Full Package

This update method will remove most existing files and then put the new ones in place.

  1. Make a backup of the original files

  2. Make a backup of the database

  3. Download the phpBB 3.3 Full Package archive

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

  5. Delete the following files from the package:

    • The config.php file

    • The files/ directory

    • The images/ directory

    • The store/ directory

  6. 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

    • The styles/ directory

  7. 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.

    The docs/ folder is for your personal use and it is not necessary to upload it to your forum.

  8. 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/app.php/update in your board's root (e.g. http://www.example.com/yourforum/install/app.php/update). You will see the following warning message: No valid update directory was found, please make sure you uploaded the relevant files. This is expected and not an error.

    2. Select "Update database only" and click Submit

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

      Depending on your previous version this will make a number of database changes. You may receive FAILURES during this procedure. They should not be a cause for concern unless you see an actual ERROR, in which case the script will stop (in this case you should seek help via our forums).

  9. Delete the install/ directory on the server


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.


When backing up your files via FTP, ensure that the client is in binary mode. If using Filezilla, ensure that the "transfer files without extensions" setting is set to "binary mode".

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