Theme updates

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 ↗.

Custom code changes and apps will need to be transferred by manually in the theme code editor. Our Support cannot cover manual theme updates, code customizations, or app integration.

The following guide shows how to transfer your theme settings and templates faster and efficiently.

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 update details. Click Release notes or see the changelog to learn more about the update.

Manually updating your theme

If your theme does not automatically update, or if there are any code changes made to your theme copy, you will need to copy any updated files from your current copy to the new theme version.

Watch video tutorial

Watch our video walkthrough for a step-by-step guide to update your theme:

Step 1: Add the latest theme version

First, you will need to add the latest theme version before transferring your settings and templates.

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

STEPS

In your Shopify Admin:

  1. If you haven't made code changes to your theme, click on the notification to open the details pop-up, and then click Add to theme library to add the updated version to your theme library.

    If the Add to theme library does not appear, or you've made code changes, you will need to install a fresh version of Cornerstone on the theme store for free.

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

  3. (Recommended) Make a backup of your current theme (Actions > Duplicate).

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.

STEPS
  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.

Step 3: Open old theme files

We will now open the files of the original theme version (not the duplicate). Green dots will mark the files that need to be transferred from the old theme. Note: This includes files that have been created for customized Contexts ↗.

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

  2. Click every .json file with a green dot in the order they appear to open them in their own tab.

  3. In the Sections folder, open the files that you opened in the old theme, in the same order.

    These might include: header-group.json, footer-group.json, overlay-group.json. These files include settings for the Header, Announcement bar, Footer, and Popups.

    You will also need to open any files created for custom Contexts ↗. For example: header-group.context.eu.json, footer-group.context.ca.json, overlay-group.context.it.json.

  4. In the Config folder, click to open the settings_data.json. This file contains the theme's global settings.

Step 4: Set up new theme files

We will now open the same files in the new theme in the same order. If there are files that are in the old theme that don't exist in the new theme, you will need to add files with the exact same name. Note: This includes files that have been created for customized Contexts ↗.

STEPS
  1. In the Templates folder, open the same files that you opened in the old theme, in the same order.

  2. For templates that don't already exist in the new theme, click Add a new template and enter the exact same name as the file in the old theme.

  3. In the Sections folder, open the files that you opened in the old theme, in the same order.

    These might include: header-group.json, footer-group.json, overlay-group.json.

  4. For sections that don't already exist in the new theme, click Add a new section and enter the exact same name as the file in the old theme.

    You will need to create any files for custom Contexts that are in your old theme. For example: header-group.context.eu.json, footer-group.context.ca.json, overlay-group.context.it.json.

  5. In the Config folder, click to open the settings_data.json.

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

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:

STEPS
  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.

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Related links

Shopify theme updates manual ↗ Cornerstone changelog

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