How To Update WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your DashboardIn a previous blog post, we provide an overview of what plugins are all about and how you can use plugins to easily add new features to your website with no technical knowledge required.

You can read the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping plugins up-to-date, how to upgrade and delete plugins from your site, and useful tips to help you better manage your plugins.

Why Your Plugins Need Upgrading

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older versions, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notifications for plugins each time a new version of WordPress is announced.

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

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are fairly 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 have to do as a WordPress user, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very simple, quick and easy to do.

Important

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

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely inside your WordPress dashboard without requiring coding skills or knowledge.

How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress provides a number of different ways of letting you know when plugins on your blog need updating.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need updating as soon as you log into your Admin area by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, nine WP plugins have older versions that need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

You can also check how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Administration Toolbar (in the screenshot below, you can again see that nine plugins require updating) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

In addition to providing information about which plugins have available updates, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin developer pages and gives you the option to update the plugins individually or in bulk …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Let’s start by showing you how to update one plugin at a time.

How To Upgrade Individual A Plugin

Warning

We strongly recommend making a full backup of your website before upgrading your website or blog.

From your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

(WordPress Plugins Page)

Practical Tip

Useful Tips:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins displayed on your page, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins page and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the page by default, i.e. “999”), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your Plugins page 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 “Search” field …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

WordPress displays plugin information in different color backgrounds depending on the status of your plugins (active vs. inactive and up-to-date vs. out-of-date) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your WP Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WP Admin Dashboard

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the process, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need to be updated, or see the section below if you have several plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update all plugins in bulk.

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Now that you know how to update WordPress plugins one at a time, the next step is to learn how to bulk-update plugins.

How To Upgrade Various Plugins

To update multiple plugins simultaneously directly inside your dashboard, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the table of plugins, choose Update

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WP Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will all be updated at once …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Once your plugins have all been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins screen, or select another option from the WP admin menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, the update reminders 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 In WordPress

All plugins are now up-to-date!

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

(When your plugins are up-to-date, notification icons do not display)

Now that you know how to automatically update your in the WP dashboard, let’s show you how to delete plugins safely from your site or blog.

How To Remove WordPress 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 reduce server resources and also help to eliminate causes of problems.

In this section, you will learn how to delete unused plugins from your WordPress 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 restore your site.

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Next, click Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Dashboard

If you are certain that you want to proceed and delete the plugin, then click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Your plugins and related files will be removed from your server …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

How To Delete Multiple Plugins Simultaneously

You can bulk-delete all inactive plugins, or select a combination of active and inactive plugins to be cleared.

Important Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently 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 check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want deleted, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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 absolutely certain that you want to proceed to the next step and delete all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your plugins will be deleted and their associated files will be removed from your server …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Managing WP Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in your Admin area and also allows you to update many plugins at once with a single click of the mouse …

Plugin Central

For more details about using this plugin, visit the plugin site:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update the plugin right away.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin from that site’s admin dashboard. If you manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while to complete!

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

Below are just some WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack is a versatile plugin for WordPress that provides users with a powerful range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, automated social sharing, and a host of other features.

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from one dashboard on WordPress.com.

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

Visit this site to learn more about using the plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com - WordPress Management Software

(ManageWP is a very popular management tool for multiple WP sites)

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

To download this plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline.com

(With WP Pipeline, you can update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from a single dashboard)

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you manage your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one single location.

To download and use this plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and uninstall your plugins in WordPress using the dashboard.

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as How To Update WordPress Plugins.