N8n update issues - can't access dashboard

I helped a friend install n8n on a vps. All works really well.

When I apply the exact same update steps to his instance as I do mine, I have an issue.

The issue is when he tries to access his newly updated n8n he is shown the interface to create a new account and there is no option to log in to his dashboard. It seems update is actually creating a brand new blank n8n

Following the update steps here

# Pull latest version
docker compose pull

# Stop and remove older version
docker compose down

# Start the container
docker compose up -d

Hi @Robm :wave:

Did you by chance upgrade from a pre-v1 version to a more recent version? User management is now mandatory for v1 accounts, as mentioned in the upgrade guide here: n8n v1.0 migration guide | n8n Docs

So you could be seeing this for the first time if you didn’t previously set up user management.

The other possibility is that the data directories are wrong - could you share the Docker compose file (and redact any sensitive data)?

Thanks for replying and trying to help appreciated.

Not sure if it’s a pre-v1 or not. Set it up about 2 months ago using the latest version availbale at that time. Going to assume it’s a post v1 version given that it is quite new.

version: "3"

    image: "traefik"
    restart: always
      - "--api=true"
      - "--api.insecure=true"
      - "--providers.docker=true"
      - "--providers.docker.exposedbydefault=false"
      - "--entrypoints.web.address=:80"
      - "--entrypoints.web.http.redirections.entryPoint.to=websecure"
      - "--entrypoints.web.http.redirections.entrypoint.scheme=https"
      - "--entrypoints.websecure.address=:443"
      - "--certificatesresolvers.mytlschallenge.acme.tlschallenge=true"
      - "--certificatesresolvers.mytlschallenge.acme.email=${SSL_EMAIL}"
      - "--certificatesresolvers.mytlschallenge.acme.storage=/letsencrypt/acme.json"
      - "80:80"
      - "443:443"
      - ${DATA_FOLDER}/letsencrypt:/letsencrypt
      - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro

    image: docker.n8n.io/n8nio/n8n
    restart: always
      - ""
      - traefik.enable=true
      - traefik.http.routers.n8n.rule=Host(`${SUBDOMAIN}.${DOMAIN_NAME}`)
      - traefik.http.routers.n8n.tls=true
      - traefik.http.routers.n8n.entrypoints=web,websecure
      - traefik.http.routers.n8n.tls.certresolver=mytlschallenge
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.SSLRedirect=true
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.STSSeconds=315360000
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.browserXSSFilter=true
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.contentTypeNosniff=true
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.forceSTSHeader=true
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.SSLHost=${DOMAIN_NAME}
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.STSIncludeSubdomains=true
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.STSPreload=true
      - traefik.http.routers.n8n.middlewares=n8n@docker
      - N8N_PORT=5678
      - N8N_PROTOCOL=https
      - NODE_ENV=production
      - ${DATA_FOLDER}/.n8n:/root/node/.n8n
      - /local-files:/files

Hope that is the right file?

So it could be that you need to change


Starting with v1 of n8n we use the node user rather than root, so won’t be looking in the /root/.n8n path for the database. Assuming your ~/.n8n folder is still intact locally and you are performing the docker run command as the user you originally did, hopefully this will sort everything out for you :+1:

Perhaps some progress has been made. Made the changes and re-ran the updates but now getting a 404 error, on repeated refreshes I get bad gateway when trying to access n8n.

Hey @Robm,

Has n8n started up ok? Could be worth checking the logs for any errors.

No joy, and can’t find the logs for this n8n. I expected to find them here


But no files. No log directory.

Hey @Robm,

The logs would only exist in file form if you have the env option set, You might be able to get away with something like docker logs n8n

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