How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The DashboardIn a separate post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to add new features to your web site without editing code.

To view this article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping plugins up-to-date, how to automatically update and remove plugins, and discover practical plugin management tools if you currently run multiple WordPress sites.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Of Your WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in previous releases, and to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

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.

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. Whenever this happens, issues 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 updating is needed). All you have to do on your end, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very simple, quick and easy to do.

Important Info

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins – Tutorial

WordPress provides several ways to inform users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins need to be updated from your Admin area 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For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that nine plugins are out of date and need updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

You can also view how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Toolbar (as shown below, several plugins should be updated) …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

The Plugins screen (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you what plugins need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Let’s start by showing you how to upgrade WordPress plugins individually.

How To Upgrade WordPress Plugins One At A Time

Warning

Always make a full backup of your data and files before updating your blog or website.

From your admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

The “Plugins” section will display in your browser. The list of plugins can go down your screen for some length, depending on the number of plugins you have installed in your site …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

(Plugins Screen)

Useful Tip

Useful Information:

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your Plugins section 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 Plugins” field …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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 screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WP Dashboard

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.

***

Now that you know how to upgrade one plugin at a time, the next step is to learn how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

Bulk-Updating WP Plugins

To upgrade multiple WP 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

Tick 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 its box …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

Your selected plugins will begin updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

After your plugins have all been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins section, or choose another option from the sidebar menu …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Once all plugins are up-to-date, the plugin notifications 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 Update And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

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

How To Delete Plugins

Occasionally, you may want to delete plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This can help to conserve resource usage and also help to eliminate potential problems.

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

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 delete a plugin, go to your dashboard menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click on Delete

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

If you would like to browse 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 Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

A complete list of files associated with the plugin selected for deletionwill be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

If you are positively certain that you want to go ahead and delete the selected plugin files, click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Your plugins and related files will be removed from your server …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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 checkbox, 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 Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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 Your WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 sure that you want to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Managing WP Plugins – WordPress Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a number of third-party tools that let you manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Dashboard and also allows you to update many plugins at once with a single mouse-click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when a plugin update is released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin to its most recent version as soon as possible.

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

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

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

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack

Jetpack is a single WordPress plugin that provides users with a powerful range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, automated social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from one simple dashboard on WordPress.com.

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

To download and use this plugin, go here:

ManageWP.com – WordPress Management Tool

ManageWP

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

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

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - Manage All Your WordPress Sites From From A Single Dashboard

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

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

To download and use the plugin, visit this site:

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

***

"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.