How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Learn how to update and delete WordPress plugins inside your WordPress dashboard…

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your DashboardIn a separate post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily add new features to your blog with no coding knowledge required.

To read this article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to upgrade and remove plugins from your site, and discover practical tools to help you better manage your plugins.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Many Of Your WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

WordPress constantly updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in previous releases, and to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new new update notifications for plugins every.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes code or features in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed for a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for issues to sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are very proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is needed). All you need to do as a website owner, is simply keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very easy and simple to do.

Important Info

Keeping your plugins regularly updated and deleting old plugins you no longer use is part of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid any potential problems and errors.

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins safely in WordPress with no web programming skills necessary.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins – Tutorial

WordPress uses a few methods to alert users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins need updating as soon as you log into your Administration area simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, 9 plugins need updating …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

You can also see how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Toolbar (in the screenshot below, you can see how many plugins should be updated) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also lets you know which plugins need to be updated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

As well as providing information about plugins that have updates available, the Plugins page provides links to the plugin developer pages and gives you the option to update your plugin individually or in bulk …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to update WordPress plugins one at a time.

Update WordPress Plugins One At A Time

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your website before making any updates to your blog or website.

From your WP admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

You will be taken to the “Plugins” section. The list of plugins can be quite lengthy depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

(Plugins Screen)

Tip

Additional Info:

If you have too many plugins and would like to make this section more manageable, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins screen and enter a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the screen), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

Your Plugins area will now be made more manageable with a pagination feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search” function …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

You will see plugin information in different color backgrounds depending on the status of your plugins (active vs. inactive and outdated vs up-to-date) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

Plugins that need updating have a distinctive notification message: “There is a new version of [Plugin] available”

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Locate the plugin that needs updating and click on the update now link …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

WordPress provides streamlined plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Repeat the above process for all plugins on your site that need to be updated, or refer to the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update all plugins in one simple operation.

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Now that you know how to update plugins one at a time, it’s time to learn how to bulk-update WordPress plugins.

Bulk-Updating WP Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins at the same time using the automatic updating feature, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Click the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to upgrade by checking their individual boxes …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the plugin list, select Update

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your selected plugins will automatically begin updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

After the update process has completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins section, or select another option from the sidebar menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, the update reminders will disappear (i.e. the “at-a-glance” indicators and “There is a new version of XYZ plugin available” messages no longer display) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

You have updated all plugins on your site!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, update notices disappear)

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade WordPress plugins, let’s show you how to uninstall plugins from your site.

How To Remove Plugins

It’s a good idea to delete plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to conserve resource usage and eliminate causes of problems.

In this section, we show you how to safely remove unused plugins from your WordPress blog or site.

Warning

Always create a full back up of your WordPress site before installing, upgrading or deleting plugins, in case something goes wrong and you need to recover data or restore your site.

To delete a plugin, go to your dashboard menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

In the Plugins screen, find the plugin you want to remove and make sure it is inactive.

Hint: Inactive plugins appear in a different background color than active plugins and display an “Activate” link below the plugin name …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

If the plugin is active, click on Deactivate before going any further …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WP Dashboard

Click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

If you need to have a look at all the files that will be deleted before proceeding, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

The entire list of files belonging to the plugin selected for removalwill be listed on your screen …

How To Update And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

If you are absolutely certain about going ahead and deleting the selected plugin files, just click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

How To Safely Bulk-Delete Plugins

You can delete all inactive plugins at once, or select a combination of active and inactive plugins to be removed.

Useful Information

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently active, you first need to deactivate them.

Go to the “Plugins” section and select all of the active plugins that you want to delete by either placing a tick next to their checkbox, or selecting the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

Next, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

To delete all or some of the inactive plugins on your site, go to the “Plugins” area and click on the Inactive link on the main menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

Click the check box in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to delete by checking its box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want deleted, select Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

A list of all selected plugins will show up in the Delete Plugins area. Click on “click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” to review all the plugin files that you are about to delete, or click on the Yes, Delete these files button if you are sure that you want to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

The selected plugins will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Useful Management Tools For Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can use Free and Paid WordPress plugins to manage your WordPress plugins.

Health Check & troubleshooting

Health Check & Troubleshooting WordPress plugin
Health Check identifies common problems and helps you troubleshoot plugin and theme conflicts.

This plugin provides comprehensive checks for your WordPress installation to detect common configuration errors and known issues. It also enables plugins and themes to add their own custom checks.

The debug section allows you to easily gather information about your WordPress and server configuration, which can be shared with support representatives for themes, plugins, or on the official WordPress.org support forums.

The troubleshooting feature allows you to initiate a clean WordPress session, where all plugins are disabled and a default theme is used, but only for your user account until you choose to disable it or log out.

The Tools section offers the ability to check for file tampering in WordPress, test email-sending functionality, and verify plugin compatibility with future PHP version updates.

For more details, go here: Health Check And Troubleshooting

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin updates are released, the best practice is to update the plugin as soon as possible to its latest version.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin?

Typically, you would need to log in to every site individually and update the plugin manually from the site’s admin dashboard.

If you manage or plan to manage multiple sites, this process can become very time-consuming, especially as plugins get updated quite often.

If you manage multiple WordPress sites, you can install, update, and delete multiple plugins on all your sites automatically and simultaneously using WordPress site management tools, like the one below:

WPMU DEV’s The Hub

WPMU DEV's The Hub - Unlimited WordPress Site Management
WPMU DEV’s The Hub – Unlimited WordPress Site Management

The Hub lets you manage unlimited WordPress sites easily and effectively from one central command center.

The Updates section of The Hub shows you exactly what needs updating on each of your managed site(s), including plugins, themes, and core software updates.

WPMU DEV: The Hub - My Sites - Updates menu

The Hub’s Updates features display how many outdated components need updating on your site(s).

You can choose to either update all your plugins at once or update them individually with just a few clicks. Best of all, you don’t need to log into every site separately to perform your plugin updates.

WPMU DEV: The Hub - My Sites - Updates menu

Update everything at once or perform individual updates directly in The Hub with a few clicks.

This can be a real time-saver when managing multiple WordPress sites, especially when WordPress releases a new version and you have to update many plugins and themes to prevent potential issues from happening.

The Hub - Update notifications.
This feature can help you save a lot of time updating multiple WordPress sites, especially when WordPress releases a new version of its software.

You can read our comprehensive article on managing multiple sites effectively using the Hub or visit WPMU DEV to learn more and try The Hub for free.

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