How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins SafelyIn a separate post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to easily add new features to your site with no technical skills required.

To read the article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and remove plugins from your site, and useful plugin management tips.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Plugins Need To Be Regularly Upgraded

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

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for plugins each time a new version of WordPress is made available.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for a previous version. When 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 ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if 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 quick, simple and easy to do.

Important Info

Keeping your plugins regularly updated and removing old plugins you no longer need is an essential aspect of good WordPress management and helps to avoid potential conflicts or errors.

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress utilizes several ways of letting users know when plugins on their blog need updating.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins are out-of-date from your Admin area by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, you can see that nine WP plugins have older versions that need updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The WP Dashboard

You can also check how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Toolbar (the example below shows that 9 plugins should be updated) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

Upgrading Individual A Plugin

Warning

We strongly recommend making a backup of your site files and database before upgrading your website.

In your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins

The “Plugins” area will display in your browser. The table of plugins can be quite lengthy depending on how many plugins you have added to your site …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

(The WordPress Plugins Page)

Tip

Useful Tips:

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 page by default, i.e. “999”), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Your Plugins area 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” function …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

You will see 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 In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

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

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

***

Now that you know how to upgrade individual WordPress plugins, let’s show you how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

How To Bulk-Upgrade Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins at the same time from your admin area, 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 Inside Your WP Dashboard

Click the checkbox in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to upgrade by checking its box …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu above your plugin table, select Update

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

The plugins you have selected will begin to update automatically …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

After all updates have completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins section, or choose another option from the WP dashboard menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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” messages no longer display) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

You have updated all plugins on your site to their latest version!

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Now that you know how to upgrade your in the WP dashboard, it’s time to learn how to safely delete plugins from your blog or website.

How To Safely Remove Plugins

As part of good WordPress blog management practice, it’s a good idea to remove plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to reduce resources on your server and will help you avoid causes of problems.

In this section, we show you how to safely 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 reinstall your site.

To remove a plugin, go to your main menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

If you would like to review a list of 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 Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Deleting Multiple Plugins Simultaneously

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 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 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 Plugins Safely

Once you have done this, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Once you have selected all the plugins that you want to delete, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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 sure that you want to proceed to the next step and delete all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

The plugins will be deleted and their associated files will be removed from your server …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Management Tools For WordPress Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use a number of 3rd-party tools that let you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in your Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins with a single click of the mouse …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update that plugin to the newest version ASAP.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to every site and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own 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, you can install, upgrade or deactivate plugins on all of your sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

Here are a few WordPress management tools you may want to look at:

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile plugin for WordPress that provides users with a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, easy social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

(The Jetpack Plugin gives you access to range of powerful WordPress.com features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites and plugins from a central dashboard on WordPress.com.

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

To download and use the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com - WordPress Management Tool

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

ManageWP lets you easily manage all of your WordPress 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 WP sites.

For more information about using the plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline.com

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 portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from a central location.

To download this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins in your WordPress dashboard with no web coding skills or knowledge necessary.

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"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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.