How to Downgrade WordPress 3.5.x to Older Version

I love WordPress but their latest release (WordPress 3.5) has alot of issues! It is conflicting with TONS of functions, so if you upgraded to WordPress 3.5 and you want to downgrade to 3.4.2 or to an older version to get a plugin or a function work…here’s how to do that in 5 easy steps.

  • Go get the older WordPress version here
  • Go to plugins and deactivate all the plugins and log out
  • Open up your FTP or cPanel FTP Manager and delete wp-admin and wp-includes folder.  (DO NOT DELETE /wp-content folder!)
  • Open the older WordPress version which you downloaded. Copy all the WordPress files and folders except wp-content. Do not copy wp-content folder.
  • Now try to login to your WordPress dashboard and click on “Update WordPress Database”, then click on “continue” to login to your wordpress dashboard.

You have now successfully downgraded WordPress. Once you login you can see the overview of your current version.

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35 Responses to “How to Downgrade WordPress 3.5.x to Older Version”

  1. Thanks a million…Worked perfectly and all under a minute…

  2. Wow Thanks its working Thanks buddy! The new version is full of bugs. thats why wanna downgrade it.

  3. I just did a simple A-B test. After down-grading to 3.4.2 and reactivating the same plugins and my child theme, the previous stable version is much faster and I don’t get the “50x” errors. There is definitely something not optimized with 3.5.

  4. Hello,
    what about DB?
    is going to restore the database of the old version?

  5. WordPress 3.5 is like doing a Drupal update. Usually breaks plugins. So disappointed. Have had to rebuild sites from scratch like I dont have anything better to do

  6. That was great! I’ve looked for a couple of days for a way to roll back, that was the ticket.

  7. It works just fine, thanks, you solved a big problem!

  8. WordPress 3.5 is very bad, I hate wordpress 3.5, my content is broken caused wordpress 3.5.Thank you for the best tips

  9. Being a bit of a wordpress novice, I am struggling with this….. Where/what is FTP?

    I was just making progress with my site until 3.5 totally ruined the functionality of it and now I am back at square one it seems

  10. Ok, I have actually now worked this out now :)
    I just need to know, will removing these files, lose the work I have done in custom editing the appearance of my theme etc in its master key? Does this affect the themes I have installed?

  11. I tried the steps, but I forgot to deactivate all my plugins before deleting Wp-admin and Wp-Include. Now I can’t access my dashboard. What do i do now?

  12. Works like charm. Building new site on 3.5 is good but if you have some working website on older version and some main functions stop to work after update, it really sucks than.

  13. You Sir are a legend!!!! I was pulling my hair out over this. 3.5 undid at least a months work. Thank you very much indeed!!

  14. Building a new site on 3.5 doesnt work so well either. I set up a new site, tried to create a sales letter and a squeeze page, but really struggled to get everything to line up where it was supposed to be. Went to the html view and tried to put my own in, but it throws it out. Did the whole lot on Kompozer and it threw that out too.

    It has been a nightmare! Am delighted to find this post and am now off to downgrade WP.

  15. Hi Bill, Am using Thesis Theme with a landing page plug-in created specifically for Thesis, so nothing particularly fancy. Have now completed the downgrade. It worked perfectly. The squeeze page shows fine and the sales page is now allowing me tow work on it properly. Many many thanks.

  16. Thank you a gazillions times for this! that bloody 3.5 messed up my site badly:)

  17. Thanks! Straight to the point tutorial. It’s fantastic and it’s working. Thank you Vic (if you’re reading) for recommending me this article! The new WP update is really bad!

  18. I don’t ever comment on blog posts, but I have to say that you are THE BOMB! After 4 days of trying to get an e-commerce plug-in to work that kept giving me massive syntax errors – downgrading worked like a charm! Many thanks!

  19. great help, thank a zillion, wp 3.5 sucks and my few plugin n thumnail systm of my theme moviesitepress was crashed. now dg bk to 3.4.2 solved this. :)

  20. I had some issues with the 3.5.2 on a client’s website today, and i tried the above method which has been mentioned on various websites, but please note;

    If it results in a blank screen, be sure to also COPY & OVERWRITE the index,etc. files from the root !!

    That fixed it for me

  21. Where do I find my FTP or cPanel?

    • Hi Peter – If you don’t know how to do that then you might not want to mess with this stuff. I suggest you do some research on how to use cpanel to manage your hosting, I’m sure you can find some Youtube videos that will explain it to you. FTP software is simply software that allows you to upload and download files from your host and domain. Again, you might want to do some research on beginner’s guides.

  22. Thanks buddy.Following the instructions were a breeze.

  23. Thank you!
    I thought the problem was just me!
    Guys, what is the recommended version to upgrade from version 3.4.2 starting?
    Can I upgrade from version 3.4.2 to 3.7? or 3.8?

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