How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress PluginsIn another blog post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily add new features or functionality to your site with no software programming knowledge required.

To read 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 discover some tools to help you better manage your plugins.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Many WordPress Plugins Need To Be Upgraded

The WordPress software is regularly updated (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older software releases, as well as to improve existing features.

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

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

Important

Keeping your WordPress plugins regularly updated and deleting old plugins you no longer use is part of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid any potential conflicts or errors.

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely in your WordPress admin dashboard without requiring web coding or programming skills or knowledge.

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress uses a number of different methods to alert you when plugins need updating.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need updating inside your Admin area simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, nine WP plugins need to be updated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

You can also check how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (as shown below, 9 plugins need updating) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to upgrade individual WordPress plugins.

Update Plugins Individually

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a full backup of your website before making any changes to your website.

In your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

The “Plugins” page will display in your browser. This list of plugins can be quite long depending on the number of plugins you have added to your blog …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

(Plugins Section)

Useful Tip

Tips:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins displaying on the page, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins screen and enter a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the page), then click Apply …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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 “Plugin Search” box …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

Plugins in need of updating display the following notification message: “There is a new version of [Plugin Name] available”

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need to be updated, or see the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update them all at once.

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Now that you know how to upgrade WP plugins individually, let’s show you how to upgrade several plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Upgrading Plugins

To upgrade multiple WordPress plugins simultaneously using the automatic update feature, go to the “Plugins” area and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

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

Click on the checkbox in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to update by checking its box …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

And then click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

Your selected plugins will all be updated at once …

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

Once your plugins have all been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins screen, or choose a different section of your dashboard …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Now that you know how to upgrade plugins, let’s show you how to safely uninstall plugins from your blog or website.

How To Remove WordPress Plugins

It’s a good idea to delete plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This can help conserve server resources and help to reduce potential problems.

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

Warning

Always create 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 delete a plugin, go to your admin menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

If you would like to browse all the files that will be deleted before going ahead, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The entire list of files belonging to the plugin selected for removalwill display on your screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

The selected plugins and related files will be removed from your server …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

How To Safely Delete Several Plugins At Once

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

Useful Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are presently 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) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Next, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

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

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

Click on the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to remove by checking their individual boxes …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Your plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Managing WP Plugins – Useful WordPress Tools

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that improves the management of your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the WordPress Admin and lets you update many plugins at once with a single click …

Management Plugin For WordPress

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to upgrde that 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 go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WP admin dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite a while to complete!

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

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack Plugin For WordPress

The Jetpack plugin is a single plugin for WordPress that offers users a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, easy social sharing, and many other features.

Jetpack By WordPress.com  - Plugin For WordPress

(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 from one simple dashboard.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to automatically update, and activate or deactivate plugins on a site-by-site basis or all at once, whether you’re on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

To download the plugin, go here:

ManageWP

ManageWP - WordPress Management Software

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

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

To download and use the plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Software

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from a central location.

To download the plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and uninstall plugins via your dashboard.

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

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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 detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.