If you have upgraded your Joomla 3+ installation, you may find that the custom edits that you made to the Protostar template are gone.

What happens is that the files for the new version of Joomla 3+ have overwritten the pre-existing files. You can restore the changes from a backup of your site prior to the upgrade.

Always make a backup of your site before running any upgrade or installing any extension

Before installing the Joomla update, you should do a complete backup of all the folders and files and the database. Many developers like to use the Akeeba extension for doing backups.

You may need to restore the site as it was prior to the upgrade. You may also need to refer to the old files for information.

You might also consider doing the upgrade on a duplicate of the site with a duplicate of the database. This way you won't disrupt a live site if you have things to fix.

If you created Template Overrides for the Joomla core files, these overrides will not be lost or overwritten when you upgrade Joomla.

Steps to get your Protostar template back to looking how it did before the upgrade

Usually there are only three files that have been edited when customizing the Protostar template. These files are index.php, templateDetails.xml and template.css. There also may be a custom stylesheet that was linked to, but now that link is gone.

Replace the new files with the old files

You can simply replace these three files with the old version. This will usually do the trick. 

The issue with file replacement is that you won't benefit if there were framework or security issues put into the new version.

Recreate the changes

If you were systematic about your edits to the Protostar template and made comments in the files where you made changes, you can simply go back and make those same edits.

If you created a custom style sheet, you simply need to add that link back in the index.php.

Copy and rename the Protostar Template

You can restore the original site files and database - or create a duplicate site with the old files and database on your local computer with XAMPP, WAMP or LAMP. Go through the proper steps to copy and rename the Protostar template. If you do it the proper way, a new folder will be installed in your templates folder. Set this new template to the default

See this article: How to Copy and Rename the Protostar Template

When you run the upgrade on the restored site, it won't overwrite this duplicate template.

If you did this copy and rename procedure on a duplicate site, you can zip the new folder, upload it to your upgraded site into the templates folder and unzip it. Go to Extension Manager and click on Discover so the installation sees this new folder. Set this template to be the default.

Again, with this method you won't benefit from any improvements made to the upgraded Protostar template, but you won't have lost your customization.


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