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Automatic updates

Admin Tools can be updated just like any other Joomla! extension, using the Joomla! extensions update feature. Please note that Joomla! is fully responsible for discovering available updates and installing them on your site. Akeeba Ltd does not have any control of the update process.

[Note]Note

This Joomla! feature requires that your server supports fopen() URL wrappers (allow_url_fopen is set to 1 in your server's php.ini file) or has the PHP cURL extension enabled. Moreover, if your server has a firewall, it has to allow TCP connections over ports 80 and 443 to www.akeeba.com and cdn.akeeba.com. If you don't see any updates or if they fail to download please ask your host to check that these conditions are met. If they are met but you still do not see the updates please file a bug report in the official Joomla! forum. In the meantime you can use the manual update methods discussed further below this page.

[Warning]Warning

Admin Tools Professional needs you to set up the Download ID before you can install the updates. Please consult the Entering your Download ID documentation section for more information.

You can access the extensions update feature in different ways depending on your Joomla version:

  • Joomla 3: From the icon your Joomla! administrator control panel page. You will find the icon in the left-hand sidebar, under the Maintenance header. When there are updates found for any of your extensions you will see the Updates are available message. Clicking on it will get you to the Update page of Joomla! Extensions Manager.

  • Joomla 3 (alternate method): From the top menu of your Joomla! administrator click on Extensions, Manager. From that page click on the Update tab found in the left-hand sidebar. Clicking on it will get you to the Update page of Joomla! Extensions Manager.

  • Joomla 4: From the icon your Joomla! administrator control panel page. By default you will find the icon in the right-hand modules area, under the Update Checks header. When there are updates found for any of your extensions you will see the Updates are available message. Clicking on it will get you to the Update page of Joomla! Extensions Manager.

  • Joomla 4 (alternate method): From the sidebar of your Joomla! administrator click on System. On the new page find the Update area towards the bottom of the middle column and click the Extensions link. This takes you to the Update page of Joomla! Extensions Manager.

If you do not see the updates try clicking on the Find Updates button in the toolbar. If you do not see the updates still you may want to wait up to 24 hours before retrying. This has to do with the way the update CDN works and how Joomla! caches the update information.

If there is an update available for Admin Tools tick the box to the left of its row and then click on the Update button in the toolbar. Joomla! will now download and install the update.

If Joomla! cannot download the package, please use one of the manual update methods described below. If, however you get an error about copying files, folder not found or a cryptic "-1" error please follow our installation troubleshooting instructions.

If you get a white page while installing the update please try either the Built-in method (described above) or the manual update method (described below).

Updating manually

As noted in the installation section, installing and updating Admin Tools is actually the same thing. If the automatic update using Joomla!'s extensions update feature does not work, please install the update manually following the instructions in the installation section of this documentation.

[Important]Important

When installing an update manually you MUST NOT uninstall your existing version of Admin Tools. Uninstalling Admin Tools will always remove all your settings. You do not want that to happen!

Sometimes Joomla! may forget to copy some files when updating extensions. If you find Admin Tools suddenly not working or if you get a warning that your installation is corrupt you need to download the latest version's ZIP file and install it twice on your site, without uninstalling it before or in-between these installations. This will most certainly fix this issue.

If the error occurs again after a while, without you updating our software, please contact your host. Some hosts will delete or rename files automatically and without any confirmation as part of a (broken and unfit for purpose) "malware scanner / antivirus". Unfortunately, these scanners return a lot of false positives -innocent files mistakenly marked as malicious- but rename / delete them nonetheless, breaking software installed on the server. If you are on such a host we very strongly recommend that you move to a decent host, run by people who actually know what they are doing. It will be far less headache for you and would actually improve your site's security.

Troubleshooting the update

Like most Joomla extensions, our software relies on Joomla's built-in extensions updater. In simple terms, code written by the Joomla project, shipped with Joomla itself and running on your site is responsible for retrieving information about the latest available versions, determining whether an update is available, downloading the update package and installing it on your site. Akeeba Ltd has no control over that code.

Despite this not being our code, we do understand that our clients do come across problems with updates and need our help. The way the Joomla built-in extensions updater is written makes it prone to some easily preventable, common errors. Its error reporting ranges from unhelpful to non-existent. In an effort to help you, we've compiled and condensed all the troubleshooting we've done for years on our sites and our clients' sites.

