To maintain and improve our robust Shopify themes, we regularly release upgrades that offer new features, functionality, and bug fixes.
Check out our blog article that goes into tons of details on why you should be keeping your theme up to date.
Update with the Theme Updater App's Plans and Features
The Shopify Theme Updater Shopify App by Out of the Sandbox is the easiest, fastest, and most convenient way to update your theme. With the Theme Updater App installed, you can stay in the loop with the latest release and apply it to your store with ease.
Upgrade to the latest version of your theme without having to do it manually.
Get notified whenever a new version of your theme is available.
Preserves code tweaks and customizations whenever possible.
Priority support (Pro Plan)
Receive priority support for your theme from our Merchant Success Team.
Diff checker (Pro Plan)
View all template file customizations within a theme.
Language locales (Pro Plan)
Automatically include new or updated languages.
Basic provides the basics for quickly getting your theme up to date. Free trial for one year with theme purchase, then choose a monthly or yearly plan to continue using the app.
Pro unlocks all the advanced features for prioritizing and accelerating your updates, including exclusive access to Priority Theme Support.
A Free plan is also available for a limited selection of features.
How the App Works
When updating with the Theme Updater App, the app will duplicate your theme settings and apply them to the new version. The updated theme is made available as an unpublished theme. The app doesn't replace the original theme or make changes to the published theme.
Limitations for Pre-Sections Theme Versions
If you are updating an older theme between any of these version ranges, you will need to rebuild your homepage after the update:
- Parallax 1.0 - 2.4.4
- Retina 1.0 - 3.2.3
- Mobilia 1.0 - 4.4.4
- Responsive 1.0 - 5.2
- Turbo 1.0 - 1.2.5
To learn how to determine what version you are using, click here.
After updating from a theme in the version ranges above, your unpublished homepage will feature placeholder content that you will need to configure before going live.
Once you are using 'section-based' theme, rebuilding the homepage each time you update is no longer necessary in most cases when using our theme updater app.
Limitation for Added Theme Styles
When a new theme style is released, there is no way to add the new style without installing a fresh copy of the theme. The Theme Updater App will update your code, but cannot add new styles at this time. How can I use a new theme style that has been released?
Update Your Theme Manually
Updating to the latest version without the Theme Updater App is a manual process. This approach involves three main steps:
- Retrieving the new theme version
- Transferring content from the previous version
- Publishing the new version
Get the new theme version
If you purchased your theme directly from the Out of the Sandbox website:
Our Theme Updater App now includes the ability to install a fresh download of the most recent version of your registered theme. This feature is available for all plans (Basic, Pro, Expired/No plan). You do not need to be on a subscription plan in order to obtain a fresh download of your theme, just follow these steps:
Install the Theme Updater App
In the Theme Updater App, click Actions beside your theme to select Install Default Theme
You can type in a new theme name and click the Install.
This version will contain only the default configuration with no customizations. It will be installed as a new, unpublished theme in your shop.
Note: If you happen to still have your original order confirmation email containing the download link, you can also use that to download a default theme file.
If you purchased your theme from the Shopify Theme Store:
If you bought the theme through the Shopify, then you can also visit the Themes Store while logged into your Shopify account (must be logged into the same shop that you originally purchased the theme), locate your theme, and click on Add latest version.
The blank theme will be added to the Themes page of your Shopify admin for you to carry over content manually.
Transfer content to the latest version
The new version is in its default state. Before publishing the theme, content must be transferred to the new theme to match the previous settings, appearance, customizations, etc.
Update theme settings
Open the theme editor for both versions of the theme in separate windows (to do this, right-click the Customize link next to each theme, then select Open in new tab).
By placing them side-by-side in separate windows, you can go section by section and match the settings, copy, and content.
To match Colors settings, for instance, click on the swatch. In the bottom right of the popup modal, you'll see a six-value code. Copy this code and paste it into the matching color field in the new version.
Migrate custom code
Next, you'll need to migrate any custom code added to your Liquid files. Ideally, custom code will be documented so you can easily find it. However, if this is not the case, you can use the file comparison tool Diffchecker to help you remember where you've added custom code.
Follow the link to Diffchecker. Copy and paste the liquid file that you believe had custom code added to it into the Original Text field. Then copy and paste the corresponding file of the new version into the Changed Text field. Click Find Difference.
In the Original Text field, any code that does not appear in the Changed Text field will be highlighted in red (this will include changes we've made to the theme, but of course you only need to worry about copying over custom code additions you've made).
Prepare for future updates
For any custom code carried over or future additions made, adding a comment that is easily searchable allows you to search and locate any custom code quickly when making future updates. Comments will not affect the code. Simply add <!-- and --> on either side of your comment, like so:
<!-- This is a comment. Custom code.-->
Be specific in your comment—add a note for the purpose, date, author, etc.
If you're adding code to the styles.scss.liquid file, we recommend inserting it at the bottom of the page.
Any apps that add code to your theme's files may need to be reinstalled, depending on the app developer. You'll need to find the app documentation to follow the installation instructions. If you're unsure how, you can go to Apps and click View details to find the support email for that Shopify app.
Please note that our theme support team does not support third-party apps.
Publishing the new version
Once you've migrated all your settings and custom code, you're set to go. Hit Publish on the new version of the theme.
Tips and Best Practices for Alternative Method
- Keep your current theme open in a separate window or take a few screenshots as a visual reference
- Have all your image files (logo, favicon, banner pictures) easily accessible in a local folder so that when you need to add those again through the theme customizer, you can find and upload them easily
- Take note of all of your social media account links and information (user names, client #, etc.) so that they're easy to copy and paste from one place
- Set up a simple text document that includes as much info as possible about all the current theme settings that you want to reproduce, including any colors and fonts you've used throughout the current site (e.g. button color = #f9068f, Headline text = Google web font 'Lato', 20px, etc.); it's often easier to refer to the one document rather than switching back and forth between the theme customizer of the current site and the theme customizer of the new one in preview mode
- If you've made any changes or additions to your actual theme files (styles.scss.liquid, index.liquid, etc.), see if you can locate and make note of these in a separate text file, so that you can reproduce them all in the new version (a ‘changelog’ like this is a good thing to maintain at all times, as it will help you keep track of all your customizations and make any future upgrades easier!)
- As you customize your new theme upgrade, work your way from the top down, starting with the top bar/header section: re-add your logo and favicon, then re-add your images in the Home Page / Home Page Slider sections, and then deal with the fonts and colors, and finally the newsletter and social media info
Finally, don't forget that you can also take this opportunity of the theme upgrade to change things up a bit in your shop (add some new pictures, try out some new colors, etc.) and take your time; just keep working in preview mode and then when you're finally ready to make the switch, hit the 'Publish' button!
FAQ for the alternative method:
Q: Can I switch to the new theme automatically, without losing my customizations?
A: Unfortunately not, you will need to apply (reproduce) all your custom edits in the new theme manually. This only applies if you are using the alternative method - your theme settings and basic customizations will be carried over if you use the Theme Updater app.
Q: Can I selectively add features from the updated theme to my current theme?
A: It would require additional development to selectively add an individual feature and is not recommended. We also have a list of recommended Shopify Experts.
View more Frequently Asked Questions about our Theme Updater App
If you're curious and wondering what's been included in each theme update, you can view our Changelogs. The Changelogs list features/enhancements/improvements/bug fixes that have been included in each release!