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.
Backup all board files and the database.
Ensure that your server meets the requirements for running phpBB 3.2: Section 1.1, “Requirements”
Download the full package.
Unzip to your desktop and open the phpBB3 directory.
Remove (delete) the
config.phpfile, and the
/filesdirectories from the newly downaloded package.
In Administration Control Panel (ACP) > GENERAL > Board Configuration > Board settings
Default style: prosilver
Override user style: Yes
If spambot countermeasures are enabled: Administration Control Panel (ACP) > GENERAL > Board Configuration > Spambot countermeasure if the installed plugin used is not GD image, GD 3D image, Simple image, Q&A, or reCaptcha, then change it to one of those.
Server configuration disable Gzip
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.
B- Clean-up OPTIONAL
If you have more than a few EXTs or otherwise want to remove old entries from the database so you can start from a fresh forum by removing everything except for your users, topics and default configuration:
Download and uncompress the Unofficial STK
stkdirectory from Support Toolkit package to the root of your board installation. (You might need to rename the downloaded folder to “stk”)
In your browser go to http://www.example.com/yourforum/stk, login if necessary.
Using the menus navigate to ADMIN TOOLS > Database Cleaner and run that tool.
C- File replacement
Via FTP or SSH delete everything from your board installation on the server EXCEPT for the
config.phpfile, and the
Via FTP or SSH upload the remaining files and directories (from step iii above) to the root of your board installation on the server overwriting the existing files.
In your browser go to http://www.example.com/yourforum/install/
Click the Update tab
Click the Update button
Select “Update database only” and click Submit
Wait for the progress bar to reach 100% and for a message indicating that the update has completed
Delete the install/ directory via FTP or SSH delete the
/install/directory from the root of your board installation.
Time to install your new Premium Shiny Theme for phpBB 3.2 FLATBOOTS
Grab some coolness here: marketplace.php
You now have a new up to date board containing all your users and posts. All went well? You are LUCKY. Congrats!
If you use languages other than the standard British English you will need to find new language packs, upload those to the board, and install those languages again: ACP > CUSTOMISE > Language Management > Language packs.
Only use a good FTP or SSH client, such as FileZilla, to transfer the files. (File transfer utilities provided in host control panels can cause problems.)
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/
Common problems while updating
Do not put the board in Offline mode when you are about to run the update. (it will result in a phpBB error notice later on and you might be worried about something just broke :- ) )
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
Are you on NGINX and PHP7 and the installer is not running? See my post here: https://area51.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=49426
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.
This is quite lengthy process and it is suggested only if you already have experience with phpBB and an update process. Make sure you also have enough time as you cannot just interrupt it and resume it later. I am Available as usual to perform the update for you if you prefer to avoid headaches. I will be charging depending on the board size and update type, migrations etc. Contact me via PM or email for a quote.
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