Upgrading from a previous version

From LimeSurvey Manual

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Additional pages:{toc}

Before you start...

... read this because it is very important: Always backup the files and the database of your current installation!!!

You can do this using a database administration tool like phpMyAdmin etc. and a file manager! If you don't know how to do this, you should not proceed but ask someone who knows or use the ComfortUpdate instead.

The quick way (for minor version changes)

You can use these instructions if you are doing a minor upgrade (for example from 2.00 to 2.01):

  • Backup your files and database (Upgrading_from_a_previous_version#Before_you_start... did we already mention that?)
  • Delete all the old files/folders except for:
    • /application/config/config.php;
    • /upload directory - "'NOTE: If you have any customized templates sitting under /upload/templates, make sure you refresh those with any changes from the new version. The easiest way to check for such changes is to file-compare your old template with the new version of the default template, and if you see any differences other than your customizations, a refresh is needed.
  • Copy the new files from the new LimeSurvey package to the existing location.
  • Open the admin page in your browser (e.g. and check if a database scheme upgrade is necessary.
  • After the upgrade: Clear your browser cache and cookies!

The thorough way (for big version jumps)

Unfortunately there are a couple of things to consider, so please observe carefully the following instructions.

Upgrading from version 2.0x to 2.50 or later

  • Please note that the template structure has changed. Your old templates will not be working anymore as the template system is now using responsive templates.

Upgrading from version 2.0 or later to any later 2.xx version

  1. Download the latest version of LimeSurvey.
  2. Prepare and backup the old installation;
    1. Backup your installation directory files and SQL-based database just in case;
      1. At the command-line level, make a .zip or similar archive of the whole installation directory tree of files. For example, in Linux 'tar cvzf foo.tgz cps100' will tar and zip the whole of the cps100 directory;
      2. Using phpMyAdmin or similar to export all tables; or use the according LimeSurvey Administration button Button-export-sql.png to backup the entire database.
    2. Copy your config.php file, modified template directories and the /upload directory separately for quick access later;
  3. Replace all the installation directory files;
    1. Delete all old files in the existing installation directory;
    2. Upload and unpack the new code version into the same installation directory;
    3. Copy your /upload directory back to the old location;
    4. Double check the permissions set on the directories (write access to /tmp, /upload and and their subdirectories is required) as described in the Installation section;
    5. Open http://<yourdomain>/<yourlimesurveydir>/admin in your browser and follow the instructions (you can use the old config.php as reference). The existing database will be automatically detected and if necessary, upgraded after confirmation.
  4. Check if any special manual checks apply as listed below;
  5. Now clear your browser cache and cookies! and you are good to go.

Attention : If you upgrade from an earlier version (e.g. 2.0), it might be necessary to first upgrade to the latest 2.0.x release, then to 2.06, and then finally to the latest version (e.g. 2.67.x).
For those who update from any earlier version to v2.06 - some unused permissions when editing global permission for 'surveys' were activated starting with the 2.06 version. So, if a user has any permission besides the 'create', they will be able to apply this additional permission on other surveys then their own. So please check the global permission of admin users that should only be able to see their own surveys and make sure they only have the 'create' permission assigned for 'surveys'.

Upgrade FAQ

What is the most recent LimeSurvey version that still supports PHP4?

The last release offering PHP4 support was version 1.82+.

Can I upgrade even if I have active surveys?

Yes, you can. Exceptions may be mentioned in the thorough instructions above. We strongly advise to test your surveys after upgrade to check if your design templates still work alright.

What is best way to port LimeSurvey *.sql survey structure files to the latest version?

Install version 1.50, import the file and export the survey structure to the newer .csv format. The latest version still can read the .csv survey structure format.