Patch Files

This method is for advanced users who wish to use a patch/diff style update process. If you don't know what the patch utility is, this method is not for you.

A number of patch files are provided and you should choose the one that corresponds to the version of the board that you are currently running. For example, if your current version is 3.3.0 and you are updating to 3.3.1, you need the phpBB-3.3.0_to_3.3.1.patch file.

  1. Make a backup of the original files

  2. Make a backup of the database

  3. Locally, perform for the following steps:

    1. Download the phpBB 3.3 Patch Files archive

    2. Extract the install/ directory

    3. Extract the vendor/ directory

    4. Extract the desired patch file for your version

  4. On your web server, delete the vendor/ directory

  5. Upload the install/ directory

  6. Upload the vendor/ directory

  7. Upload the patch file to the parent directory containing the phpBB core files (i.e. index.php, viewforum.php, etc.). With this done you should run the following command: patch -cl -d [PHPBB DIRECTORY] -p1 < [PATCH NAME] (where PHPBB DIRECTORY is the directory name your phpBB Installation resides in, for example phpBB, and where PATCH NAME is the relevant filename of the selected patch file). This should complete quickly, hopefully without any HUNK FAILED comments.

    If you do get failures, you should look at using the Code Changes page to update the files which failed to patch. Alternatively, if you know how, you can examine the .rej files to determine what failed where and make manual adjustments to the relevant source.

  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. 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

  10. Delete the uploaded patch file from the server