How to update your Shopify theme (without losing anything)

How to update your Shopify theme (without losing anything)

Updating your Shopify theme might seem complicated, especially if this is your first time doing it.

Well luckily for you, it’s a relatively straightforward process to follow. But, you do need to do it correctly if you want to make sure your customization isn’t lost in the process.

In this article, we will be taking you on a step-by-step journey on how to update your Shopify theme without losing any customization.

How to update your Shopify theme without losing customization 

There are two main ways in which you can update your Shopify themes without losing any of your customizations. The first option is by using the theme store, and the second method is by using the theme updater app. 

We will explain how to do both without losing any of your customizations, or accidentally deleting a Shopify theme.

shopify how to update theme

How to update your Shopify theme using the Theme Store

To update your Shopify theme via the theme store, the first thing you need to learn to do is how to backup your Shopify theme, as well as how to download a Shopify theme. 

Once this has been done, you can start with the upgrade process.

Step 1: Backup your Shopify theme

Backing up your theme is the first thing that needs to be done.

  1. Navigate to your Shopify Admin tab.
  2. Go to your online store and access the Themes tab.
  3. Click on Actions, followed by Duplicate
  4. Download the theme to have it as a backup.

Step 2: Update your Shopify theme

  1. Start your update process by going to the Shopify Theme Store.
  2. Use the search box to search for your theme.
  3. Click on the button that says “Add latest theme version”
  4. The updated theme is added to your theme library.

Step 3: Customize your upgraded theme

The updated theme has no customizations and will not resemble your shop. So, you need to either customize it from scratch or copy the theme’s settings code from your current theme and add it to the new version.

We will be discussing how to copy your old theme’s settings as it is the easier method to use.

  1. Go to your Shopify Theme Settings.
  2. Select Action, followed by Edit Code.
  3. Scroll down to where it says Config.
  4. Select Settings_data.json.
  5. Copy the entire code (it is quite long).
  6. Paste the code under Settings_data.json on the latest version of your theme.

Step 4: Test that your newly updated Shopify theme works

The next step is to thoroughly test the latest version of the theme and make sure everything is functioning correctly. 

  1. Test the theme and go through everything to make sure that it works.
  2. Publish your theme and enjoy the update.

How to update your Shopify theme using the Theme Updater App

Updating your Shopify theme via the theme updater app is a super quick and easy way to do it.

Step 1: Install the Theme Updater App

  1. Click here to download the Theme Updater App
  2. Install the Theme Updater App to your Shopify store.

Step 2: Check if there are updates available for your theme 

  1. Open the app and go to the dashboard.
  2. Check if any updates are available for your current theme

Step 3: Update your theme 

update shopify theme

If there are updates available, follow the steps below. 

  1. Click on the Update button to start the update process.

This will install by itself, but it will install an unpublished version of your theme

Step 4: Preview and test your theme 

It is recommended that you thoroughly preview and test the new unpublished theme and make sure that it is to your liking. 

Step 5: Publish your theme 

If you are happy with the updates, publish your theme.

  1. Go to the Actions tab on the updated theme. 
  2. Click on Publish to launch the latest version of the theme.

What is the Theme Updater app?

For those of you who want a more hands-off process, the Theme Updater app is available on the Shopify App Store. It’s called “Theme Updater” by Out of the Sandbox.

To start using it, all you need to do is install it.

How does the Theme Updater app work?

The app works by, firstly, notifying you when there is an update for your theme available. 

Once you choose to update your theme, the app will then duplicate the settings of your current theme. Then it will apply them to the new version.

Shopify help

Why is the Theme Updater app so great?

One of the best things about using the theme updater app is that you don’t have to upload your Shopify theme, in its updated version, to your theme store as you would have with the other method. 

You also won’t have to copy or edit the Shopify theme code as you usually would have to.

This, and not having to configure the new theme, will save a lot of time. 

Lastly, you can activate a setting that allows for the app to notify you when there is an update available for your theme. This is very helpful, and you won’t have to keep reminding yourself to update it. 

The benefits of keeping your Shopify theme up to date

It is really beneficial to keep your Shopify theme up to date, for multiple reasons. 

These reasons include bug fixing, making your store run smoother and faster, unlocking new and improved features, changing your storefront, and it is better for SEO purposes. 

A theme update may seem like it isn’t very important. But, it does come with a lot of benefits for your store and can boost its overall success. 

shopify update theme


Thankfully, it’s easier to update your Shopify theme than you might think. And having the option of updating your theme via the theme store or the theme updater app makes it even simpler to find the method that works best for you.

As we mentioned, Shopify always tries to make your themes better with their updates. But sometimes you might find that the new theme update just isn’t for you and what you want for your business. 

If this is the case, and you are struggling to find a new theme that matches the look you want your business to portray, get in touch. Let’s see if we can help you customize the perfect Shopify theme for your business, and make your experience easy and hassle-free. 

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