How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins From Your DashboardIn another article, we provide an overview of what WordPress plugins are all about and how you can use these to extend your website’s capabilities.

To view the article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping plugins up-to-date, how to safely update and remove plugins, and discover some tools to help you better manage your plugins.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some WordPress Plugins Need Updating

The WordPress software is constantly updated (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous software releases, as well as 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 WordPress plugins each time a new version of WordPress is released.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were built for a previous version. When this happens, conflicts can 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 updating is needed). All you need to do on your end, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really simple, quick and easy to do.

Important Info

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

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely without requiring coding knowledge.

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely – Tutorial

WordPress utilizes several ways to notify users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins are out-of-date inside your Admin area just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 WP plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

You can also see how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Administration Toolbar (the screenshot below shows that several plugins should be updated) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

As well as providing information about plugins that have updates available, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update your plugins individually or in bulk …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Update Individual Plugins

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your website before making any changes to your blog or website.

From your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. The table of plugins can go down your page for a while, depending on how many plugins you have added to your site …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WP Admin Dashboard

(WordPress Plugins Page)

Tip

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 screen), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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 “Plugin Search” box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

WordPress provides fast plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins happens “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

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Now that you know how to update individual plugins, it’s time to learn how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

Bulk-Upgrading Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins in a single operation directly inside your dashboard, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

Tick 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 …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

And then click Apply

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

The plugins you have selected will begin the update process …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

After all updates have been completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins screen, or visit a different section of your dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, the notification icons no longer appear)

Now that you know how to upgrade WordPress plugins, it’s time to learn how to uninstall plugins from your WordPress site or blog.

Deleting WordPress Plugins

It’s a good idea to delete inactive plugins. This helps to conserve resources on your server and also eliminates causes of problems.

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

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 select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Next, click Delete

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

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

A complete list of files belonging to the plugin that you are about to delete will be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

Useful Information

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want deleted, specify Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

How To Update And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 absolutely certain that you would like to proceed to the next step and remove all of the selected plugins …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

The plugins will be deleted …

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

WordPress Tools For Managing WP Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use a number of 3rd-party tools to manage your 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 on the WP Admin and also allows you to update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin For WordPress

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to update that plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Typically, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own admin dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite a while!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own a number of WordPress sites or blogs, you can install, update or delete plugins on multiple sites automatically and simultaneously using a number of WordPress management tools.

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

Jetpack Plugin By WordPress.com

Jetpack By WordPress.com

The Jetpack plugin is a single plugin for WordPress that provides users with a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, automated social sharing, and a host of other features.

Jetpack - WordPress Plugin

(Jetpack lets you access a range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites from one simple interface.

With Manage, you can upgrade plugins, set plugins to automatically update, 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 for more information about using the plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

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

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

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

WP Pipeline.com

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 you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you manage your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from one central location.

Visit this site to download and use the plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and safely uninstall plugins.

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Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.