Joomla 4 Update Failing – Possible Cause

While trying to upgrade the Joomla websites for one of our clients to the latest Joomla 4 version, we ran into the infamous “red screen” Joomla error page with the following ambiguous error: “An error occurred”. This meant that the update didn’t work (duh), but, on the bright side, the website wasn’t broken either (e.g. the update didn’t fail mid-update).

So, we enabled debugging in Joomla’s global configuration the following way:

  • We logged in to Joomla’ backend.
  • We clicked on “System” on the left panel.
  • We clicked on “Global Configuration” in the top middle.
  • We clicked on the “System” tab, and then we changed the values of “Debug System” and “Debug Language” to “Yes”

Once we did that, we tried to do the update again, and this time we saw an error saying that there was a problem allocating enough memory in one of the files, meaning that we needed to increase the memory for the update to work.

We checked the “PHP Settings” tab on the “System” -> “System Information” page in the Joomla backend, and it turned out that the “Memory Limit” was set to 64M (e.g.64 megabytes), the update possibly needed double that number for it to work.

So, we opened the file .user.ini (the file needs to be created if it doesn’t exist) which is in the root directory of the Joomla website, and we added the following line:

memory_limit = 128M

We then saved the file and uploaded it back, and then tried to do the update once more, and this time it worked!

But why did the problem happen in the first place?

It seems that the latest Joomla 4 updated just needs more memory. We confirm this information as we tried to update 6 other sites, and none of the updates worked with 64M memory.

What can one do if the above doesn’t work, or if the problem is not a memory limitation issue?

Simple! Just contact us! We’ll solve the problem for you quickly, efficiently, with minimum downtime, and for a very reasonable fee!

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