There are two methods to upgrade magento from older version to newer version.

  1. By Folder replace
  2. Using Magento connect manager.
 Common steps before upgrading existing system.
  1. Take Backup of your whole code and database either by moving files to another location.
    scp /path_to_some_file/your_site_directory.tar.gz
    mysqldump -u <username> -h <hostname> -p <password>my_database_name | gzip -9 > my_database_name.sql.gz.
    hostname - Name/IP Address of the server where database is stored
    username - Database username
    password - Database user password
  2. Take care of saving the media directory that contains all the uploaded product/category images.
  3. Create a backup copy of app/etc/local.xml file.
Method 1: By Folder replace 
  1. Download a new installation archive.
  2. Extract and upload all the files it contains to your server
  3. Delete var/cache and var/session directories
  4. Point your browser to any Magento page
  5. Database upgrades should happen automatically.
  • Make sure whatever extensions you used for older version must be compatible with newer version.
  • Products won't be available on front-end. Run Re-Indexing and Change status of products to enable even though all products seems enable.
  • If there is any error like “Base Table or view already exist” for any table just rename that table. 
Method 2: Using Magento Connect Manager:  
  1. Go to http://<YOUR_SERVER>/downloader
  2. Log in using a user who has full permissions
  3. Make sure to select “Clear all sessions after successful install or upgrade”.
It is possible that you will see no extensions in MagentoConnect Manager. This means that you have just uploaded the files without using PEAR downloader. In that case enter magento-core/Mage_All_Latestin the extension key field and click Install button. This will install all latest MagentoConnect core packages on top of existing files and will allow future upgrades through MagentoConnect.
Note: Make sure you installed the ‘mcrypt’ extension for PHP as magento-core requires this.
If, after the install has completed and you hit Refresh, you get a 500 error, and you get the same on your regular admin page and your storefront, you may need to change permissions on your .php files. SSH into your server, navigate to your Magento directory, and check the permissions on index.php. If may have been changed from 644 (rw-r-r) to 666 (rw-rw-rw) during the install. If so, you can issue this command to change the permissions on all your .php files to 644 (the -v switch will make it verbose, so you will see all the changes as they are made):
How to upgrade all available extensions:
There should be at least one extension marked in yellow, which means a higher version is available on the MagentoConnect server
  1. Click ‘Select all upgradable extensions’
  2. Click ‘Commit changes’
  3. Watch the console progress for error messages
  4. After successfully upgrading click the ‘Refresh’ button that will appear under the console frame.
How to upgrade specific extensions:
  1. For each desired extension upgrade choose ‘Upgrade’ in the dropdown
  2. To upgrade Magento Core modules choose the following packages, and all required dependencies will be upgraded automatically:
    • magento-core/Interface_Adminhtml_Default
    • magento-core/Interface_Frontend_Default
    • magento-core/Interface_Install_Default
    • magento-core/Mage_Core_Adminhtml
    • magento-core/Mage_Core_Modules

I hope this article helps you with your upgrade.  For any assistance please contact us at