How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your DashboardIn a separate post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to easily increase your blog’s functionality.

To read the article, go here: Using WP Plugins – The Easy Way To Enhance Your Site’s Features And Functionality

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and remove plugins, and discover practical tools to help you better manage your plugins if you currently run multiple WordPress sites.

Why Your WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (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 ones.

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

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes features in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. When this happens, issues can sometimes develop.

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 on your end, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very easy and simple to do.

Important Info

Keeping your plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid any conflicts and errors.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins without touching web code.

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress utilizes a few ways to let users know when plugins on their site need updating.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need to be updated inside your Admin area simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that 9 WP plugins are out of date and need updating …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

You can also view how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (in the example below, you can again see that nine plugins require updating) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading Individual A Plugin

Warning

We recommend making a full backup of your data and files before updating your website.

In your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

You will be taken to the “Plugins” page. The table of plugins can be quite long depending on how many plugins you have added to your blog …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

(WordPress Plugins Page)

Useful Tip

Notes:

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 screen and type in a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the screen), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

Your Plugins page will now be reduced in size with a pagination feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Plugin Search” box …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

Locate the plugin that needs to be updated and click on the update now link …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

WordPress provides smooth & simple plugin updates, so that updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Repeat the above 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 update them all at once.

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Now that you know how to update plugins one at a time, let’s show you how to update many plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Updating Plugins

To bulk-update WP plugins simultaneously 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 …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Your selected plugins will begin to update automatically …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Once all plugin upgrades are completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins area, or select another option from the WordPress dashboard menu …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

Once all plugins are 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) …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your 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, update alerts do not display)

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade your inside the dashboard, let’s take a look at how to delete plugins from your WordPress blog or website.

How To Safely Delete Plugins

Occasionally, you may decide to delete plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This decreases server resources and also helps to eliminate potential problems.

In this section, we show you how to remove unused plugins from your 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 delete a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

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

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

Hint: Inactive plugins appear 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 proceeding with your plugin deletion …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

How To Update And Delete Plugins

If you want to browse all the files that will be deleted before proceeding any further, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

All files associated with the plugin that you are about to remove will be listed on your screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your plugin(s) will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Bulk-Deleting WP Plugins

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

Important Info

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 check box, 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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Select all of the plugins you want to delete by either placing a tick next to their check box, or click on the check box next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Once you have selected all the plugins that you want to delete, specify Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

All plugins will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

Tools For Managing WP Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install other WordPress plugins to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that improves the management of your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Admin area and lets you update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin Central

To learn more about this plugin, visit the plugin site: Plugin Central

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin updates get released, the best practice is to update that plugin right away.

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 admin dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while!

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 various WordPress management tools.

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

Jetpack Manage – Single WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack is a multifunctional WordPress plugin that provides users with a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like stats reporting, automated social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from a central dashboard.

With Manage, you can update 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 laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.

To download and use the plugin, visit this site: Jetpack Manage

ManageWP

ManageWP.com

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

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

To download this plugin, go here: ManageWP

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline - Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

(With WP Pipeline, you can update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from one single dashboard)

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one central location.

To learn more about this plugin, go here: WP Pipeline.com

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and remove WordPress plugins using the dashboard.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

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

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.