Drupal 8 introduced hook_post_update_NAME() which has some benefits over hook_update_n, for updating modules.

Each hook_post_update_NAME() should only run once, but sometimes I want to rerun it, like when I'm debugging the update hook during development. With hook_update_n, you can reset the schema version in the database.

How do you rerun hook_post_update_NAME()?

8 Answers 8


"post_update" hooks that have been run are stored in the database, in the key_value table, post_update collection, but the data is serialized and awkward to update directly.

I used some of the details from @kiamlaluno's answer to create a drush script which you can use to reset a single hook. Here's a basic version (longer version is here):

#!/usr/bin/env drush

$key_value = \Drupal::keyValue('post_update');
$update_list = $key_value->get('existing_updates');

$choice = drush_choice($update_list, dt('Which post_update hook do you want to reset?'));

if ($choice) {
  $removed_el = $update_list[$choice];
  $key_value->set('existing_updates', $update_list);
  drush_print("$removed_el was reset");
} else {
  drush_print("Reset was cancelled");

And here's an example of what it looks like when you run it from the command line:


Which post_update hook do you want to reset?
 [0]   :  Cancel
 [1]   :  system_post_update_add_region_to_entity_displays
 [2]   :  system_post_update_hashes_clear_cache
 [3]   :  system_post_update_recalculate_configuration_entity_dependencies
 [4]   :  system_post_update_timestamp_plugins
 [5]   :  my_module_post_update_example_hook

# The script pauses for user input. 

my_module_post_update_example_hook was reset
  • 4
    have you thought about contributing this back to drush, github.com/drush-ops/drush?
    – powpow12
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 17:30
  • 1
    This is a pretty sweet feature, but its a bit too niche for core Drush. Perhaps someone make a commandfile for it. Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 19:37
  • That's a very nice solution. I wish we had baked this into our Drupal setup. Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 18:51
  • 1
    This works well, I had to update the functions for Drush 10x. AND a gotcha is that when selecting '1' in the prompt it will return 0 which evaluates to false, so you need to use $choice !== FALSE Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 20:30

Here is an example you can use from the command line with drush php-eval:

drush php:eval '$update_hook_name = "<my_hook_post_update_name>";
$key_value = \Drupal::keyValue("post_update");
$existing_updates = $key_value->get("existing_updates");
$index = array_search($update_hook_name, $existing_updates); 
$key_value->set("existing_updates", $existing_updates);'

When you re-run drush updatedb you will see your post_update_hook waiting to be run.

  • This worked well for me, just to mention that in drush 9, it is drush php:eval 'command'
    – powpow12
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 17:31
  • Very useful, if on read-only environment. Many thanks ;)
    – Mirsoft
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 19:05
  • @powpow12 drush eval still works in both Drush 8 and 9
    – mbomb007
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 19:19

Here's the solution I worked up for rolling back updates. In my case, all the updates I wanted to remove and run again all start with 'MY_MODULE_post_update', so I'm filtering them out based on that string being present; adjust your filter condition in this command as appropriate:

drush ev '$updates = \Drupal::keyValue("post_update")->get("existing_updates"); \Drupal::keyValue("post_update")->set("existing_updates", array_diff_key($updates, array_filter($updates, function($v){return FALSE !== strstr($v,"MY_MODULE_post_update");})));'

UpdateRegistry::getPendingUpdateFunctions() contains the following code. See what the comment says.

  // First figure out which hook_{$this->updateType}_NAME got executed
  // already.
  $existing_update_functions = $this->keyValue->get('existing_updates', []);

UpdateRegistry::$updateType is set to 'post_update'.
$this->keyValue is set from UpdateRegistryFactory::create() with the value of $this->container->get('keyvalue')->get('post_update').

The equivalent procedural code to get that keyvalue collection is the following one.

$key_value = \Drupal::keyValue('post_update');

Set existing_updates to an empty array, and Drupal will think none of the post update callbacks have been called.

$key_value = \Drupal::keyValue('post_update');
$key_value->set('existing_updates', []);

Remove the callback name from the existing_updates key of that keyvalue, and Drupal will think that post update callback has not yet been invoked.


This is an updated script to use for Drupal 9.x Drush 10.x - it corrects the edge case of selecting the '1' as a choice (which returns 0) and allows the user to filter choices by a PREFIX.



use Drush\Commands\DrushCommands;

 * @file
 * Reset module hook_post_update_NAME
 * A tool for developing and debugging post_update hooks.
 * This script will ONLY reset the hook to be run again ...
 * If data is being changed, backup the database and restore as needed
 * Usage:
 * drush php:script reset_hook_post_update.php [-- PREFIX]
 * @see https://www.drush.org/latest/commands/php_script/
 * https://gist.github.com/bryanbraun/852646078ef6b33d2dc2ecacc96c9865
 * https://www.drush.org/latest/api/Drush/Commands/DrushCommands.html

$key_value = \Drupal::keyValue('post_update');
$update_list = $key_value->get('existing_updates');

$indexes = array_flip($update_list);
$choices = array_reverse($update_list);
if ($extra) {
    $prefix = array_shift($extra);
    $choices = array_filter(
        fn($c) => str_starts_with($c, $prefix)

$io = DrushCommands::io();
$reset = $io->choice("Which post_update hook do you want to reset?", $choices, 0);
if ($reset !== FALSE) {
    $remove = $choices[$reset];
    $index = $indexes[$remove];
    if ($remove === $update_list[$index]) {
        $key_value->set("existing_updates", $update_list);
        $io->success("$remove has been reset.");
    else {
        // Really should not even get here!
        $io->error("Unable to match selection!");
// Cancelled message is handled in `choice`.

If it is a one-time thing and you're okay with a quick fix rather than a nice fix that runs with drush updb, then you can do this to save time:

drush eval "require 'modules/custom/FOO/FOO.post_update.php'; FOO_post_update_NAME();"

Here, replace FOO with your module's name and replace NAME based on the name of your post-update hook.

Don't forget to test it on your local dev env and run it on all the environments that require this post-update.


There is a quick and dirty way that is fine for local development.

Temporarily append a suffix to the post-update function:

function mymodule_post_update_ABC_001(): {

Here, _001 is a temporary suffix that you can count up during development, whereas ABC is the actual name of the update that you want to keep.

This method will pollute the key-value table, but this is ok, if you regularly destroy your local database with a new db import from production.

Of course you want to remove the temporary suffix when you commit to version control.


Call it from within hook_update_n() and then do what you were doing before.

  • 3
    That doesn't seem like a good idea, since the entire purpose for the hook_post_update mechanism is to have a fully functional Drupal available after all updates have run. It was introduced because there are no guarantees about the state of Drupal during updates.
    – Eelke Blok
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 9:59

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