FME Flow Troubleshooting: Upgrading

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

Full Guide: FME Flow Troubleshooting Guide

Are you encountering issues while upgrading FME Flow (formerly FME Server) – either during or afterwards? Please read below for some common troubleshooting tips, questions and resources.

In 2023, FME Server underwent a name change and is now known as FME Flow. Since this article discusses features present in previous versions of FME, it will refer to both names interchangeably, using the appropriate product name based on the year the feature was introduced. For more information on the rebranding, see our website

Content Overview


Initial Troubleshooting

  • If you are upgrading FME Flow, please ensure that you have created a valid and comprehensive backup. Please see the documentation  for more information.
  • Please refer to our documentation for a list of FME Flow components that are included in the migration and note the components that are not migrated as part of the backup and restore operation.  
  • Please see the Backup & Restore Task History in the Web Interface to access the Log File.
  • Check the Core Log Files for any ERROR or Warning Messages. 
    Resources > core > current/old > fmeconfiguration.log
  • The uninstall process may leave behind some files and directories if there have been any post-installation configurations. It is okay to remove these files – you may consider keeping a backup of these files. It is recommended to delete existing directories if you are performing an upgrade to the same machine.
  • We recommend upgrading FME Form (formerly FME Desktop) and FME Flow to the same version and build to avoid any incompatibility issues.
  • You cannot install multiple versions of FME Flow on one machine. Please see documentation on upgrading in place/on the same machine. 


Common Issues

“Can I migrate my FME Flow job history?”

The FME Flow backup files do not include job history. Please see this article for more information on how to manually save job history before you upgrade or change databases.


“How do I upgrade an FME Flow Hosted instance?”

This process is different than the traditional method for FME Flow. Please see the documentation for more information.


“The FME Flow backup/restore process is taking forever, and system performance is impacted.”

Some FME Flow instances have a very large Resources folder. The processes that create the FME Flow backup may be running out of resources (memory or disk space). Please consider manually moving the large file(s) to another location, run the backup process, and restore the file(s) manually. 


“After an upgrade, all of the FME Flow Web Services are missing.”

This issue is more commonly experienced when using a backend database that is not provided by the FME Flow installer. Please see the documentation for more information.


“FME Flow Windows Services cannot start after upgrading.”

If you see the error listed below in the Windows Services application when you try to start the FME Flow Windows Services after an upgrade there may have been an incomplete uninstall.

Error 1075: The dependency service does not exist or has been marked for deletion.

Please see this article for more information.


“After an upgrade, there is an error on the Security or Active Directory pages.”

After upgrading FME Flow do you see the error listed below? This issue is more commonly experienced when upgrading between FME Server 2017.0 and 2017.1 – and for users that leverage Oracle, MS SQL, or their own PostgreSQL database for FME Flow.

ERROR  main SQLException: ERROR: column "last_sync" does not exist
ERROR  main 404186 : Unable to start directory manager; exception was "org.postgresql.util.PSQLException: ERROR: column "last_sync" does not exist

Please see this article for more information.


"After an upgrade, I cannot logon to FME Flow"

After an express installation upgrade, I can access the FME Flow Web Application logon page but when I enter my credentials, I am not logged in and instead the logon page is returned with no error reported on the Web UI.

After reviewing the fmeserver.log, you may see an error like the one listed below indicating a column or table does not exist. It is likely that the uninstall process failed to remove the FME Flow System Database files so during the new install, these old files are registered with the new install of FME Flow. FME Flow may start up ok but it has connected to the System Database that has the old schema (old tables).

ERROR: column t.priority does not exist 

Please see this article for more information.

This may also occur in a Distributed Installation where your System Database is hosted in Oracle, Postgres, or SQL Server. When upgrading FME Flow, it is always necessary to update the System Database using the database scripts that are part of the new installation.


"When I try and download my backup .fsconfig file it fails"

If you are trying to perform a backup and it fails, but there are no errors reported in the log then it is likely the backup file is larger than 2GB. The current workaround is to save the file to Resources instead of Downloading it.

Please see this question for more information.


"I am trying to import a large backup file to FME Server over Internet Explorer and it is failing."

In FME Server 2019 and newer, if I try and import a backup file greater than ~5GB it fails with the error: archive is not a ZIP archive

Please try uploading on another web browser or reducing the backup file size.


"When I try and restore FME Flow using the Upload option it fails with no errors"

Instead try saving your .fsconfig file to

<FME Flow System Share>\Resources\backups and then in the FME Flow Web UI select the option to 'Restore from Resources'.

Please see this question for more information.


"My FME Flow Restore is Failing"

If your Restore is failing to upload, and the fmeconfiguraturation log reports "Could not read FME Flow response message. Connection may have been lost. There is not enough space on the disk", please see this question for recommendations on reducing overall backup file size and this question for more information.

If your Restore is failing because 'Specified user account does not exist', please see this article for more information.

If your Restore is failing because 'Could not import repository, item or resource tools...', please see this article for more information.

If your Restore is failing because 'Unable to import subscribers because the protocol "..." is missing', please see this article for more information.

If your Restore is failing because 'Unable to import the migration package because it contains encrypted data that cannot be decrypted', this means System Encryption was enabled on the FME Flow that was backed up. System Encryption must also be enabled on the FME Flow that is restored, using the same custom encryption key. Please see this documentation for more information.

"After upgrading to FME Server 2020 any workspaces using web/DB connections are failing due to lack of proper permissions"

We have made some security improvements regarding Web or Database connections for FME Server 2020, please see this article for more information.

"After upgrading, my jobs are not running."

If you're getting the error message: 'There was an error submitting the job', and your old FME Flow was configured for HTTPS/SSL, please note that this configuration is not backed up. You must reconfigure HTTPS after the upgrade is complete. Please see this article for more troubleshooting tips from the error message.

If your jobs are stuck in the queue, please check your Queue Control and confirm the Engine Assignment Rules are correctly set up.

"Will my trial license be lost if FME Flow is upgraded?"

No, your license will not be lost. You will have to re-license FME Flow when you upgrade, however it does not count as a new trial as long as you're within your trial period. Use the request license form in the web interface once you have installed the new version.

"I want to move drives when upgrading my FME Flow."

If you do a new install and point that to install in the drive, FME will put all the new config files in that drive. Restore as usual. Please see this question for more information. 

"I want to programmatically download a backup from FME Flow."

You can achieve this using FME Flow REST API. Please see this question for more information. 


Additional Resources

Documentation: FME Flow Upgrades


Are you still experiencing issues?

If you are still experiencing issues that are not addressed in this article please consider posting to the FME Community or contact Safe Software for one-to-one support.


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