How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

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How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPressIn another blog post, we provide a detailed explanation of what plugins are about and how you can use plugins to easily enhance your website’s capabilities.

You can read this article here: Adding New Features And Functionality To Your Blog With Plugins

In this tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to update and uninstall your WordPress plugins, and practical plugin management tools if you need to run or manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Many Of Your Plugins Need Regular Upgrading

WordPress regularly updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in previous releases, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to WordPress users.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notifications for WordPress plugins each time a new WordPress version is announced.

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

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

Useful Information

Keeping your plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer use is an essential aspect of good WordPress management and helps to avoid conflicts and errors.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins from the dashboard with no web programming skills or knowledge needed.

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

WordPress has a number of different methods of letting users know when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your Administration panel simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, you can see that 9 WP plugins need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

You can also view how many plugins need updating from your WP Admin Toolbar (in the screenshot below, you can again see that 9 plugins need to be updated) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade Single WordPress Plugins

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your data and files before upgrading your website.

In your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

You will be taken to the “Plugins” area. This screen can be quite long depending on the number of plugins you have added to your blog …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

(The WordPress Plugins Section)

Practical Tip

Useful Tips:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins displaying on the screen, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins screen and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show up on the page by default), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

Your Plugins section 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 “Search Installed Plugins” field …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

WordPress provides streamlined plugin updates, so that updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

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Now that you know how to update individual plugins, the next step is to learn how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

How To Bulk-Update WP Plugins

To update multiple plugins simultaneously using the automatic update feature, 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 Inside Your Dashboard

Click the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to upgrade by checking their individual boxes …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the table of plugins, choose Update

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your selected plugins will automatically begin updating …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

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 on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, the notification icons do not display)

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

Deleting Plugins

As part of smart WordPress management practice, it’s a good idea to uninstall inactive plugins. This conserves resource usage and also help to reduce causes of some problems.

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

Warning

We strongly recommend creating 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 delete a plugin, go to your admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins

If you want to review a list of 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” screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The WP Dashboard

All files belonging to the plugin selected for deletionwill be listed on your screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your plugin(s) will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

How To Safely Delete Several Plugins Simultaneously

You can bulk-delete all inactive plugins on your site, or select a combination of active and inactive plugins to be uninstalled.

Important Info

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want deleted, specify Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

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 want to go ahead and delete all of the plugins listed …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

All plugins will be deleted …

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

Managing Plugins

In addition to 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 WordPress 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 on the Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins with a single click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin right away.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to each site individually and then update the plugin from that site’s admin dashboard. If you have to update plugins on multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time to complete!

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

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

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional WordPress plugin that offers users a powerful range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, easy social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites and plugins from one simple dashboard.

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

To download this plugin, visit this site: Jetpack By WordPress.com

ManageWP

ManageWP

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

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

Visit this site to download the plugin: ManageWP.com

WP Pipeline – Multiple WordPress Site Management Tool

WP Pipeline.com

(With WP Pipeline, you can 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 upgrades from one central installation.

Go here to download the plugin: WP Pipeline.com

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely without requiring web programming skills.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for non-techies and beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.