We do understand that the instructions in this section are convoluted and complicated. We are afraid that this is the simplest form they can be reduced to. We'd like to assure you that they do not reflect on the quality of software we can produce. These instructions are necessitated by and reflect the way Joomla itself works.

If you were using our software between 2009 and 2016 you might remember that we were using our own code, Akeeba Live Update, to find, download and install updates to our software. It was a much better solution and much easier to troubleshoot; it would tell you exactly what to fix and ask you to click a button to let it verify the fix. Unfortunately, the Joomla Extensions Directory (JED) made it impossible to use ouw own updater code, even as an alternative to the Joomla built-in extensions updater, in 2016. Doing otherwise is a violation of JED's terms of service and would result in all of our extensions being unlisted. That's why we are now using the Joomla built-in extensions updater even though we know it's nowhere near as good as what we used to have. Sorry, folks.

Addressing server issues

In some cases you will see that Joomla cannot retrieve the latest version information or update package for our software, reporting it cannot connect to cdn.akeeba.com (extensions released after August 2020) or cdn.akeebabackup.com (extensions released before August 2020). Related to that, Joomla may report that it's unable to download the Professional edition's update package, saying it's unable to connect to our site www.akeeba.com (extensions released after August 2020) or www.akeebabackup.com (extensions released before August 2020). This can mean a few different things which all have to do with how your host is set up.

Our CND and our site are accessible over HTTPS and use a valid, signed TLS certificate. At the time of this writing the TLS certificates are issued by Let's Encrypt and Amazon Web Services. The TLS certificates used for HTTPS on our CDN and site use the recommended SHA-256 hashing algorithm and the servers only support modern versions of the TLS protocol (at the time of this writing it's TLS 1.2 and later). If your host has an out of date Certification Authority cache or compiled PHP against an old TLS library which does not support modern versions of TLS your site will be unable to connect to our servers.

If this is not the case, please be aware that some hosts run a proxy server or a firewall which can either prevent or cache outgoing connections in front of their servers. Depending on how this is implemented it can cause two distinct types of problems.

The first problem is that your site might be unable to connect to our CDN and our server to retrieve the latest version information and the update package itself respectively. If this happens you need to ask your host to allow connections to TCP/IP port 443 (HTTPS) for www.akeeba.com and cdn.akeeba.com. If they ask you for an IP address please ask them to resolve these domain names from their server. The latter is a Content Delivery network (CDN) with hundreds of servers, powered by Amazon CloudFront, meaning that its IP address depends on where you are accessing it from.

The second problem is that when Joomla tries to retrieve the latest version information or an update file from our servers your host's proxy gets in the way and returns information it has cached. We explicitly ask for that information not to be cached, using standard HTTP headers, but some hosts choose to ignore web standards and do their own thing. Also worth noting is that your host should not interfering with HTTPS (encrypted) traffic, so all the more reason to be worried about their implementation in this case. Unfortunately, we have caught a few hosts doing that over the years.

None of these issues can be addressed by you or us. You will need to contact your host about them. Before you assume any of these issues are in play and if you are using the Professional edition of our software please do check that your Download ID is valid first.

Check the validity of your Download ID

[Note]Note

The information in this section only applies to the Professional edition. If you are using the Core edition you can skip over it.

If you are using the Professional version of our software we need to verify that you have an active subscription that gives you access to downloads of the software you are trying to update. We do that by means of a Download ID which has the format 0123456789abcdef0123456789abcdef (Main Download ID) or 12345:0123456789abcdef0123456789abcdef (Add-on Download ID). In and by itself the Download ID does not carry any information about your subscription status. It is an identifier linked to your account on our site.

First, you need to check that you are using a valid Download ID. Do not assume that your Download ID is entered at all, or that it is valid. This kind of false assumption accounts for half of the update issues we are asked to help our clients with. Always check on our site. Log into our site and go to Add-on Download IDs from the top menu. Copy the Download ID and paste it to our extension's Options page in the Download ID box, under the Update tab.

If you had to enter or change the Download ID but Joomla was already reporting an updated version you need to follow the instructions in the Entering or changing your Download ID after an update is available section. Otherwise installing the update will NOT work at all due to the way Joomla caches update information in its database.

