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How to Upgrade Magento 1.7 to Magento 1.9

Let’s say you have an old Magento v1.7 store and you need to upgrade it to the latest Magento 1.9.x version. First and the most important, highly recommended step is to backup your live store files and database and disable the following options via Admin Panel of your store:

    • Magento Compilation from System > Tools > Compilation > Disable

Magento 1.7 Admin Panel

    • Magento Cache from System > Cache Management > Select All > Action: Disable > Submit

Magento Cache Management

Now we are safe and ready to perform the upgrade on the old version. Download latest magento v1.9.x from and perform the following steps:

    • Remove all files and folders from your Magento v1.7 directory (make sure to keep your backup in a safe place) and place all files and folders from Magento v1.9.x package.
    • Open your favorite web browser, go to your link. You will be asked to install fresh Magento v1.9.x store but don’t worry, keep going and when you will reach to the Configuration page. Fill it up with the same information you used for your previous Magento v1.7 store which includes SQL DB Server Hostname, SQL DB Name, SQL Server Username, SQL Server Password, Base URL and Admin Path.

Magento Installation and Configuration

  • Once you finish the installation, do not visit frontend or backend page. From your Magento v1.7 files and folders backup, copy and merge following files and folders into your new Magento v1.9.x store directory:
      • Community Folder: ROOT > app > code > community

    FTP Transferring Magento

      • Local Folder: ROOT > app > code > local

    FTP Transferring Magento

      • Media Folder in Root Directory: ROOT > media

    FTP Transferring Magento

      • Your Theme Folder: ROOT > app > design > frontend > default (package name) > “your_theme” (If you are using “default” package for your theme then just copy theme folder otherwise you need to copy the whole package which includes your theme folder)

    FTP Transferring Magento

      • Skin Folder in Root Directory: ROOT > skin

    FTP Transferring Magento

      • Module’s Custom XML Files: ROOT > app > etc > modules > “your_custom_XML_files”

    FTP Transferring Magento

      • Admin Theme Folder: ROOT > app > design > adminhtml > default

    FTP Transferring Magento

      • Custom JS Folder: ROOT > app > js

    FTP Transferring Magento

    • Now finally delete everything from ROOT > var > cache and from ROOT > var > sessions to clear all sessions and cache.

That’s all, we have successfully updated our Magento v1.7 store to latest Magento v1.9.x store. Open your web browser, test each and everything in your store and also verify the version upgrade from Admin Panel.

About Author

Fayyaz is a Magento Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed Magento Hosting Platform. He writes about Magento Tutorials at Magenticians as well as share his knowledge with the Magento Community. Fayyaz is a food lover and enjoys driving. You can email him at

  • Muhammad Azeem

    Thanks, Very helpful.

  • hengus

    how long does this procedure take from start to finish? just curious as I might do it myself,

    • Hello,

      It depends on how big your store is.

      • hengus

        hi Fayyaz,

        There are around 5000 SKU’s

        thank you

        • Well, you can upgrade it but make sure to make a back up first (which is recommended and necessary).

          • hengus

            yup will backup certainly… how long did the whole upgrade take you to do?

          • If you works properly then you can achieve it in a single day

  • vikash kumar

    i also upgrade but index management showing blank please help me.

  • Nick King

    Couple of things i had to amend from this tutorial:
    1. copy packages from original magento /var/packages to upgraded location. This will ensure custom packages show in Connect Manager
    2. copy from upgrade files /app/design/adminhtml/default/ back to the root after the tutorial steps. My product image uploads and visual of available images didn’t work before doing this.

    • HI Nick,

      Thanks for the suggestions! We will look into these. :)

  • devidas

    default theme is not applied of older version(1.7) to newer version(1.9)

  • Jean Jacques Nini

    I’ve a question
    We try the methode but unsuccessfuly because we need to upgrade recent data
    Let me explain
    1/ We migrate from 1.7 to 1.9
    2/ We do some customization (new theme, new modules..)
    3/ We need to upgrade recente data (data collected between the point 1 and until point 2 is done
    Then we have errors
    Any idea?

  • sandy

    Hi, I tried to upgrade magneto ver. 1.7 to 1.9 as per followed this tutorial but I have getting this my sql error
    Error in file: “/httpdocs/app/code/core/Mage/Log/sql/log_setup/mysql4-upgrade-” – SQLSTATE[42000]: Syntax error or access violation: 1091 Can’t DROP ‘PRIMARY’; check that column/key exists

    Can you help me in resolving that error?