Introducing Stiletto - the essential Shopify theme to fuel your ecommerce growth. Learn more.

How to update your theme (OS2.0)

Your theme will update automatically only to fix bugs or security issues. For major updates, or if code customizations and apps have been added to your store, Shopify does not automatically update themes.

This article shows you how to transfer your theme settings and templates faster and efficiently. However, custom code change and apps will need to be transferred by a developer or by re-installing apps. Our Support cannot cover manual theme updates, code customizations, or app integration.

Theme update notification

You will be notified of all theme updates in your Theme library. Major theme updates typically include feature releases or significant changes to the structure or settings of the theme. Click on the notification to view the Release notes to learn more about the update.

Step 1: Add the latest theme version

For theme updates that are not updated automatically, here's how to add the newest theme:

  1. Click on the theme update notification and click Add to theme library to add an updated copy of the theme.

    Customizations made in the theme editor will be transferred to the updated version.

  2. (Recommended) You can rename this new theme copy (Actions > Rename).

  3. (Recommended) You can backup (Actions > Duplicate) your current theme.

Step 2: Open code editors for both themes

We are going to open the code editors for each theme in two separate windows to make it easier to transfer the theme files.

Code editors for old and new themes in separate windows
Code editors for old and new themes in separate windows
  1. Open two browser windows beside each other.

  2. In the left window, open up the code editor (Actions > Edit code) of the old theme.

  3. In the right window, open up the code editor (Actions > Edit code) of the new theme.

  4. For smaller screens, you can expand the coding area by clicking the expand icon in the top-right corner.

    code expand

Step 3: Open old theme files

We will now open the files of the original theme version (not the duplicate). Blue dots will mark the files that need to be transfered from the old theme.

  1. Open the Templates folder. Files with blue dots are templates that have been edited or added.

    Templates folder with changed files
    Templates folder with changed files
  2. Click every .json file with a blue dot in the order they appear to open. These will open in their own tab within the editor.

    Tabs in theme code editor
    Tabs in theme code editor
  3. Open the Config folder.

  4. Click the settings_data.json file to open it.

    This file contains the theme's global settings
    This file contains the theme's global settings

Step 4: Open new theme files

We will now open the same files in the new theme in the same order.

  1. Open the Templates folder.

  2. Open the same files that you opened in the left window, in the same order.

  3. For custom templates not in the original theme files, click Add a new template and name the template the same as the file in the old theme.

    Example of new template called `product.My-template.json`
    Example of new template called `product.My-template.json`
  4. Open the Config folder.

  5. Click the settings_data.json file to open it.

    This file contains the theme's global settings
    This file contains the theme's global settings

You now should have your theme files opened and ready for each theme version.

Code editors with files open in tabs
Code editors with files open in tabs

Step 5: Copy old theme files into new theme files

We will now copy and paste your old theme files into your new theme files:

  1. In both windows, select the first tab with the same filename (eg. blog.json)

  2. In the old theme (left window), select all of the file contents (cmd+a or ctrl+a) and copy (cmd+c or ctrl+c) the contents to your clipboard.

  3. In the new theme (right window), delete the current code, and paste (cmd+v or ctrl+v) everything from your old theme.

  4. Click Save in the new theme.

  5. Repeat this process for all open files. To keep track, you can close each tab once you've transferred and saved the new contents.

  6. Click Save when you're done.

That's it! Well done! Now you can close the code editors, and preview the old and new themes beside each other before publishing the new theme.

If there are new features listed in the changelog, you might want to consider adding those to your store in the theme editor.

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