Upgrading from 3.1 to 3.2

Upgrading to phpBB 3.2 may cause some extensions to no longer work. All styles will need to be updated, even if they give the appearance of working. If you have a custom logo, it will need to be redone after the upgrade. See Knowledge Base: How to Change your Board Logo.

phpBB 3.2 is not completely backwards compatible with 3.1 and custom edits may no longer work. The easiest upgrade method is to remove all existing files prior to upgrading and re-applying custom changes after verifying their correctness.

To upgrade, perform the following steps:

  1. Ensure that your server meets the requirements for running phpBB 3.2: Section 1.1, “Requirements”

  2. Make a backup of the original files

  3. Make a backup of the database

  4. Deactivate all styles except for prosilver

  5. Deactivate any extensions which are not compatible with phpBB 3.2. Check with the extension author to find out if an extension is compatible or not.

  6. Set British English as the only language pack

  7. Download the phpBB 3.2 Full Package archive

  8. Extract the contents of the archive to your computer and open the phpBB3 directory

  9. Delete the following files from the package:

    • The config.php file

    • The files/ directory

    • The images/ directory

    • The store/ directory

  10. On your website, delete all files from your board EXCEPT for:

    • The config.php file

    • The ext/ directory

    • The files/ directory

    • The images/ directory

    • The store/ directory

  11. Upload the contents of the phpBB3 directory from your computer to your forum's directory. You may be prompted to overwrite the remaining files. If prompted to merge or overwrite directories, choose to merge them.

  12. Update the database:


    For large boards, you may wish to update via the command line instead of using a web browser. From your board's root, execute the following command: php ./bin/phpbbcli.php db:migrate --safe-mode

    1. Using your web browser, visit install/ in your board's root. (e.g. http://www.example.com/yourforum/install)

    2. Click the Update tab

    3. Click the Update button

    4. Select "Update database only" and click Submit

    5. Wait for the progress bar to reach 100% and for a message indicating that the update has completed

  13. Delete the install/ directory


Ensure that the root level .htaccess file is included in the upload. Some FTP clients do not show files whose names start with a period and you may need to enable the display of hidden files.


If your board made use of language packs other than British English, you will need to download a version that is compatible with phpBB 3.2 from https://www.phpbb.com/languages/


When uploading the 3.2 files to your server, do NOT overwrite your config.php.


When backing up your files, ensure that your FTP client is in binary mode or transfers files without extensions in binary mode.

For more information, see: Knowledge Base: Transferring attachment files with Filezilla