How to upgrade your DNN environment to a new version


This article will detail how to upgrade your DNN instance to a new version of DNN. 



As with any process that affects system files and configurations, a little preparation can make a big difference. The following tips and suggestions outline some of the best practices to minimize potential problems.

  • Make sure that the version you are upgrading to meet the System Requirements.
  • Make sure that you are following the correct recommended upgrade path to mitigate any upgrade conflict issues.
  • Perform the upgrade on a new test environment. Both before and after the test upgrade, check that everything in your test environment works as expected before moving on to your live site.
  • To ensure your test site mimics the live site as closely as possible, we recommend you set it up as an additional IIS site on the same server.
  • In the test environment:
  • Even if your site is a web farm, only one server is required for the test environment. To avoid conflicts in a web farm, the upgrade should be performed with only one server enabled.
  • Take notes about the steps you perform and the configuration settings you use, so you can repeat them exactly when you upgrade your live site.
  • After you confirm that the upgraded test site works properly, create another backup of the live database and the live file system to include changes made to the live site during your test.
    If you decide to simply use the upgraded test site as your new live site, you can point the live URL to the new location, or you can copy the files and the database from the test site to the live site. This is ideal if the live site was not significantly changed during the testing period; however, issues related to permissions or the environment could occur.



  1. Back up your site.
    1. Create a new database backup, even if you have a routine backup procedure in place. Verify that the backup was created correctly.
    2. Compress the full website directory into a zip file. Verify that the backup was created correctly, then move it to an external location.
  2. Go to web.config and confirm that AutoUpgrade is set to false.
    <add key="AutoUpgrade" value="false">
  3. Close all other applications that might write-lock web.config for any reason.
    Note: The installation modifies web.config. If your web.config is substantially different from a standard web.config, you might encounter problems during the upgrade. For example, if nodes that are typically found in web.config are stored in other .config files, the application may not be able to access those nodes.
  4. To prevent automated tasks from executing during the upgrade, disable the Scheduler.
    1. Go to Settings > Scheduler
    2. Click the pencil icon next to Scheduler Mode, then change the Scheduler Mode drop-down to Disabled.
    3. Click Update to complete the change.
  5. To prevent older installation files from executing during the upgrade, go to the root directory of the website and delete the install folder.
  6. Download and extract the latest Upgrade package.
    1. Go to the Downloads section of
    2. Click the Upgrade button for your Evoq product.
      Note: If Windows requires you to unblock the zip file after download, find the file in Windows Explorer, right-click and select Properties. Then click Unblock, if the option exists.
    3. Extract the contents of the zip file to the root folder of the test website, while preserving the folder structure.

      If prompted, choose to merge all folders and overwrite all existing files.

  7. Note: If using a portal alias that was added to the machine's hosts file, use that fully-qualified domain name.

If you encounter ANY errors during or after the upgrade:

  • Note the error message, if any.
  • Take screenshots, including the install.aspx page.
  • Copy these files from the /portals/_default/logs folder to a safe location:
    • InstallerLog[currentdate].resources
    • [currentdate].log.resources
  • Restore the site backup that you created at the start of this process and retry the upgrade. You might also have to try to upgrade to an intermediate version first before installing the latest version. 
  • For now, there are 2 ways to start the installation based on product versions:
    • If you are upgrading the Evoq packages to a different platform version (default), go to http://WebsiteURL/install/install.aspx?mode=upgrade to start the installation.
    • If you are upgrading the Evoq packages within the same platform version, go to http://WebsiteURL/install/upgradewizard.aspx to start the installation
      Note: To check which bucket your installation falls under, refer to the column Platform from the product versions article linked above: 
      For the Evoq versions that you will be installing in your upgrade path, check the corresponding Platform values. For instance, if you upgrade from 9.2.2 > 9.3.8 > 9.6.18, the corresponding platform versions all have different values (9.2.2, 9.3.2 and 9.6.1 respectively), so you would follow the first bullet. On the other hand, if you upgrade from 9.6.18 > 9.6.24, the corresponding platform versions are the same (9.6.1) so you would follow the second bullet.


Log in and visit all important pages to verify their functionality.

If errors occur only in certain pages, check that you have installed the latest versions of the modules on those pages by going into Settings > Extensions and make sure they match the same version. This will not be the case for all the modules, but it is a good rule of thumb for the core DNN module such as the HTML Pro module.2020-06-15_1103.png



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