06 Apr 2011

How To DOWNGRADE WordPress Version

WordPress 35 Comments

Although having latest WordPress is good idea, but sometime you may wish to back to earlier version of WordPress installation. This can happen when your plugins do not work with new version and you have majortheme issues.

Well, downgrade a new version of WordPress to older version is a easy task and that same as upgrading a WordPress to newer version.

  1. Make full back up of your site whatever you do first make backup of  WordPress folder and database. You need to have access to your site control panel using ftp program such as Filezilla make a copy of all WordPress Platform files.  These are located in the root directory of your host or the root directory of the location you installed WordPress.
  2. Delete wp-admin and wp-includes folder which are located in your default host directory.
  3. Get and download the old version of WordPress that you need from wordpress.org release-archive.
  4. Unzip your desired version of WordPress and overwrite all files EXCEPT wp-content folder to your website by using ftp program.
  5. Go to your site admin area this time you wont see WordPress admin login page.  Instead  you will notice a message that say WordPress Database needs to upgraded current WordPress to new one!!. do not worry, just click OK and you will then see the admin login box.
  6. Login to admin area and HAVE FUN!

Everything will be fine and you can enjoy old WordPress installation on new on WordPress.

If for any reason you are afraid to do this scary task share your fears below.

Jarrett Gucci is the owner of Dynasty Web Solutions. A full service Internet presence provider specializing in WordPress development for business owners. Jarrett Gucci along with his team of professionals have designed over 400 WordPress websites. Jarrett Gucci believes strongly in creating websites that are unique, functional and generate referrals.

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35 Responses to “How To DOWNGRADE WordPress Version”

  1. Downloadonfire says:

    Thanks man. I had problem with WordPress 4. It made me disturbing. I have followed your instruction and got a good result. I want to mention that please download FileZilla first and login using your Cpanel username and password.

  2. Gilberto Cintron says:

    Thanks for this post. I need to downgrade and this worked like a charm.

  3. Emily says:

    Should I upgrade to WP 3.7.1 and then try to downgrade again to 3.5.1?

  4. Emily says:

    Because Filezilla would not let me drag the files (minus the wp-admin and the wp-includes folders) that were originally in my root directory into a folder on my desktop as a backup method, which you suggested in your video, I just downloaded them. I thought they were being downloaded onto my computer, but they were logged as transfers in Filezilla. Filezilla also would not let me cancel this initial download/backup option. Could this have played a role in why my website still looks the same dysfunctional way it did before I downgraded from WP 3.6.1 to 3.5.1?

  5. Emily says:

    I followed your video’s instructions exactly and my website still looks the same as it did before (i.e., WP is telling me that I successfully downgraded to a version that I know worked originally, however the functionality that had been there originally is still not functioning correctly/at all.) I downgraded to WP 3.5.1, which does not have a “wp-config.php” file but only a “wp-config-sample.php” file. I did not rename the latter file “wp-config.php” and transfer it into my server’s root directory. Should I have done anything with the “wp-config-sample.php” file in the WP release I downloaded from the archives? Your video does not direct us to do so, but in one of your answers to a commenter you indicate that we should not transfer the wp-contents folder and the “wp-config.php” file from the release archive of the version of WP to which we’d like to downgrade. Is this why my website is still not functioning properly?

  6. Philo says:

    Did this and it worked perfectly – Watch the video if you have any questions.

    Thanks Mr. Internet!

  7. Philo says:

    Do you overwrite the files in the root area? Such as:

    – wp-activate.php
    – wp-blog-header.php
    – index.php
    – etc…


    • Jarrett Gucci says:

      All except wp-config.php and wp-content folder.

      • Emily says:

        In your video and in the text below it, you only mention not overriding the wp-content folder. However, here, you add “wp-config.php.” Which is correct?

        I am trying to downgrade to WP 3.5.1 and the closest file in the WP 3.5.1 release archive zip folder I see to “wp-config.php” is “wp-config-sample.php.” Should I be looking to save a file called “wp-config.php” on the host side of ftp? Should I not import the “sample” file from the archive release? I’m confused.

  8. Philo says:

    Hello Mr. Internet – Will these procedures work for going from a recent update of 3.6.1 back to 3.5.2?

    Are you available for work if somehow this does not work?


  9. Kevin says:

    Hi Jarret

    Is there anyway of finding out what the previous version of wordpress was after the upgrade was done? I had a user who decided to upgrade without backing up first, now there are a lot of issue with plugins etc. I just don’t know what version to revert back to. How do I found this out?


    • Jarrett Gucci says:

      Hello Kevin

      It may be possible if your host offers a php log installed on the server. It’s always best to stay updated and fix the other issues. You may fix plugins but if you run an older version of WP it will cause platform and browser issues in the long run.

      I own another company that could help fix any issues you are having. Check it out at http://WPfixit.com

      Hope this helps.

  10. graham says:

    Hey Jarrett,

    I followed your steps to downgrade my WordPress version because when moving a new site onto a client’s server I got the lovely following error:

    “Your server is running PHP version 5.1.6 but WordPress 3.4.1 requires at least 5.2.4.”

    I definitely should have checked the PHP version before going full steam into development, but sadly I assued it would all be good.

    After following the steps you’ve laid out, I’m still getting the same error. Either something is still pointing to 3.4.1 or it didn’t stick. Any ideas as to why this may be.

    Thanks so much for this tutorial by the way. I found it very helpful, despite the fact that it didn’t completely solve my problem.


  11. Alisa says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Alisa says:

    It is like that because infohost.nmt.edu is a university domain which then creates accts for students and organizations and those domains are just infohost.nmt.edu/~whatevername.

    I created an admin login for you. You should have received an email.

  13. Alisa says:

    So I did this, and all my pages except the homepage are not found. Even if I create a new page the page is still not found. Any ideas?

  14. Owen says:

    I just upgraded to 3.2.1 and here is what happened:

    -My Si Captcha plugin doesn’t work at all. Spambots have made their way in and have posted on the main page activity stream.

    -Every page came up as “Not found”. It had disconnected the components with the actual pages so I had to affix them to their respective pages (a new option that wasn’t available in earlier wordpress) yet that created some issues with Profiles as I can explain below…

    -Members can now access their profiles but can no longer PM other members or even view their profiles. To friend someone they now need to go through the member’s directory and request it that way.

    -Four new tabs were added to my homepage – activity, forums, members and groups. My groups and members were already listed under the Community tab and the activity stream was the home page itself so all of that seemed redundant. My forums were also each listed in their respective groups beforehand so this has created another cosmetic mess up.

    -My Achievements plugin functions the same except for once a member clicks on the link associated with an achievement on the Achievement page it should go to another page with a larger image of the achievement and a description of it – now it only goes to a blank page.

    -On a member’s Profile if they click on their “settings” tab it comes to a blank white page.

    -I cannot even send notices or PMs as the Admin!

    So quite a few issues. 7 weeks ago I knew enough html to make letters bold or italic, separate paragraphs and make links. I have learned a hell of a lot and spent a lot of time doing so in the past 7 weeks of building the site up but there is still so much that is greek to me.

  15. Owen says:

    How much does this cost? Some of this is greek to me, I know very little. Before the update to 3.2.1 for WordPress everything was perfect on my site…

  16. Michelle says:

    Can you do this for me?!?

  17. robbert says:

    great tips – however, after doing what you suggest, all i get is a blank screen, both on my home page and on my admin page. any ideas would be most appreciated…
    thanks! robbert

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