How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The DashboardIn a previous post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to add new features or functionality to your blog without editing code.

To read the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins, and some plugin management tips.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need Upgrading

The WordPress software is constantly updated (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in earlier software versions, and to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new updates for WordPress plugins whenever WordPress releases an updated version.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code or features in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. Whenever this happens, there is a potential for conflicts 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 this is needed). All you need to do on your end, is simply keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very simple to do.

Useful Information

Keeping your WordPress plugins regularly updated and removing old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress management and helps to avoid errors and problems.

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins safely without touching web code.

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress – Tutorial

WordPress has a few ways to let users know when plugins on their blog need updating.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your WordPress Dashboard by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that 9 WP plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

You can also view how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (as shown below, several plugins need updating) …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

In addition to providing information about plugins that have updates available, the Plugins page provides links to the plugin download sites and gives you the option to update the plugins individually or in bulk …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Update Plugins One At A Time

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a complete backup of your data and files before making any changes to your website.

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

The “Plugins” page will display in your browser. The list of plugins can run down your page for a while, depending on how many plugins you have installed in your blog …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

(The WordPress Plugins Screen)

Practical Tip

Tips:

If you have too many plugins installed and would like to reduce the number of plugins showing on your screen, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins area and type in a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the page), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your Plugins page 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 Plugins” feature …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Find the plugin that needs to be updated and click on the update now link …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the plugin updating process, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need to be updated, or see the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade them all in one simple operation.

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Now that you know how to upgrade one plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to upgrade multiple WordPress plugins simultaneously.

How To Bulk-Upgrade Plugins

To bulk-update plugins using the automatic upgrading feature, 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 WordPress

Click on 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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions drop down menu at the top of the page, choose Update

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

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

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

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, any plugin alerts disappear (i.e. the “at-a-glance” indicators and “There is a new version of XYZ plugin available” notices no longer display on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Now that you know how to update your plugins, it’s time to learn how to remove plugins from your blog or website.

Deleting WordPress Plugins

As part of smart WordPress management, it’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This conserves resource usage and eliminates problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely 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 remove a plugin, go to your main menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

If the plugin is active, click on Deactivate before proceeding …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Next, click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

If you want to browse 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” page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

The entire list of files associated with the plugin selected for deletionwill display on your screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Deleting Several WordPress Plugins In Bulk

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

Important

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently active, your will 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) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 sure that you would like to go ahead and delete all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

The plugins will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Useful Management Tools For WordPress Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can use a range of third-party tools that help you manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Management For WordPress

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 …

Management Plugin For WordPress

For more details about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

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

What if you have multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? Typically, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own WP admin dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while to complete!

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

Here are just a few great WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack is a versatile plugin for WordPress that offers users a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, easy social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack By WordPress.com

(Jetpack lets you access a range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites from a single dashboard on WordPress.com.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to automatically update, and activate or deactivate plugins on a per-site basis or in bulk, whether you’re on your PC, tablet, or smart phone.

Visit this site for more information about the plugin:

ManageWP – WordPress Management Tool

ManageWP

(ManageWP is a widely used management tool for multiple WordPress sites)

ManageWP lets you manage all your WordPress sites from one central location, including upgrades, backups, security and more. This tool features easy and intuitive one-click management and instant login to your sites.

Go here for more information about the plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you manage your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from one central WordPress installation.

To learn more about using the plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and uninstall WordPress plugins.

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Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.