How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete PluginsIn another blog post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to add new features to your website without touching code.

You can read the article here:

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Of Your WordPress Plugins Need To Be Upgraded

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in earlier releases, and to improve existing features.

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

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed for a previous version. Whenever this happens, problems can sometimes develop.

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 this is needed). All you need to do on your end, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very simple to do.

Important

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

The tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins safely without requiring web coding knowledge or skills.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress utilizes a number of different methods to alert users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins are out-of-date inside your Admin area just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, nine WP plugins need updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Toolbar (in the screenshot below, you can see how many plugins have to be updated) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

The Plugins page (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you which plugins need updating …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Let’s start by learning how to update individual plugins.

How To Update WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

Always make a backup of your site files and database before updating your website.

In your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

The “Plugins” area will display in your browser. The list of plugins can flow down your screen for a while, depending on the number of plugins you have added to your blog …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

(The WordPress Plugins Page)

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

Your Plugins area will now be reduced in size with a ’numbered pages’ feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search Plugins” function …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

WordPress provides streamlined plugin updates, so that updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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 update them all at the same time.

***

Now that you know how to update one WP plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to bulk-upgrade WP plugins.

How To Bulk-Upgrade WordPress Plugins

To update multiple plugins at the same time from your admin area, go to the “Plugins” section and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Update And Delete Plugins 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 update by checking its box …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

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

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Once all plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins screen, or choose another option from the WP admin menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Once your plugins are all 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) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

You have updated all plugins on your site to their latest version!

How To Update And Delete Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

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

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade plugins, let’s take a look at how to uninstall plugins from your WordPress site.

How To Delete Plugins

At times, you may want to delete plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to reduce server resources and help you avoid problems.

In this section, we show you how to delete unused plugins from your WordPress 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 admin menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WP Dashboard

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Next, click on Delete

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

If you need to have a look at 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” section …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted …

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

Important

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently active, you first need to 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 Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 want to go ahead and remove all of the selected plugins …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your plugins will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Managing WordPress Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use a number of tools that help you manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on the Admin area and lets you update many plugins at once with a single click …

Plugin Management For WordPress

For more details about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

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

What if you run multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? Typically, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WordPress dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite some time!

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

Below are a couple of WordPress management tools you may want to look at:

Jetpack

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack is a multifunctional plugin for WordPress that provides users with a powerful 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

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites and plugins from one interface.

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

To learn more about the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com

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

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

Go here to download this plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline.com

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

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

Visit this site to download this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and safely uninstall WordPress plugins.

***

"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. 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.