How to Downgrade WordPress To a Previous Version In 2024

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Have you ever faced problems after upgrading WordPress to the latest version?

There could be some error in WordPress core files which is very rare or your plugins and themes may be causing the problems.

But in most cases, themes and plugins are not compatible with the latest version of WordPress.

How to check what is causing the problem?

  1. First of all, deactivate all your Plugins.
  2. If your site is running fine then the Plugin is causing the issue.
  3. Activate the plugins one by one and find the faulty one.
  4. You can deactivate it or replace it with an alternative that gets a regular update.

But if your theme and core files are faulty then you have to Downgrade WordPress to the previous version.

Personally, I don’t recommend downgrading the WordPress version just because of some Plugins and themes.

An older version of WordPress can be vulnerable to security holes and issues. You should shift to themes and plugin providers that provide regular updates like StudioPress and MythemeShop.

How To Downgrade WordPress To a Previous Version?

There are generally two methods to downgrade to the previous version of WordPress:

  1.  Using Plugins
  2. Manually using FTP Client Software

Necessary Steps You Should Follow Before Downgrading WordPress:

  1. First of all, you should make a complete backup of your Website. For this, you can use WordPress plugins like Updraft Plus, etc.
  2. Disable all your Plugins.
  3. Another thing is to disable the automatic update of WordPress, Themes, and Plugins.

To disable automatic update you can add this line of code in the wp-config.php file:

define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, false );

Firstly I will show you, how to restore the previous version of WordPress with the help of plugins.

Steps to Downgrade WordPress Using Plugins

There are many WordPress plugins like Wp Downgrade & Wp Roll Back which can be used to revert the previous version of WordPress.

Here I am using Wp Downgrade Plugin.

  1. Install and activate the plugin.
  2. After that hover over the setting and click on WP Downgrade.
  3. In front of “WordPress Target Version” enter the WordPress version to which you want to upgrade/downgrade. If you don’t know the exact version detail you can get it by clicking on Wp Release.

    downgrade wordpress
  4. Enter WordPress target version and click on save changes.
    downgrade wordpress
  5. Once you have set the WordPress target version then click on Update Core. Then on the next tab click on Reinstall Now.

Now your WordPress version will be downgraded after some time.

Steps To Downgrade WordPress Manually

The manual method of downgrading WordPress is used when you can’t log in to your WordPress dashboard.

In that case, you have to download the required version of WordPress from the WordPress directory and upload it to your server.

Here is a step-by-step process you should follow:

Step 1: Disable all your Plugins

Login to your Hosting Panel. With the help of  File Manager locate the directory where WordPress is installed. Open the wp-content folder.

downgrade wordpress

To deactivate the plugins rename the folder name of “plugins” to anything you want.

downgrade wordpress

Step 2: Download the required version of WordPress:

You can download required the version of WordPress from here. Now unzip it.

Step 3: Connect to the server using an FTP client:

Download any FTP Client software and install it. I am using Filezilla. You will get FTP account details by hosting C-panel. With the help of those details, you can connect to your server.

Step 4: Delete Wp-admin & wp-includes

With the help of FTP software locate the WordPress directory and delete the wp-admin & wp-includes folder. Don’t delete wp-content because it contains your theme, plugins, and uploaded files.

downgrade wordpress

Step 5: Upload files of older WordPress version

On FTP client software locate the WordPress folder that you have downloaded and then upload files/folder to the directory from where you have deleted wp-admin & wp-includes.

downgrade wordpress

But don’t upload the wp-content folder. Once your upload is finished your downgrade/upgrade of WordPress is complete.

Now you can log in to your WordPress dashboard. For the first time, you will see the Update WordPress Database message on your screen.

That’s it.

Final Words

I don’t recommend sticking to the older version of WordPress because it can weaken your site’s security.

But in case you get stuck in a problem and there is no other option left. If you need to downgrade WordPress to a previous version then this guide will help you.

If you face any problems and have some queries and suggestions drop a comment below.

I'm a WordPress Enthusiast, SEO & Marketing Practitioner.

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