1.6.5 is the closest you can get to 1.6.6.

If you have older versions, like 1.6.0 or 1.6.2 for example, there's an upgrade package from 1.6.0 to 1.6.6. Download it from Joomla's site to you local computer, unzip it and upload the folders and files with an FTP client to the Joomla folder on your account overwriting the old files there. Then you can download the upgrade package from 1.6.5 to 1.7.0 to upgrade your current 1.6.6 version to 1.7.0. The process is exactly the same: download the package, unzip it and upload the files.