How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins SafelyIn a previous blog post, we provide an overview of what plugins are about and how you can use plugins to easily add new features to your web site with no coding knowledge required.

You can view the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to easily update and remove plugins, and some great plugin management tips if you plan to manage multiple WordPress sites.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some WordPress Plugins Need To Be Regularly Upgraded

The WordPress software is regularly updated (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older releases, as well as to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notices for plugins every.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed for a previous version. Whenever this happens, conflicts can sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are quite proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if this is required). All you have to do as a WordPress user, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really simple to do.

Important

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

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete WordPress plugins safely in your dashboard without web coding skills needed.

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

WordPress utilizes a few methods to alert you when plugins need updating.

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

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that nine WordPress plugins have older versions that need to be updated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

You can also tell how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Notification Toolbar (as shown below, a number of plugins should be brought up to date) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrade WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a full backup of your website before updating your website or blog.

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

(Plugins Screen)

Tip

Useful Tips:

If you have too many plugins and would like to make this section more manageable, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins area and enter a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the page), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Your Plugins area 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 “Plugin Search” function …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

WordPress provides fast plugin updating, so that the process of updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

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

How To Bulk-Upgrade WordPress Plugins

To update multiple plugins in a single operation 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress 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 In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Your selected plugins will begin updating …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

Once all updates are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins screen, or choose another option from the sidebar menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

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

Deleting WP Plugins

It’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to decrease server resources and also help to eliminate causes of some problems.

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

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 restore your site.

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your WP Admin Dashboard

Click on Delete

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

If you would like to browse all the files that will be deleted before going ahead with 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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins

A complete list of files belonging to the plugin that you are about to remove will display on your screen …

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted from your WordPress installation …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

How To Safely Delete Several WordPress Plugins In Bulk

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

Important

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

Click on 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 Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and delete all of the selected plugins …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Your selected plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Useful Tools For Managing Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install Free and Premium WordPress plugins to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Management For WordPress

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Dashboard and lets you update multiple plugins in one click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates get released, the best practice is to update the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Normally, you would need to login to each site individually and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own WP admin dashboard. If you manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time!

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

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

Jetpack Manage – Single WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack By WordPress.com

The Jetpack plugin is a single WordPress plugin that offers users a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, easy social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack Manage

(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 and plugins from one interface.

With Manage, you can upgrade 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 computer, tablet, or mobile device.

To download the plugin, go here:

ManageWP.com – WordPress Management Tool

ManageWP.com - Manage All Your WordPress Sites From One Dashboard

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

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

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline – Update All Your WP Plugins From One Central Location

WP Pipeline

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

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

Visit this site for more information about using the plugin:

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

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.