Keeping Drupal, Modules, and Themes Up to Date - dummies

Keeping Drupal, Modules, and Themes Up to Date

By Lynn Beighley, Seamus Bellamy

Updating a module or theme is an easier task than updating the Drupal software. Still, you need to know how to accomplish both of these tasks.

Knowing when you need to update

By now, you may be seeing a warning message on your site that says

No update information available. Run cron or check manually.

Drupal is designed to automatically check for updates. You don’t have to allow automatic updates, and by default, Drupal may not be able to perform the updates. You have two options:

  • The first option is to click the Check Manually link in that warning message. This tells Drupal to check for updates for the main Drupal software, as well as for updates to installed modules and themes.

  • The second option is to set up an automated process to check for updates, known as a cron. Drupal is designed to check for updates frequently, because there are frequent updates you need to be aware of and install.

Drupal uses the cron for more than just checking for updated software. It is also for syndicating information from your site at specific times and retrieving syndicated RSS feeds from other sites or any process that has to happen at specific times. As you add new modules, some of them will use a cron to operate correctly.

You can control how frequently cron runs by choosing Configuration→System→Cron. This opens a form that lets you set the interval for cron to run.


    Finding available updates

Drupal updates can come out every few weeks or even months. That applies to the main Drupal software, which includes the Core modules. But as you add more contributed modules and themes, you’re likely to need to perform updates on the individual modules and themes more frequently.

It all begins by discovering what’s out of date. Fortunately, that part is easy. Choose Reports→Available updates. This page shows you the status of your Drupal software, as well as individual listings for every extra module and theme you’ve installed.


Even better, when your software is out of date, links to the newer versions appear on this page.