Error starting Confluence with ClassNotFoundException after upgrading

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Platform notice: Server and Data Center only. This article only applies to Atlassian products on the Server and Data Center platforms.

Support for Server* products ended on February 15th 2024. If you are running a Server product, you can visit the Atlassian Server end of support announcement to review your migration options.

*Except Fisheye and Crucible


Confluence fails to start with a ClassNotFoundException after upgrading Confluence and replacing customizations per our Upgrading Confluence guide.

The following appears in the atlassian-confluence.log

ERROR [localhost-startStop-1] [ContainerBase.[Standalone].[localhost].[/]] log Error configuring application listener of class com.atlassian.confluence.upgrade.UpgradeLauncherServletContextListener
java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: com.atlassian.confluence.upgrade.UpgradeLauncherServletContextListener

Note that the actual class specified in the error can be different. In this example the class is "



This is generally caused by classes referenced in the <Confluence Install Directory>/confluence/WEB-INF/web.xml file that are copied over from a previous installation of Confluence.


In order to workaround the issue, edit the <Confluence Install Directory>/confluence/WEB-INF/web.xml and comment out the offending class.

  • Take a backup of you <Confluence Install Directory>/confluence/WEB-INF/web.xml.
  • Open the file in a text editor and search for the offending class referenced in the error: in our example the class is "
  • Comment out the class and save the file. In our example we comment out the following:

  • Start Confluence


Last modified on Aug 10, 2016

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