Check your subscription status

As noted above, the Download ID itself does not carry any information about whether you are allowed to download an update. This check is done on our server when it receives the Download ID along with Joomla's request to download an update. The check performed is simple: do you have an active subscription which gives you access to the software you are trying to download?

Do not assume that your subscription is active. It is possible that you missed an email warning you about the subscription expiring and a manual action to renew it being required on your part. This may even happen when you have a recurring subscription if our reseller, Paddle, cannot automatically charge your credit card / PayPal account for any reason. Or you may have simply let your manually renewing subscription lapsed or canceled your recurring subscription.

Always log into our site and go to the My Subscriptions page to check your subscription status. If your subscription has expired you can renew it. Once the payment is complete and accepted by our reseller you will be able to download the updates within the next 20' or less (typically: within seconds).

Multiple Professional edition Akeeba extensions with different Download IDs

It's possible that you have more than one of our Professional extensions but you want to use different Download IDs for each one of them. For example, if each extension was bought by a different company working on your site or if you are trying to migrate to a new user account on our site.

In this case you need to unpublish the following plugins on your site:

  • Installer - Akeeba Backup Professional

  • Installer - Akeeba Ticket System Professional

  • Installer - Admin Tools Professional

Do remember to check the Download IDs for each and every of our extensions.

Entering or changing your Download ID after an update is available

If you had to enter or change a Download ID after Joomla finds an update for it you will need to jump through a few hoops. This happens because of the way Joomla caches update information and some design choices in the Joomla extensions updater which prevent it from working smoothly in this case.

Please follow all of the steps below in the exact order presented from a single browser tab without having any other tabs or windows to your site open. Please follow all of the steps even if you think that something is redundant or repetitive; it's not and there is a reason we tell you to do it. We understand that the process outlined below is gruelling. Unfortunately it is necessary because of how Joomla itself works. This code is NOT under our control. If it was our code you wouldn't have to do anything at all; we know how to write software with better UX than this...

For Joomla 3:

  1. Go to the backend of your site

  2. Go to our software's main page e.g. click on Components and then on Akeeba Backup or Admin Tools or Akeeba Ticket System Professional depending on which of our software you have.

  3. Click on Options in the top right corner. This opens Joomla's com_config component showing the settings for our software.

  4. Clear your Download ID.

  5. Click on Save & Close.

  6. Click on Options in the top right corner again.

  7. Enter your Download ID.

  8. Click on Save & Close.

  9. If you have more than one Professional version of our software installed repeat the process from the beginning until here for each one of: Akeeba Backup Professional, Admin Tools Professional, Akeeba Ticket System Professional.

  10. Go to Extensions, Manage, Update.

  11. Click on Clear Cache.

  12. Go to System, Clear Cache

  13. From the dropdown select Administrator

  14. Click on Clear All even if the list is empty. Joomla has a hidden query cache which screws up updates if you don't clear it.

  15. Go to Extensions, Manage, Update.

  16. Click on Clear Cache again.

  17. Click on Find Updates.

  18. You should now be able to perform the updates to our software

For Joomla 4:

  1. Go to the backend of your site.

  2. Go to the System menu item, find the Update section and click on Update Sites.

  3. Click on the update site for our software, e.g. Akeeba Backup Professional, Akeeba Ticket System Professional or Admin Tools Professional depending on which of our software you have.

  4. Enter your Download ID in the Download Key box.

  5. Click on Save & Close.

  6. If you have more than one Professional version of our software installed repeat the process from the beginning until here for each one of: Akeeba Backup Professional, Admin Tools Professional, Akeeba Ticket System Professional.

  7. Go to the System menu item, find the Update section and click on Extensions.

  8. Click on Clear Cache.

  9. Go to the System menu item, find the Maintenance area, click the Clear Cache link.

  10. Click on the Delete All button even if the list is empty.

  11. Go to the System menu item, find the Update area, click the Extensions link.

  12. Click on the Clear Cache button in the toolbar again.

  13. Click on the Find Update button.

  14. You should now be able to perform the updates to our software

Updates are showing after installing the latest version

Sometimes you might see that Joomla reports that the version you have installed or even a previous version is available as an update. This can mean three things:

Updates not showing despite having an older version

Sometimes you may see that Joomla refuses to report the availability of a new version of our software. This can mean three things:

Check the update site

First we are going to check if the Update Site is disabled. Go to the backend of your site. On Joomla 3 go to the Extensions, Manage, Update Sites menu item. On Joomla 4 go to the System menu item, find the Update area and click on the Update Sites link.

