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.
- If domain restrictions are used for the license key, check that each domain has been added on the vendor site.
- YooTheme users only: Add
watchful.netas an approved website in your account at YooTheme (read the announcement on our blog).
- From the
sites dashboard, select the
settingslink from the left hand menu.
- Select the relevant
license keystab 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.
- If your software title is not listed, please contact us and request support.
- Return to the
sites dashboard, click the name of the appropriate site to expand the
site drawer, and apply the update using the
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 The PHP version on your web server is outdated.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
- Remove or comment out this line to allow updates to function properly.
Search Knowledge base
- Add a Joomla website to Watchful
- Add a website to Watchful
- Add a WordPress website to Watchful
- Does Watchful support managed hosts like WP Engine, Flywheel, and Pantheon?
- How do I generate reports for my clients?
- How to add Tags to your WordPress & Joomla websites in Watchful
- How to use the Auto Update Scheduler
- How to use the Auto Updater
- Managing your auto-updating softwares
- Three ways to backup your website with Watchful