How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting PluginsIn another post, we provide an overview of what plugins are all about and how you can use plugins to add new features or functionality to your web site with no coding knowledge required.

To read the article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all plugins up-to-date, how to upgrade and delete your WordPress plugins, and useful plugin management tips.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need To Be Upgraded

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older 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 plugins every.

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code or features in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were created and tested to work 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 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 on your end, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really 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 conflicts or errors.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins safely in WordPress without web coding knowledge or skills required.

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress utilizes a number of different methods to inform you when plugins need updating.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need updating inside your Site’s Dashboard simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 WordPress plugins have older versions that need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WP Toolbar (the screenshot below shows that nine plugins have to be updated) …

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

The Plugins screen (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also lets you know which plugins need updating …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Let’s start by showing you how to upgrade WordPress plugins one at a time.

How To Update WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

We recommend making a complete backup of your data and files before updating your website or blog.

In your admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

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

You will be taken to the “Plugins” page. The list of plugins can go down your screen for a while, depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

(Plugins Page)

Practical Tip

Useful Information:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins showing on your page, 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 WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The WP Dashboard

Your Plugins page 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” feature …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Plugins that require updating have a distinctive notification message: “There is a new version of [Insert Plugin Name] available”

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

WordPress provides streamlined plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need to be updated, or refer to the section below if you have many 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 plugins individually, let’s show you how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

How To Upgrade Several WordPress Plugins Simultaneously

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click on the check box in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to upgrade by checking its box …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Your selected plugins will begin updating …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Once all updates have been completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins area, or choose another option from the main menu …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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” notices no longer display) …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

All plugins are now up-to-date!

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, update notices no longer display)

Now that you know how to automatically update in your dashboard, let’s show you how to remove plugins from your WordPress blog or website.

Deleting Plugins

It’s a good idea to remove plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to reduce resource usage and help you avoid potential problems.

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

Warning

We strongly recommend creating 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 WP admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Dashboard

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

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

Click on Delete

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

If you want 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” page …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

A complete list of files associated with the plugin selected for deletionwill display on your screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

If you are certain that you would like to go ahead and delete the plugin files, just click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

How To Delete Multiple WP Plugins Simultaneously

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

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Once you have done this, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click on the check box in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to remove by checking its box …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely 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 …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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 want to go ahead and remove all of the selected plugins …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

All plugins will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

WP Plugin Management – Useful WordPress Tools

As well as the methods shown above, you can use a number of 3rd-party tools to manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps you manage your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on the Admin area and also allows you to update many plugins at once with one click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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 the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin from that site’s dashboard. If you plan to manage multiple sites, this process can take quite some time!

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

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

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack

Jetpack is a multifunctional plugin for WordPress that offers users a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, easy social sharing, and a host of other features.

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 self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from one dashboard.

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 PC, tablet, or mobile device.

To download the plugin, go here:

ManageWP

ManageWP

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

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

Go here for more information about the plugin:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Mass Control Plugin

WP Pipeline.com

(WP Pipeline lets you update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from one central dashboard)

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but has a one-time purchase fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you manage your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from a single installation.

Go here to learn more about using this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete your plugins in WordPress.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

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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 And Delete WordPress Plugins.