How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPressIn another post, we provide an overview of what plugins are about and how you can use plugins to add new features or functionality to your blog with no software programming skills required.

To view the article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and remove plugins, and some great tips to help you better manage your plugins.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Plugins Need To Be Regularly Upgraded

WordPress frequently updates its software (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older releases, and to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to WordPress users.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new updates for WordPress plugins each time a new version of WordPress is made available.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by external developers, so sometimes code or features in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever this happens, problems 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 needed). All you need to do on your end, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really quick, simple and easy to do.

Important Info

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

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins inside the WordPress dashboard with no web coding skills necessary.

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

WordPress uses several methods to inform 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 Administration panel by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that nine plugins are out of date and need updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Toolbar (the screenshot below shows that a number of plugins have to be updated) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

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

How To Upgrade Single WordPress Plugins

Warning

We strongly recommend making a backup of your website before upgrading your website or blog.

In your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. The screen can be quite long depending on how many plugins you have added to your blog …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

(The WordPress Plugins Section)

Practical Tip

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your Plugins area 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 “Search Installed Plugins” field …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Repeat the above process for any other 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 WP plugins, the next step is to learn how to bulk-update plugins.

Bulk-Updating Plugins

To bulk-update plugins simultaneously 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 WordPress Plugins In The 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 their individual boxes …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin updating …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Once your plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins area, or select another section of your dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

All plugins have now been updated to their latest versions!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

(When plugins on your site are all up-to-date, update notices do not display)

Now that you know how to automatically update in the admin dashboard, let’s show you how to safely delete plugins safely from your blog or website.

Deleting Plugins

It’s a good idea to remove plugins that you no longer use. This helps to reduce resource usage and also help to eliminate problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely delete 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 remove a plugin, go to your dashboard menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

In the Plugins screen, locate 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 …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins

If you want 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” screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

The entire list of files belonging to the plugin that you are about to remove will be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

How To Delete Several Plugins At Once

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

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 In Your WordPress Dashboard

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

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

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

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

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

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

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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 certain that you would like to proceed to the next step and delete all of the selected plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Tools For Managing Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install a number of tools to manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on the WP Admin and lets you update many plugins at once in one click …

Plugin Central

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates are released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin right away.

What if you have multiple sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own admin dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite some time to complete!

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

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

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack By WordPress.com - WordPress Plugin

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

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites and plugins from one simple 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 in bulk, whether you’re on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Visit this site to download this plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com

(ManageWP is a widely used WordPress management tool for multiple WP sites)

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

Go here to download this plugin:

WP Pipeline – Multiple WordPress Site Management Tool

WP Pipeline - Manage All Your WP Sites From From One Central Dashboard

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time purchase fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one central WP installation.

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins without web coding knowledge or skills needed.

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"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie

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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.