Rolling Back a WordPress Update

Sometimes updating WordPress breaks some vital plugin. Best case scenario, this happens on your test site. (See here on how to create a test site, if you need help). Worst case it happens on your prod site. If that’s the case, you may have to use FileZilla to move the files as described below. In any event, here’s how to roll back an upgrade that doesn’t play nice with your plugins. One more note before we move on: this does not detail how to roll back plugins, just the WordPress version itself.


Click zip next to your previous version. 

Finding your previous version is tricky. I was fortunate to remember what version I was on before things went kerblewy. If you don’t know, I’d suggest going back a couple of version. If you know were to find out which version you just upgraded from, please leave a comment below.


Go to www/wordpress or whatever your wordpress directory may be.

Create a new directory named after the version of WordPress you upgraded to

Move all files and folders  into that folder except 

  • wp-content
  • .htaccess
  • wp-config


Go to  and right-click the zip file you just downloaded

Click Extract all



Click Browse

Navigate to your WordPress directory

Click OK


Click Extract


Double-click the new wordpress folder

Copy all files and folders  into the default WordPress directory except 

  • wp-content
  • wp-config-example

Rename the second wordpress folder, to whatever version you’re downgrading to. This will prevent you from having the confusing /wordpress/wordpress directory structure

Now your default WordPress Directory should look something like this


Go to http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin

Click Update WordPress Database


Click Continue


And now you’ll see a message asking you to upgrade. You’ll want to ignore that until whatever issue caused you to need to downgrade in the first place is resovled



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