Upgrading Confluence

In this guide we'll run you through using the installer to upgrade your Confluence site to the latest Confluence version on Windows or Linux. 

Upgrading to any later version is free if you have current software maintenance. See our Licensing FAQ to find out more. 

Other ways to upgrade Confluence:

  • Manually – upgrade without using the installer.
  • Data Center – upgrade your Data Center cluster.

XML backups should not be used to upgrade Confluence.

On this page:

Before you begin

Before you upgrade Confluence, there's a few questions you need to answer. 

Is installer the right upgrade method for you?
Tell me more...

You can choose to upgrade using the installer, or manually using a zip or tar.gz file. In most cases the installer is the easiest way to upgrade your Confluence instance.

You will need to upgrade manually if:

  • you are moving to another operating system or file location as part of this upgrade.
  • you are upgrading from Confluence 3.5 or earlier
  • you are upgrading from Confluence 5.6 or earlier and previously used the EAR/WAR distribution to deploy Confluence into an existing application server. 

Are you eligible to upgrade?

Tell me more...

To check if software maintenance is current for your license, go to   > General Configuration > Support Tools and make sure the license support period has not expired.

If your support period has expired, follow the prompts to renew your license and reapply it before upgrading.

Have our supported platforms changed?

Tell me more...

Check the Supported Platforms page for the version of Confluence you are upgrading to. This will give you info on supported operating systems, databases and browsers.

Good to know:

  • The Confluence installer includes Java (JRE) and Tomcat, so you won't need to upgrade these seperately.
  • If you need to upgrade your database, be sure to read the upgrade notes for the Confluence version you plan to upgrade to (and any in-between) to check for any database configuration changes that you may need to make.
Do you need to make changes to your environment?
Tell me more...

Newer Confluence versions sometimes require changes to your environment, such as providing more memory or adjusting your reverse proxy settings.

Good to know:

We use Upgrade Notes to communicate changes that will impact you, such as:

  • Changes to supported databases, memory requirements or other changes that will impact your environment.
  • Features that have significantly changed or been removed in this release.
  • Actions you may need to take in your instance or environment immediately after the upgrade.

It's important to read the notes for the version you're upgrading to and those in-between. For example, if you are upgrading from 5.8 to 5.10 you should read the upgrade notes for 5.9 and 5.10.


Plan your upgrade

1. Determine your upgrade path

Use the table below to determine the most efficient upgrade path from your current version to the latest versions of Confluence. 

Your Version

Recommended upgrade path to Confluence 6

2.7 or earlier Upgrade to 2.7.4 then upgrade to 3.5.17, and follow paths below.
2.8 to 3.4 Upgrade to 3.5.17, and follow paths below.

Upgrade to 5.0.3 then upgrade to the latest version of Confluence 6.

4.0 to 4.3 

Upgrade to 5.10.x then upgrade to the latest version of Confluence 6.

5.0 to 6.x

Upgrade directly to the latest version of Confluence 6.



Confluence 6 is a major upgrade

Be sure to read the Confluence 6.0 Upgrade Notes, take a full backup, and test your upgrade in a non-production environment before upgrading your production site.

2. Complete the pre-upgrade checks

  1. Check the Upgrade Notes for the version you plan to upgrade to (and any in between). 

  2. Go to  > General Configuration > Support Tools to run the health check (available in Confluence 5.5 or later). 

    License expired?

    If the software maintenance period included in your license has expired you can keep using Confluence, but you'll need to renew before you can upgrade.

    Go to  > General Configuration > License Details and follow the prompts to renew your license.

    Still using the embedded database?

    If you are using the embedded (trial) database you should migrate to a different database before upgrading.

    This database is supplied for evaluation purposes only and is not recommended for production environments. See Embedded H2 Database for more information.

    Database character encoding incorrect?

    Database character encoding must be set to UTF+8 (or AL32UTF8 for Oracle databases). You will not be able to upgrade to current Confluence versions unless you have the correct character encoding.


  3. Go to   > Add-ons and scroll down to the Confluence Update Check to check the compatibility of your add-ons.

  4. Choose the version you plan to upgrade to then hit Check.

    If you have incompatible add-ons...

    If your users rely on particular add-ons, you may want to wait until they are compatible before upgrading Confluence. Add-on vendors generally update their add-ons very soon after a major release.

    Good to know:

    • You can disable an add-on temporarily while you upgrade if it is not yet compatible.
    • Compatibility information for Atlassian Labs and other free add-ons is often not available immediatley after a new release. In many cases the add-on will still work, so give it a try in a test site before upgrading your production site.

3. Upgrade Confluence in a test environment

  1. Create a staging copy of your current production environment. 
    See Create a staging environment for upgrading Confluence for help creating an environment to test your upgrade in.
  2. Follow the steps below to upgrade your test environment.  

  3. Test any unsupported add-ons, customizations (such as custom theme or layouts) and proxy configuration (if possible) before upgrading your production environment.   

Upgrade Confluence

4. Back up 

  1. Back up your database and confirm the backup was created properly. 
    If your database does not support online backups you'll need to stop Confluence first. 
  2. Back up your installation directory and home directory
    The installation wizard will back up your Confluence directories as part of the installation process, but you should also back these directions up manually before starting the upgrade. 

    Where is my home directory?

    You can find the location of your home directory in the <installation-directory>/confluence/WEB-INF/classes/confluence-init.properties file.

    This is where your search indexes and attachments are stored. If you store attachments outside the Confluence Home directory, you should also backup your attachments directory. 

5. Download Confluence

Download the installer for your operating system. 

6. Run the installer

  1. Run the installer. 

    Show me how to do this in Windows...

