I am trying to deploy or update a WSP solution to SharePoint in a script using Update-SPSolution. The problem I have is that if this is the initial install I need to use Add-SPSolution and then Install-SPSolution to deploy it and then run Update-SPSolution. If the WSP has already been deployed I can just run Update-SPSolution. How do I check if the WSP has been Added and or Deployed to the Farm?

4 Answers 4


Get-SPSolution returns an array of SPSolutions added to the farm. You can compare a solution's name or GUID (SolutionID) to your solution and check the Deployed property to see if it's currently deployed.

For example:

Get-SPSolution -Identity "intranet.publishing.wsp" | select deployed, lastoperationresult

This will retrieve any solutions called "intranet.publishing.wsp" and if it exists display its Deployed and LastOperationResult values.

  • 3
    Why not just use Get-SPSolution -Indentity "intranet.publishing.wsp" | select deployed, lastoperationresult Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 13:12
  • Yes, that would work as well and I do quite like your approach.
    – shufler
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 18:08
  • NOTE: In Anders' Get-SPSolution comment, it should be "-identity" (spelling mistake)
    – MBentley
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 21:40

Every time that I have tried to use use the Update-SPSolution command it never works the way I think it should so instead, I always use the deactivate-retract-delete-add-deploy-activate approach just as if it were a new solution.

Per TechNet : "The Update-SPSolution cmdlet upgrades a deployed SharePoint solution in the farm. Use this cmdlet only if a new solution contains the same set of files and features as the deployed solution. If files and features are different, the solution must be retracted and redeployed by using the Uninstall-SPSolution and Install-SPSolution cmdlets, respectively."

There are more details on MSDN as well

  • As much as I hate it, the deactivate, retract, delete, add, deploy, activate dance is effective. It reminds me though of those installers that would pop up with a message box "Product X is already installed! Uninstall Product X before upgrade to Product X.1!" We use Update-Solution whenever we're deploying a solution that has been updated (bug fixes, feature enhancements, etc)
    – shufler
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 19:22
  • 3
    Update solution works as designed: if you have new features or deleted features, it will not re-activate them. However in my tests Update-SPSolution will detect new TemplateFiles (hence added solution files) and deploy these. Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 13:11
  • I ran Update and whilst the GAC said it had the latest version of the DLL (and the sites appeared to recycle), it didn't use the latest DLL version... so yes, full remove/re-add needed.
    – PeterX
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 7:36

What's the scenario here? Are you adding a new WFE and want to know if the solution has been deployed to that new WFE, or are you upgrading an existing solution that's already deployed? Update-SPSolution will not "re-deploy" per say. It will update components of that solution that have changed, but unless you're handling changes to the solution with code using feature version, new items will not be deployed as part of an Update-SPSolution call.

For example, if you add a new module with new masterpages and package, then run Update-SPSolution, your new module won't be processed. Those initial deployment tasks don't fire as part of an update. You would need code to handle the difference in version between what's on the server and the version you're now deploying, and instruct that code that if the version is n.n.n.n to process that module since it wouldn't have been there. There's a great webcast by Jeremy Thake on that side of feature development.

If you're just looking for solution status, there's a couple good blog posts out there that have methods for grabbing the last operation status of a solution with PowerShell... those are probably a good starting point (this one for example).

  • What would you recommend in that case. We can retract the solution and redeploy it on the DEV and TEST servers but how do we update the Production servers without losing our data?
    – Lukasz
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 18:20
  • Update-SPSolution relies on version information in the solution. Unless you have your deactivate event set to remove content, nothing should come out. Deactivating a feature that created a list doesn't delete the list unless you've told it to do that. The right approach would be to build your features with version information, per Jeremy's webcast. This would allow you to use Update-SPSolution.
    – webdes03
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 19:10

One thing you may want to do is close your PowerShell window (PowerShell ISE or PS Management Shell) - apparently the WSP referenced by the Upgrade-SPSolution caches the WSP.

Here's a description of the issue - similar to my own.

Jeremy Thake's webcast video references this issue, if you managed to catch it. I hope this is resolved in SP 2013.

  • It is not a SharePoint issue, but a PowerShell issue, so dont look for SP2013 for solutions to this. The problem is that PowerShell caches its requests. We have build a deployment framework that will spawn new processes (Start-Process PowerShell -STA) hence avoiding caching the instantiated object properties Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 13:18

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