On that page you will see a list of the update sites for the extensions you have installed on your site. If you see our software in that list – you may have to search for it – make sure it's published, i.e. there's a green checkmark in the Status column. If it's not already published publish it now. If you had to publish the Update Site you also need to follow the instructions under Refresh the update cache for your updates to work.

If our software does not appear on that list you will need to click on Rebuild. Watch out! Using Rebuild removes all Download IDs and Download Keys from all installed extensions on your site and will cause extension installation to fail. You will also need to follow the instructions under Check the validity of your Download ID for your updates to work.

Refresh the update cache

Joomla does not download the latest version information every time you ask it to tell you if there's a new version available for an extension. This would be too slow and bog down the servers of the third party developers providing this update information. Instead, it caches the updates for 1 to 24 hours (configurable), with the default being 6 hours. In very rare cases this updates cache may get “stuck” beyond this time limit and needs to be manually refreshed.

First try the normal way to get the update cache refreshed. Please follow all of the steps below in the exact order presented from a single browser tab without having any other tabs or windows to your site open. Please follow all of the steps even if you think that something is redundant; it's not and there is a reason we tell you to do it.

On Joomla 3:

  1. Go to the backend of your site.

  2. Go to the Extensions, Manage, Update menu item.

  3. Click on the Clear Cache button in the toolbar.

  4. Click on the Find Update button.

On Joomla 4:

  1. Go to the backend of your site.

  2. Go to the System menu item, find the Update area, click the Extensions link.

  3. Click on the Clear Cache button in the toolbar.

  4. Click on the Find Update button.

This will tell Joomla to get the up-to-date information about available versions for all extensions installed on your computer. If you do not see anything changing to the better you have hit a rare issue which involves another Joomla cache that is invisible even to the Super Users: the Joomla database query cache. Please follow all of the steps below in the exact order presented from a single browser tab without having any other tabs or windows to your site open. Please follow all of the steps even if you think that something is redundant or repetitive; it's not and there is a reason we tell you to do it.

On Joomla 3:

  1. Go to the backend of your site.

  2. Go to the Extensions, Manage, Update menu item.

  3. Click on the Clear Cache button in the toolbar.

  4. Go to the System, Clear Cache menu item.

  5. From the dropdown select Administrator.

  6. Click on the Delete All button even if the list is empty.

  7. Go to the Extensions, Manage, Update menu item.

  8. Click on the Clear Cache button in the toolbar again.

  9. Click on the Find Update button.

On Joomla 4:

  1. Go to the backend of your site.

  2. Go to the System menu item, find the Update area, click the Extensions link.

  3. Click on the Clear Cache button in the toolbar.

  4. Go to the System menu item, find the Maintenance area, click the Clear Cache link.

  5. Click on the Delete All button even if the list is empty.

  6. Go to the System menu item, find the Update area, click the Extensions link.

  7. Click on the Clear Cache button in the toolbar again.

  8. Click on the Find Update button.

If you still cannot retrieve updates for our software you need to check if you have a server issue. If that's not the case you need to check the update site since it might have been automatically unpublished by Joomla.

Miscellaneous troubleshooting and information

The update fails to download

If you are trying to update a Professional edition please check your Download ID. Typically you will get an error message telling you that an error 403 or 500 was received when trying to download the update package. Whether you see that message or a generic download failure message depends on the version of Joomla you have installed on your site.

If this doesn't help you need to check if you have a server issue.

Updating with a third party service fails

Typically, third party site management services ask Joomla to provide the update information and install update on your behalf. Therefore the troubleshooting information in this section would solve both in-site and remote (via a service) extension updates.

If you can install an update by logging into your site's backend but NOT through a service you need to contact the third party site management service and report this issue. Unfortunately we cannot help with it. Third party services DO NOT ask us for permissions to implement an updater for our software.

Manual update

As noted earlier in the documentation, a manual update is the same as installing the extension. Download the latest version from our site and install it on your site without uninstalling our extension.

Update installation problems

If your update does download but fails to install try the manual update method (installing the new version on top of the old one). If that fails, too, you should follow the instructions on the installation troubleshooting section you can read earlier in this documentation.