How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting PluginsIn a separate post, we provide a detailed explanation of what WordPress plugins are about and how you can use plugins to easily expand your site’s functionality.

You can view the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and uninstall your WordPress plugins, and discover some tools to help you better manage your plugins.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

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

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for WordPress plugins whenever new versions of WordPress are announced.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes code or features in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever this happens, problems can sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are fairly proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is needed). All you have to do as a website owner, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really quick, simple and easy to do.

Important

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

The tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins in the dashboard without touching web code.

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress utilizes several methods of letting users know when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins need updating inside your Administration area just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, nine plugins have older versions that need updating …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Let’s start by learning how to upgrade plugins individually.

Upgrading Single WordPress Plugins

Warning

Always make a full backup of your site files and database before upgrading your blog or website.

In your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

(The WordPress Plugins Page)

Tip

Useful Info:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins displayed on the screen, 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 Apply …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Your Plugins page will now be made more manageable with a ’numbered pages’ feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search Installed Plugins” function …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the process, so that updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Repeat the above process for any other plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade all plugins in bulk.

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

Bulk-Upgrading Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins in one go 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 …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click on the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to upgrade by checking its box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu at the top of the page, select Update

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin updating …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

After the update process has been completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins screen, or go to a different section of your dashboard …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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” messages no longer display on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

(When your plugins are all up-to-date, update icons disappear)

Now that you know how to automatically update your plugins, let’s show you how to delete plugins safely from your site or blog.

Deleting WordPress Plugins

As part of smart WordPress management practices, it’s a good idea to remove plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This reduces resource usage and also help to reduce causes of problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely remove unused plugins from your site or blog.

Warning

We strongly recommend creating 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 remove a plugin, go to your main menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins From The WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Next, click Delete

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

If you need 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” page …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The WP Dashboard

All files associated with the plugin selected for removalwill display on your screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

How To Safely Delete Multiple Plugins At Once

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins From The WP Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Click 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 …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

A list of all selected plugins will be displayed 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 sure that you want to proceed to the next step and delete all of the selected plugins …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

Management Tools For WP Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install WordPress plugins that help you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that helps you manage your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Dashboard and lets you update multiple plugins with a single click of the mouse …

Plugin Central

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to update the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to every site and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. If you run multiple sites, this process can take quite a while to complete!

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

Below are a couple of WordPress management tools you should check out:

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com - WordPress Plugin

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

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

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 device.

Go here to download and use this plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com - WordPress Management Tool

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

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

Go here to learn more about using this plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline - WordPress Mass Control Plugin

(WP Pipeline lets you update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from a single WordPress installation)

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but has a one-time purchase fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from one single dashboard.

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and delete plugins safely in the dashboard without editing web code.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.