Updating your theme can be achieved without using the features of the Basic or Pro Theme Updater App plans. The manual approach described in this article is the standard process for updating Shopify themes.
Obtain the latest theme version
Open the Theme Updater App to access the main page. Locate the block for your registered theme. Any copy or version of the theme will work, so long as it has been successfully registered.
Select Actions, then Install default theme.
A modal window will open to confirm the process. You can alter or replace the name of the theme using the provided text field.
Select Install to complete the task.
For Shopify Theme Store purchases, you can also return to the Themes Store page for your theme and click Add latest version
Transfer content to the latest version
Before publishing the theme, content must be transferred to the new theme to match the previous theme's sections, template and general theme settings, and customizations. Also, be sure to reinstall apps for the new version.
Open the theme editor for both versions of the theme in separate windows (to do this, right-click the Customize link next to each theme, then select Open in new tab).
By placing them side-by-side in separate windows, you can go section-by-section and setting-by-setting to match the configurations.
Rebuild home page sections
Add the same sequence of sections to your home page, then copy the text from the previous theme to paste in the new sections.
Images in sections will need to be added but will be available in the store library (no need to upload again).
Copy template and theme setting configurations
Templates for the product pages, collection pages, etc. often have their own settings. Open these pages in the right-side preview, then open their section to reveal the settings. Adjust the settings for the new version to reflect the previous configuration.
Also, complete this process for the Theme settings.
To match Colors settings, for instance, copy the hex code (e.g. #3c3c3c) and paste it to the same field in the new version.
Migrate custom code
Next, you'll need to migrate any custom code added to your Liquid files. Ideally, custom code will be documented so you can easily find it. However, if this is not the case, you can use the file comparison tool Diffchecker to help you remember where you've added custom code.
Follow the link to Diffchecker. Copy and paste the liquid file that had custom code added to it into the Original Text field. Then copy and paste the corresponding file of the new version into the Changed Text field. Click Find Difference.
Any apps that add code to your theme's files will need to be reinstalled. This can be an automatic or manual process depending on the app, so confirm with the app's developer whether removing and adding the app again is enough to connect with the new version.
Find the app documentation through the Apps Store to follow the installation instructions. If you're unfamiliar with this process, you can go to Apps and click View details to find the support email for that Shopify app.