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Automatic updates

Akeeba Backup 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 port 443 (HTTPS) 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

Akeeba Backup 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:

  • 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.

  • 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 of the Joomla! Extensions: Update page. 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 Akeeba Backup 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 can't download the package, please use one of the manual update methods described below.

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 Akeeba Backup 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 Akeeba Backup. Uninstalling Akeeba Backup will always remove all your settings and any existing backup archives stored on your server. You definitely do not want that to happen!

Sometimes Joomla! may forget to copy some files when updating extensions. If you find Akeeba Backup 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.

Please note that we do not have a choice on whether to use Joomla's built-in extensions updater or our own code. The Joomla Extensions Direction requires us to use Joomla's own extensions updater as a requirement for our software being listed there.

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. 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. This can mean a few different things which all have to do with how your host is set up.

Our CDN 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 will need to wait for 1-2 days OR install the update manually. This has to do with how Joomla update information caching works — even if you tell it to clear the update cache.

Check your subscription status
[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.

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. Do note that we send two emails before your subscription reaches it validity limit and you lose access to downloads, 30 and 15 days in advance.

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.

That is to say, one extension might use a Download ID that is valid and corresponds to an active subscription for that software, another extension might have an invalid Download ID or use a Download ID which refers to a user account on our site which does NOT have a valid subscription for that software.

Do remember to check the Download IDs for each and every of our extensions. Do remember to check that you have active subscriptions for all the products you are trying to update.

Entering or changing your Download ID after an update is available

On March 9th, 2021 we publicly and officially notified Joomla about known issues with their extensions updater when the Download Key is changed after an updated version has been detected. We had previously notified Joomla of these issues repeatedly, but privately, over the course of eight years. These issues are still not addressed.

If you enter or change your Download ID after Joomla has already determined an update is available the new Download ID will NOT take effect on many sites. This has to do with the way Joomla is caching not only the update availability information but also the raw information about Update Sites and Download Keys it uses to determine if updates are available and how to download them.

If you find yourself in this case we strongly recommend installing the update manually (download the new version and install it using Upload and Install over the old one) OR wait 1-2 days before retrying. Kindly note that retrying after 1-2 days MAY STILL NOT WORK.

We understand that this is especially disruptive if you are managing dozens or hundreds of sites. This is why we have been trying to convince Joomla to fix these issues since 2014. We have even gone as far as to point out exactly why these issues occur and how to fix them. That's the full extent of what we can do. It is ultimately Joomla's responsibility to take your needs seriously enough and include the three lines of code to fix these issues.

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:

  • Joomla's update cache is stuck. Please file a bug report to Joomla. We have already been reporting this privately since 2014 and made an official, public issue report on March 9th, 2021.

  • You have a server issue connecting to our CDN. See the information on addressing server issues.

  • You have found a bug in Joomla's built-in extensions updater. You need to contact the Joomla! forum. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about Joomla core bugs.

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 four things:

  • The update site for our software is disabled. See the information on checking the update site.

  • Joomla's update cache is stuck. Please file a bug report to Joomla. We have already been reporting this privately since 2014 and made an official, public issue report on March 9th, 2021.

  • You have a server issue connecting to our CDN. See the information on addressing server issues.

  • You have found a bug in Joomla's built-in extensions updater. You need to contact the Joomla! forum. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about Joomla core bugs.

Check the update site

First we are going to check if the Update Site is disabled. 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 will have to install the latest version manually, on top of the old one. This is due to Joomla's caching of the information required to retrieve update information. In other words, for a period of a few hours to a few days Joomla might be unable to automatically detect the new version of our software.

If our software does not appear on that list you will need to click on Rebuild. Watch out, though! Joomla has a bug. When 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.

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 permission 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.