Perform the Upgrade

There are several methods available to update an installation of pfSense® software. Either the WebGUI or the console can be used.


Before performing an upgrade, read through the entire Upgrade Guide.

If problems occur during the upgrade process, consult Troubleshooting Upgrades for assistance.

Upgrading using the GUI

The Automatic Update check feature contacts a Netgate server and determines if there is a release version newer than the version on the firewall. This check is performed when an administrator visits the dashboard or System > Update.

To perform the upgrade in the GUI:

  • Navigate to System > Update or click fa-cloud-download in the System Information dashboard widget next to the new version notification.

  • Click fa-check Confirm to start the update

  • Wait for the upgrade to complete

The update takes a few minutes to download and apply, depending on the speed of the Internet connection being used and the speed of the firewall hardware. The firewall will reboot automatically when finished.


Monitor the firewall console during the upgrade if possible to watch for potential problems.

Upgrading using the Console

An update may also be run from the console. The console option is available from any means available for console access: Video/Keyboard, Serial Console, or SSH.

  • Connect to the firewall console or login via ssh

  • Enter menu option 13

  • Wait for the upgrade to complete

Alternately, from a shell prompt running as root, manually execute the following command:

# pfSense-upgrade


When upgrading from SSH, the GNU screen utility can be a useful tool to monitor the upgrade process in environments where the connection to the firewall is unstable:

# pkg install screen
# rehash
# screen pfSense-upgrade

Reinstalling / Upgrading Configuration

If an upgrade will not function properly on an existing installation, the configuration file can be restored to a freshly installed copy of pfSense software. An older configuration can always be imported into a new version. The upgrade code will make necessary changes to the configuration so it will work with the current version of the software. See Backup and Recovery for details.