How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your WordPress Admin DashboardIn a previous post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to extend your web site’s capabilities.

To read the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to upgrade and uninstall your WordPress plugins, and some great plugin management tips if you run multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Of Your WordPress Plugins Need Frequent Updating

The WordPress software is constantly updated (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older versions, as well as 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 new update notifications for WordPress plugins whenever new WordPress versions are released.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever this happens, problems can sometimes occur.

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 need to do as a website owner, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really easy and simple to do.

Info

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

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins safely in WordPress without editing web code.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress provides a few methods to inform users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your Administration area by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, 9 plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

You can also view how many plugins need updating from your WP Admin Toolbar (as shown below, a number of plugins require updating) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

As well as providing information about which plugins have updates available, the Plugins page provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update your plugins with one-click …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade Plugins Individually

Warning

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

In your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. This table of plugins can be quite long depending on how many plugins you have added to your blog …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

(WordPress Plugins Page)

Useful Tip

Notes:

If you have too many plugins installed and would like to make this section more manageable, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins area and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the screen by default, i.e. “999”), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Repeat the above 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 upgrade them all at the same time.

***

Now that you know how to update one plugin at a time, let’s show you how to bulk-update plugins.

How To Update Many WP Plugins Simultaneously

To update multiple WP plugins at the same time 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 …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

Click the checkbox in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to update by checking their individual boxes …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WP Admin Dashboard

And then click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Your selected plugins will all be updated at once …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Once your plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins section, or choose another option from the WP dashboard menu …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

All plugins have now been updated!

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

(When plugins on your site are up-to-date, update icons no longer show)

Now that you know how to upgrade WordPress plugins, let’s take a look at how to delete plugins safely from your site.

Deleting Plugins

As part of smart site management practice, it’s a good idea to delete inactive plugins. This reduces resources on your server and eliminate causes of problems.

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

Warning

Always create a full back up of your 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 dashboard menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

If you are positively sure that you would like to proceed and delete these plugin, then click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

How To Safely Delete Several WP Plugins In Bulk

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 check box, 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 Safely In WordPress

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

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

Click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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 Update And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting 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 remove all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

The plugins will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Managing WP Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install WordPress plugins that let you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps to improve the management of 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 one click …

Plugin Central

For more details about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever a plugin update is released, the best practice is to update that plugin to the most recent version as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to every site and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own dashboard. If you own or manage multiple sites, this process can take quite some time!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you manage a number of WordPress sites, you can install, update and uninstall plugins on all of your sites automatically and simultaneously using a number of WordPress management tools.

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

Jetpack

Jetpack

Jetpack is a single WordPress plugin that offers users 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 Manage

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

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

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

Go here to download and use this plugin:

ManageWP – Multiple WordPress Site Management Tool

ManageWP

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

ManageWP helps you easily manage all of your WordPress sites from one central location, including updates, backups, security and more. This application features easy one-click management and instant login to all of your WP sites.

Visit this site to learn more about the plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline.com

(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 manage your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from one central installation.

For more information about the plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and delete plugins.

***

"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.