How to Reinstall Joomla

Sometimes, people experiment with some of their Joomla core files and/or with non-content tables in the Joomla database to the point that their websites become inoperable. The easy (well sometimes it’s not very easy) solution at this point is to reinstall Joomla from scratch. But how do you do that?

Well, here are the steps to reinstall Joomla so that you can have again, a fresh Joomla install:

  1. Backup your website and your database. We’ve already explained this before.
  2. Download the same version of Joomla that you have. Go to Joomla’s official website and download the installation files for the exact same version of Joomla that you have.

  3. Rename the directory containing your current Joomla website. Login to your FTP account and rename the directory that contains your current Joomla website to another name, for example, from to

  4. Re-create your old directory. Again, login to FTP and create the folder.

  5. Upload a fresh copy of Joomla. Upload the new Joomla copy to the folder.

  6. Run the Joomla installer. Ensure that you choose another database for your Joomla website.

  7. Re-download and re-install all the extensions that you previously had on your website. Note that if you had to reinstall Joomla because of an extension that you installed lately, then avoid this extension.

  8. Copy non-system content from your old database to your new database. Non system-content is user-generated content, for example, articles, polls, etc…

  9. Re-download and reinstall the template that you were using before. Even if you have modified the template, all you need to do is copy the template from the folder to the folder.

  10. Copy user created files to your new website. Copy all the user uploaded files (including media files) from the em> folder to the folder.

  11. You’re done. That’s it, you have finished reinstalling your Joomla website! Try to run the website!

As you can see from the above, the process can be a bit complicated especially when you don’t have some system administration experience (not to mention that the moving of the data from one database to the other can be tricky). In this case, we advise you to hire a system administrator to do the above steps or, even better, to contact us. If you do contact us, then we’ll do the whole process for you while ensuring that all your data is preserved and transferred to your new Joomla installation.


  • Most of the other online references listing the steps on how to reinstall Joomla are wrong. Not only they are wrong, they are dangerous, as they ignore the fact that the user has already data on his website, and that he needs to keep this data.
  • If you have had a programmer change your core Joomla files previously then stop and don’t do the above steps. You will lose all your changes. We recommend that you contact us in order to make the reinstallation smooth, or maybe fix the problems that resulted in you wanting to reinstall your Joomla website.

9 Responses to “How to Reinstall Joomla”
  1. Pingback by How to Uninstall Joomla | itoctopus — October 31, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

    […] If you’re reading this article because you want to reinstall Joomla, then check this article on how to reinstall Joomla. […]

  2. Comment by Scott Marsh — February 13, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

    I am upgrading to Joomla 2.5 and am done.
    The last issue I see is that com_config is missing its template and the database settings have errors (site works fine). Would you be able to clean that up?

  3. Comment by Fadi — February 20, 2012 @ 8:58 am

    Hi Scott,

    After examining your Joomla 2.5 website, you were seeing the following error on the global configuration page:

    Fatal error: Class JDatabaseMSSQL contains 22 abstract methods and must therefore be declared abstract or implement the remaining methods (JDatabase::connected, JDatabase::dropTable, JDatabase::escape, …) in / on line 781

    Deleting the following 3 files will solve the issue:

    / (this is for the connection to ms sql, which you are not using)
    / (this is for the connection to ms sql 2000, which you are also not using)
    / (this is for the connection to oracle, which you are also not using)

    It’s better to backup your Joomla website before doing the above. PS: I assume that the Joomla developers will address this in the next release of Joomla (Joomla 2.5.1 or Joomla 2.6, maybe?). This seems to be a common issue and there are lots of people who have no CSS styling on their global configuration page because of this problem.

  4. Pingback by How to Debug Joomla? | itoctopus — July 30, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    […] unsuccessful modification in Joomla’s core. You will need either to reinstall Joomla or to request the help of some Joomla professionals who will certainly be able to locate the […]

  5. Comment by Victor — January 17, 2013 @ 10:22 am

    When I tried to re-install my website without backup (because I did not need it, it was only a ‘just started’ webpage), I renamed the directory on the FTP after I reuploaded the new files after I deleted the older ones. I typed in the new url and the Joomla Installer wouldn’t work . It started with the last process of the installation. What is the problem?

  6. Comment by Fadi — January 17, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    Hi Victor,

    It seems that you haven’t deleted your configuration.php file which is located under the root of the website. Try deleting it and the installer should work, if it doesn’t, then please contact us.

  7. Comment by Victor — January 18, 2013 @ 4:52 am

    Thanks, it worked for a while. It is stopped at the fourth phase of the installation. I deleted everything from the mysql database (only the tables ofc) and from the FTP, but I could not delete some folders. Can you tell me a software to delete the rest of the files what I could not remove? I tried to delete them with TotalCommander, CoreFTP, and FileZilla FTP Client.

  8. Comment by Bagus — November 25, 2017 @ 6:28 am

    Hi, Thanks for your article. it’s helpful. But could you explain me what is the meaning of non-system content at point 8. Is that the content on the MySQL database table or the web folder? If it’s either, then what should I copy?

    Waiting for your wisdom!

  9. Comment by Fadi — December 5, 2017 @ 6:28 pm

    Hi Bagus,

    Non-system content is the content that you add to your website. For example, articles, which are stored in the #__content table in the database. So the content of that table must be copied to the new website.

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