How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WP DashboardIn a previous article, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to easily increase your site’s functionality.

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

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and uninstall plugins from your site, and useful plugin management tips if you run multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

Why Some Plugins Need To Be Upgraded

The WordPress software is constantly updated (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older software versions, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new new update notifications for WordPress plugins every.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for conflicts to sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are quite proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if required). All you need to do on your end, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very simple, quick and easy to do.

Info

Keeping your WordPress plugins regularly updated and deleting old plugins you no longer need is an essential aspect of good WordPress management and helps to avoid any potential problems or errors.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins safely in the WP dashboard without touching web code.

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard – Tutorial

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

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

In the screenshot below, 9 WordPress plugins have older versions that need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

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 plugins with one-click …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrade Single WordPress Plugins

Warning

Always make a backup of your website before making any upgrades to your website or blog.

From your dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

You will be taken to the “Plugins” section. The table of plugins can go down your screen for a while, depending on how many plugins you have added to your blog …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

(Plugins Screen)

Practical Tip

Useful Information:

If you have too many plugins installed 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 enter a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the screen by default, i.e. “999”), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Your Plugins area 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” field …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete 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 several 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 upgrade WP plugins individually, it’s time to learn how to upgrade many WordPress plugins simultaneously.

How To Upgrade Multiple WP Plugins Simultaneously

To bulk-update plugins simultaneously directly inside your dashboard, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Tick the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to update by checking its box …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Your selected plugins will update all at once …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

After all plugin updates are done, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins area, or choose another option from the WP admin menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Once all plugins are up-to-date, any plugin alerts 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 Plugins

All plugins have now been updated to their latest versions!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Now that you know how to automatically update your plugins, it’s time to learn how to remove plugins safely from your blog or website.

How To Delete Plugins

As part of good blog management practices, it’s a good idea to remove plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This decreases server resources and also eliminate problems.

In this section, you will learn how to delete unused plugins from your site.

Warning

Always create 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 dashboard menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Click on Delete

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

If you would like to have a look at all the files that will be deleted before going ahead with the next step, 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

The entire list of files associated with the plugin that you are about to remove will display on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted from your server …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

How To Safely Bulk-Delete Plugins

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

Important

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your WordPress Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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 sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and remove all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

The plugins will be deleted …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

Management Tools For WordPress Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Plugin Management For WordPress

For more details about using this plugin, go here: Plugin Central

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin updates get released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to every site and then update the plugin from that site’s own WP dashboard. If you own or manage multiple sites, this process can take quite some time to complete!

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

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack is a single plugin for WordPress 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 things like stats reporting, easy social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack By WordPress.com

(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 WordPress sites and plugins from a central 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 the plugin: Jetpack

ManageWP

ManageWP - Update All Your WP Blogs From One Central Location

(ManageWP is a very popular WordPress management tool for multiple WordPress sites)

ManageWP helps you manage all of your sites and blogs from one place, including updates, backups, security and more. The tool features easy and intuitive one-click updates and instant login to all of your sites.

Visit this site to learn more about using this plugin: ManageWP.com – Manage All Your WP Plugins From One Central Dashboard

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - WordPress Management Tool

(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 a central installation.

Go here for more information about the plugin: WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Software

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

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

Disclaimer: We are not associated with WordPress or any products mentioned or reviewed on this website. We may derive affiliate commissions from sales of any products and/or services mentioned on our site. All product images are the copyright of their respective owners and have been used only for illustrative or training purposes.

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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 grow your business online at minimal cost!

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.