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"Database Upgrade Required" won't go away

  • I’m getting the “Database Upgrade Required” message on my site. I click the button and it says it updates, but the the message comes back.
    Is this a glitch, or does it mean its not really upgrading things??
    Anyone else experience this?
    Just showed up today for me.


  • Hi @aaronrobb

    It seems there’s something that prevents ACF from updating your database correctly. Could you please update the database on one of the WordPress’ stock themes (like Twenty Sixteen) with other plugins deactivated. If the notice disappears, then you can activate your theme and plugins again.

    If the issue persists, could you please check the error log on your server?

    If there’s no error log, could you please open a new ticket and provide temporary admin credentials to your site? You can open a new ticket here: Also, please don’t forget to explain the issue again and provide the link to this thread.

    Thanks 🙂

  • I think I’ve figured this out, at least in the failing situation on my installation.

    In the browser, all I see is that the POST request to admin-ajax.php returns a 500 status after about 12 seconds.

    I added logging to the plugin and noticed that it died fairly consistently while processing one of the last taxonomies. (I have a lot of them, with a lot of terms in each.) I narrowed that down to getting no output after the get_terms() call, so I added a try/catch block around it to see if it was throwing an exception.

    error_log(‘Getting terms for taxonomy ‘.print_r($taxonomy->name, true));
    // vars
    try {
    $terms = get_terms($taxonomy->name, array( ‘hide_empty’ => false ));
    } catch(Exception $e) {
    error_log(print_r($e, true));
    error_log(‘Got terms for taxonomy ‘.print_r($taxonomy->name, true));

    There was no log from the exception, which made me wonder if the failure was due to a timeout. Sure enough, if I limited the update to skip the successful taxonomies and update only those that hadn’t been done, the plugin completed successfully and the notice disappeared.

    Perhaps the ACF update process could perform the database updates over a series of requests, and include logging (ideally in the browser and the PHP log) to show the progress and/or any failures.

  • Same issue here, on quite a large database.

    When clicking upgrade database button, getting a 500 error on admin-ajax.php, however the notification says the database has been upgraded. The upgrade message then re-appears.

  • Yup, that’s the same behaviour as I saw. HTTP errors would be another good thing for the upgrade process to report/handle.

  • Hi guys,

    I believe the issue is the upgrade process is terminated due to a timeout. Could you please increase the max_execution_time on your server? Please check this page to learn more about it:

    Thanks 🙂

  • Hi there,

    Still having this issue, weeks later the upgrade database message is still there.

    It’s there for the admin user and in fact it’s also showing for subscriber level users as well, which is not optimal.

    I got the host to check on the server and the update process is not leaving any kind of error message during the update process. Hence we are not able to pinpoint the exact issue for this.

    Even after setting max_execution_time to 2700, the message is still there.

    Any help would be appreciated on this one, thank you.

  • OK I did de-activate all plugins and try again – the database upgrade message has now disappeared.

    Not sure which plugin was the culprit, but hope it helps someone.

  • This did it for me as well… I only had Timber activated and a private plugin.
    I deactivated both and updated the database. The message was then gone and I reactivated both plugins.

  • Same problem & solution, deactivated all plugins except ACF Pro, upgraded database, message was gone, re-activated plugins.

  • Same problem at one of my websites. Deactivated all plugins, upgraded database again and message gone.

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