How To Update WordPress Plugins

Learn how to easily update all of your plugins inside your own WordPress dashboard.

How To Update And Delete Plugins SafelyIn another article, we provide an overview of what WordPress plugins are all about and how you can use these to easily add new features to your website without touching code.

To view this article, go here: Adding New Functionality To Your Site With WP Plugins

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping plugins up-to-date, how to easily update and uninstall plugins, and discover practical tools to help you better manage your plugins if you need to own or manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Some Of Your WordPress Plugins Need To Be Frequently Upgraded

New versions of WordPress are frequently being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous versions, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to WordPress users.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notices for plugins every.

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by external developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed for a previous version. When this happens, problems can sometimes develop.

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

Important

Keeping your plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer use is an essential aspect of good WordPress management and helps to avoid problems and errors.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins safely in your dashboard without touching web code.

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress has several ways of letting users know when plugins on their site need updating.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your Administration site by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, you can see that 9 plugins need updating …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

The Plugins screen (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also provides information about plugins that need updating …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

In addition to providing information about which plugins have available updates, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin download sites and gives you the option to update your plugin with one-click …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Let’s start by showing you how to update plugins individually.

Upgrade Single Plugins

Warning

Always make a backup of your data and files before upgrading your website.

In your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The WP Dashboard

The “Plugins” section will display in your browser. The table of plugins can be quite lengthy depending on the number of plugins you have installed in your site …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

(Plugins Screen)

Tip

Notes:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins displayed on the screen, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins area and enter a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the page by default), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

Your Plugins area will now be reduced in size with a ’numbered pages’ feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Plugin Search” field …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Plugins that need updating display the following notification message: “There is a new version of [Plugin Name] available”

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Find the plugin that you want to update and click on the update now link …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

WordPress provides streamlined plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Repeat the above process for any other plugins on your site that need updating, or refer to the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade all plugins at once.

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Now that you know how to upgrade individual plugins, the next step is to learn how to bulk-upgrade WordPress plugins.

Bulk-Updating Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins in one go from your admin area, go to the “Plugins” area and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Tick the checkbox in 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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

In the Bulk Actions pull-down menu above the plugin table, select Update

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

And then click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

The plugins you have selected will begin updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Once the update process has completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins section, or choose another option from the WP admin menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

You have updated all plugins on your site!

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, the notification icons disappear)

Now that you know how to automatically update plugins, let’s take a look at how to remove plugins from your blog or website.

How To Safely Delete WP Plugins

As part of smart WordPress blog management, it’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to conserve resources on your server and also help to eliminate problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely deactivate and delete unused plugins from your site or blog.

Warning

We strongly recommend creating 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 reinstall your site.

To delete a plugin, go to your main menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

In the Plugins page, locate 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 show an “Activate” link below the plugin name …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

If the plugin is active, click on Deactivate before continuing with your plugin deletion …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Dashboard

If you need to review a list of all the files that will be deleted before going ahead with the next step, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” section …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

The entire list of files belonging to the plugin selected for deletionwill display on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WP Dashboard

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted from your server …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Dashboard

How To Delete Several WordPress Plugins At Once

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 presently active, you must first 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 Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Once you have deactivated your plugins, click on the Inactive link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

Select all of the plugins you want to delete by either placing a tick next to their checkbox, or click on the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins From Your Dashboard

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want to delete, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will show up in the Delete Plugins screen. 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 absolutely sure that you want to proceed to the next step and delete all of the selected plugins …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

The plugins will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

WordPress Management Tools For Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Management For WordPress

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Dashboard and also allows you to update many plugins at once in one click …

Plugin Central

For more details about this plugin, go here: Plugin Central

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to update the plugin right away.

What if you have multiple sites using the same plugin? Typically, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own or manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs, you can install, update and delete plugins on multiple sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

Below are just a few great WordPress management tools you may want to look at:

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack is a multifunctional WordPress plugin that provides users with a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, automated social sharing, and a host of other great features.

Jetpack  - Plugin For WordPress

(Jetpack gives you access to range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard on WordPress.com.

With Manage, you can upgrade plugins, set plugins to update automatically, and activate or deactivate plugins on a site-by-site basis or all at once, whether you’re on your PC, tablet, or mobile phone.

Go here to download the plugin: Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

ManageWP

ManageWP.com

(ManageWP is a leading WordPress management tool for multiple WP sites)

ManageWP helps you easily manage all of your sites and blogs from one place, including upgrades, backups, security and more. The tool features easy and intuitive one-click updates and instant login to your sites.

Visit this site to download this plugin: ManageWP.com

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline - Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

(WP Pipeline lets you update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from a single WordPress installation)

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from one single WP installation.

Visit this site to download and use this plugin: WP Pipeline – Upgrade All Your Plugins From A Single Dashboard

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and safely uninstall your plugins via the dashboard.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

Disclaimer: We have no direct association with WordPress, Automattic, or any WordPress products reviewed on this website. We may derive an affiliate commission from purchases of services or products mentioned on this site. All product images are the copyright of their respective owners, comply with all license terms and agreements of use are being used solely for illustrative or training purposes.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.