Main Support

Troubleshooting failed update errors

When updating software from Watchful, you may encounter an error message such as:  

The update has failed. If the problem persists, please review the troubleshooting steps.

 This error may occur for a number of reasons as shown below. Use the instructions below to resolve these issues.

Note: You should always have a recent backup on-hand before updating your site. Please review the date of your most recent backup in the Watchful dashboard before applying updates.

1. The license key is missing or invalid.

Use the instructions below to troubleshoot update issues related to license or download keys. 

  • Obtain the license key, download ID, subscription key, etc... from the software vendor. Ensure that your subscription is still active.
  • From the sites dashboard, select the settings link from the left hand menu.
  • Select the relevant license keys tab at the top of the settings page. Locate the software title, enter the key, and click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
  • Return to the sites dashboard, click the name of the appropriate site to expand the site drawer, and apply the update using the updater  tool.

2. The update package may be corrupt or incompatible with your CMS version.

Visit the software vendors website and ensure that the most recent version is compatible with the current version of your CMS. 

If so, download the current version directly from the vendor website and attempt to install/update directly on the backend of the affected website.

If the install fails from the backend of the website, please contact the vendor for further details/technical support. 

3. The PHP version on your web server is outdated.

Some update packages require a minimum PHP version. Test this by downloading the relevant package directly from the vendor website and attempt to install/update directly on the backend of the affected website.

If the update/install fails from the website backend, please contact the vendor for further details/technical support.

4. Your backup software is configured to backup before updating.

Some backup solutions force a backup whenever updates are applied. In some cases, this may interrupt the update process via Watchful. Try disabling this feature in your backup software to see if it is interfering with updates.

If this is the case, we recommend disabling this feature in your backup software and enabling stale backup detection in Watchful as it serves the same role.

5. A plugin or function is blocking updates.

  • WP Downgrade, a WordPress plugin, blocks software updates. Please disable this plugin to use Watchful.
  • In WordPress, all software updates are blocked if the code below  appears in your wp-config.php file. 
    • define('DISALLOW_FILE_MODS', true); 
    • Remove or comment out this line to allow updates to function properly.