How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPressIn a previous article, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to add new features and functionality to your website or blog with no software programming skills required.

To read the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily upgrade and delete plugins from your site, and discover useful tools to help you better manage your plugins if you run multiple WordPress sites.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Plugins Need Frequent Updating

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older releases, and to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to users.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new updates for WordPress plugins each time a new WordPress version is released.

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever this happens, issues can sometimes occur.

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

Important

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

The tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete WordPress plugins safely without requiring web programming knowledge or skills.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress employs several methods to alert you when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your Admin area just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that nine WordPress plugins are out of date and need updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

You can also check how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (as shown below, a number of plugins have to be updated) …

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

The Plugins page (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also notifies you about plugins that need to be updated …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Updating Plugins One At A Time

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a backup of your data and files before upgrading your website.

In your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

(WordPress Plugins Page)

Practical Tip

Additional Information:

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your Plugins section 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 Installed Plugins” field …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

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

How To Bulk-Upgrade WP Plugins

To upgrade multiple WordPress plugins in a single operation using the automatic upgrade feature, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Tick the check box in 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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above your plugin table, select Update

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will automatically begin to update …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Once the update process has been completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins screen, or select another option from the main menu …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WP 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 on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

All plugins have now been upgraded to their latest versions!

Updating And Deleting Plugins

(When your plugins are all up-to-date, the notification icons disappear)

Now that you know how to upgrade WP in the admin dashboard, let’s show you how to safely delete plugins from your WordPress blog or website.

Deleting Plugins

As part of good WordPress management, it’s a good idea to remove plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to reduce resources on your server and also will help you avoid potential problems.

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

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 reinstall your site.

To remove a plugin, go to your admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your WordPress Dashboard

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click on Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

If you want to browse 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” screen …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Dashboard

How To Safely Delete Several WP Plugins At Once

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

Info

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 check box, or selecting the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Next, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The WP Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Once you have ticked all the checkboxes next to the plugins that you want to delete, specify Delete from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Click the Apply button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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 go ahead and remove all of the selected plugins …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

WordPress Tools For Managing Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use WordPress plugins that help you manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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 multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

To learn more about this plugin, visit the plugin site:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update is released, the best practice is to update the plugin to the latest version ASAP.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own a number of WordPress sites or blogs, you can install, update and deactivate 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 WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

The Jetpack plugin is a single plugin for WordPress that provides users with a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like stats reporting, automated social sharing, and many other great features.

Jetpack By WordPress.com

(The Jetpack Plugin lets you access a range of powerful WordPress.com features)

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your WordPress sites from a single dashboard.

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

Visit this site to download and use the plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com

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

ManageWP lets you easily manage all your WordPress sites from one place, including upgrades, backups, security and more. The application features easy and intuitive one-click upgrades and instant login to your sites.

To learn more about the plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - Manage All Your Plugins From From One Central Installation

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

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

Visit this site to download and use this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins in your dashboard without requiring coding skills.

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.