There may be a time that after you update to a newer version of WordPress you may need to go back to a previous version of WordPress because a plugin, or even your theme has not been updated to work with the new version.
I updated to the a new version of WordPress and discovered a couple plugins did not work correctly and had to revert back to a previous version of WordPress until the plugins were updated.
In case this ever happens to you, there is a way that you can easily go back to a previous version of WordPress in a matter of minutes.
How to Go Back to a Previous Version of WordPress
1) The first thing you should have is a ftp program, (I recommend Filezilla) and make a back up of your WordPress database by copying to a folder on your hard drive. The chances are you won’t need to use it, but just in case, back it up.
If you need assistance connecting your site to Filezilla, there are tons of tutorials online, Simply Google “How to add my HOSTNAME site to Filezilla” and you will get all the instructions on how to do that.
2) After connecting your site to Filezilla, right click in the main directory and create a new folder. In this example I have named mine ‘_oldWP’
3) Using the ‘Shift” key, highlight the ‘wp-admin’ and the ‘wp-includes’ folders and drag them both to the newly created ‘_oldWP’ folder.
4) At this point, your site will not be working, but that is OK, we will fix it in the next steps. Now you need to go to find the previous version of WordPress. You can do that from WordPress Archives.
5) Download and save the WordPress version to a folder on your hard drive. You will then want to extract the ZIP file to that folder. If you do not have a ZIP tool, I recommend WinRAR. You can download it for free from HERE. After completing this your folder should look like the one below.
6) Now, double click and open the entire WordPress folder you just extracted. After opening that folder, press and hold the ‘Crtl’->’A’ keys to highlight the entire WordPress folder and then drag it to your main directory using Filezilla. This may take several minutes while it is installing the old version of WordPress.
7) After it has completely downloaded all the files, go back to your login for your site. (yoursite.com/wp-admin). You will see a screen that says “Database Update Required”. Click the “Update WordPress Database” button. (You are not really updating, but reverting back to the previous version you just installed.)
8) After complete, click the “Continue” button and you’re good to go! After you see your site is working correctly you can now go back and delete the ‘_oldWP’ folder.
And that is how you can easily go back to a previous version of WordPress!