    Run the .exe file. We recommend using a Windows administrator account.

    If prompted to allow the upgrade wizard to make changes to your computer, choose 'Yes'. If you do not, the installation wizard will have restricted access to your operating system and any subsequent installation options will be limited.

    Show me how to do this in Linux...

    Change to the directory where you downloaded Confluence then execute this command to make the installer executable:

    $ chmod a+x atlassian-confluence-X.X.X-x64.bin

    Where X.X.X is is the Confluence version you downloaded.

    Next, run the installer – we recommend using sudo to run the installer:

    $ sudo ./atlassian-confluence-X.X.X-x64.bin

    You can also choose to run the installer with root user privileges.


  2. Follow the prompts to upgrade Confluence:
    1. When prompted choose Upgrade an existing Confluence installation (for Linux users this is option 3).
    2. Make sure the Existing Confluence installation directory suggested by the wizard is correct (especially important if you have multiple Confluence installations on the same machine).
    3. Back up Confluence home is strongly recommended. This will create a .zip backup of the Confluence home and installation directories.
    4. The installation wizard notifies you of customizations in the Confluence Installation directory. Make a note of these as you'll need to reapply them later.

      There are some limitations...

      The installation wizard's ability to notify you about customizations will depend on how your existing Confluence instance was installed: 

      • If your current Confluence instance was installed using the installer, the wizard will check the entire Confluence Installation directory.
      • If your current Confluence instance was installed manually it will only check the confluence subdirectory of the Confluence Installation directory. The installation wizard will not notify you of modifications in any other directory, for example modifications to start-up scripts under the bin directory or modifications to the server.xml file (such as an SSL configuration). 
  3. The wizard will shut down your Confluence instance and proceed with the upgrade. Once complete, it will restart Confluence and you can then launch Confluence in your browser to confirm the upgrade was successful.
    Depending on the size of your instance and the number of upgrade tasks to be run, this step may take a few minutes or several hours.

After the upgrade

7. Copy your database driver

If you're using an Oracle or MySQL database, you'll need to copy the jdbc driver jar file from your existing Confluence installation directory to  confluence/WEB-INF/lib  in your new installation directory.

Microsoft SQL and Postgres users can skip this step. 

8. Re-apply any modifications

During the upgrade the wizard migrated the following from your existing Confluence installation:

  • TCP port values in your server.xml file. 
  • Location of your Confluence home directory in confluence-init.properties.

All other customizations, including CATALINA_OPTS parameters in your  setenv.sh / setenv.bat files, need to be reapplied manually.  

Show me how to do this...

Any other configurations or customizations (including any other modifications in the server.xml file) are not migrated during the upgrade and need to be reapplied manually.

  1. Stop your upgraded Confluence instance.
  2. Reapply the customizations to the relevant files in the upgraded Confluence Installation directory.
  3. Restart the upgraded Confluence instance.

We strongly recommend you test your customizations in a test instance prior to upgrading your production instance as changes may have been made to Confluence that make your customizations unusable.

9. Update your reverse proxy and check you can access Confluence

If you are upgrading from  Confluence 5.x to Confluence 6.x you will need to modify your reverse proxy (if used) to add Synchrony, which is required for collaborative editing. See  Proxy and SSL considerations for more information on the changes you'll need to make to your proxy config.

Once your upgrade is complete, you should access Confluence (via your reverse proxy, not directly) and:

  • Head to  > General Configuration > Collaborative editing and check the Synchrony status is running
  • Edit any page to check that your browser can connect to Synchrony.

See Troubleshooting Collaborative Editing for suggested next steps if Synchrony is not running or you see an error in the editor, as you may have a misconfigured reverse proxy. 


Did something go wrong?

If you need to retry the upgrade, you must restore your pre-upgrade backups first.  Do not attempt to run an upgrade again, or start the older version of Confluence again after an upgrade has failed. 

Some common issues while upgrading...


  • Can't proceed with upgrade because license has expired
    If your license has expired and was not renewed and reapplied before upgrading you will receive errors during the upgrade process. See upgrading beyond current license period for information on how to resolve this problem.
  • Can't proceed with upgrade because of a conflict with anti virus
    Some anti-virus or other Internet security tools may interfere with the Confluence upgrade process and prevent the process from completing successfully, particularly if you run Confluence as a Windows service. If you experience or anticipate experiencing such an issue with your anti-virus / Internet security tool, disable this tool first before proceeding with the Confluence upgrade.
  • Database does not support online backups
    The upgrade wizard will prompt you to backup your database using your database's backup utilities. If your database does not support online backups, stop the upgrade process, shut down Confluence, perform your database backup and then run the installer again to continue with the upgrade.
  • Upgrade is taking a very long time
    If you have a very large database (i.e. database backups take a very long time to complete), setting the confluence.upgrade.recovery.file.enabled system property to false will speed up the upgrade process. It should be used only when there is a process to back up database and verify the backup before performing an upgrade.
  • Confluence doesn't start
    Incompatible add-ons can occasionally prevent Confluence from starting successfully. You can troubleshoot the problem by starting Confluence with all user installed add-ons temporarily disabled. See Start and Stop Confluence for more info.
  • Collaborative editing errors
    If Synchrony is not running or you see an error, head to Troubleshooting Collaborative Editing for info on how to get collaborative editing up and running in your environment. The most common problems are a misconfigured reverse proxy or port 8091 not being available for Synchrony.   

You can also refer to the Upgrade Troubleshooting guide in the Confluence Knowledge Base, or check for answers from the community at Atlassian Answers.

Last modified on Oct 13, 2017

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