Oracle Database Releases That Support Direct Upgrade

Review the supported options for direct upgrades to Oracle Database 21c.

You can perform a direct upgrade to the new release from the following releases:

  • 19c
  • 18c
  • 12c Release 2 (12.2)

The path that you must take to upgrade to the latest Oracle Database release depends on the release number of your current database.

If your current Oracle Database is a release earlier than release 12.2, then you cannot directly upgrade your Oracle Database to the latest release. In this case, you are required to upgrade to an intermediate release before upgrading to Oracle Database 21c.

If you cannot carry out a direct upgrade, then carry out an upgrade to the most recent release where direct upgrades are supported.


For any multi-step upgrade, if you must carry out two upgrades to upgrade to the current release, then you must run the preupgrade script twice: First, complete an upgrade to an intermediate upgrade release that is supported for direct upgrade to the target upgrade release. Second, complete the upgrade for the target upgrade release.

For example, if the database from which you are upgrading is running Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (11.2) then to upgrade to Oracle Database 21c, follow these steps:

  1. Upgrade Release 11.2 to release 12.2, using the instructions in Oracle Database Upgrade Guide 12c Release 2 (12.2), including running the preupgrade script for 12.2.

  2. Upgrade Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) directly to Oracle Database 21c. Use the instructions in this book, Oracle Database Upgrade Guide, including running the preupgrade script for Oracle Database 21c.

The following table shows the required upgrade path for each release of Oracle Database. Use the upgrade path and the specified documentation to perform an intermediate upgrade of your database before fully upgrading to Oracle Database 21c.

Table 1-1 Examples of Upgrade Paths for Oracle Database 21c

Current Release Upgrade Options

19 (all releases), 18 (all releases),

Direct upgrade is supported. Perform the upgrade using the current Oracle Database Upgrade Guide, which is this guide.,,,,

10.2 or earlier releases

Direct upgrade to Oracle Database 21c is not supported.

Solution: Upgrade to an intermediate Oracle Database release that can be directly upgraded to the current release. Upgrade Oracle Database releases that are not supported for direct upgrade in this release to an intermediate Oracle Database release that is supported for direct upgrade.

When upgrading to an intermediate Oracle Database release, follow the instructions in the intermediate release documentation, including running the preupgrade scripts for that intermediate release. After you complete an upgrade to the intermediate release Oracle Database, you can upgrade the intermediate release database to the current Oracle Database release.

This restriction does not apply if you use Oracle Data Pump export/import to migrate data to the new release.

For example:

  • Releases,,, Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2), and then upgrade to Oracle Database 21c.
  • Releases,,, or Upgrade to release or 12.1, and then to 12.2, and then to Oracle Database 21c.

Note: Always update to the most recent intermediate release to which you can upgrade directly. Your case can be different from that of the examples provided here.