How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress DashboardIn another article, 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 the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to easily upgrade and remove plugins from your site, and practical plugin management tips if you need to run or manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Many 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 older versions, as well as 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 every.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes the code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever this happens, conflicts 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 required). All you need to do on your end, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very easy and simple to do.

Useful Information

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

The tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins safely without touching web code.

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress – Tutorial

WordPress provides a number of different ways of letting you know when your plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your Administration panel by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, you can see that nine WP plugins are out of date and need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

You can also view how many plugins need updating from your WP Admin Toolbar (the example below shows that a number of plugins need to be updated) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to update plugins one at a time.

Upgrade Single Plugins

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your website before updating your blog or website.

From your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

(Plugins Page)

Useful Tip

Useful Info:

If you have too many plugins installed and would like to reduce the number of plugins showing on the page, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins area and type in a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the screen), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Your Plugins page 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” field …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the plugin update process, so that the process of updating your plugins happens “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade them all at the same time.

***

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

How To Upgrade Multiple WordPress Plugins

To update multiple WordPress plugins at the same time from your admin area, 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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

And then click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your selected plugins will begin the update process …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WP Admin Dashboard

Once all plugins are up-to-date, the plugin notifications 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

All plugins are now up-to-date!

How To Update And Delete Plugins 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 take a look at how to uninstall plugins safely from your site.

How To Safely Delete Plugins

At times, you may choose to remove WordPress plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This can help to decrease server resources and also will help you avoid potential problems.

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

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 Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Click Delete

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The WP Dashboard

If you need to browse 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” section …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Deleting Several WP Plugins In Bulk

You can delete all inactive plugins at once, 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 checkbox, or selecting the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 delete all of the plugins listed …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Dashboard

Managing Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a range of 3rd-party tools to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on the Admin area and also allows you to update many plugins at once in one click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

To learn more about using this plugin, visit the plugin site:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin from that site’s own WordPress admin dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time!

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

Below are a couple of WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack is a single plugin for WordPress that provides users with a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, easy social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack By WordPress.com

(Jetpack lets you access a range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple WordPress sites from one dashboard on WordPress.com.

With Manage, you can update 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 laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

Visit this site for more information about this plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

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

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

Go here to download and use the plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline.com

(WP Pipeline lets you 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 manage your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from one single installation.

To download the plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and safely uninstall plugins using your dashboard.

***

"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya

Disclaimer: WordPress and its related trademarks are registered trademarks of Automattic, Inc. This site is not affiliated with nor sponsored by Automattic, Inc. or the WordPress Open Source project. This site and the services and products offered on this site are not associated, affiliated, sponsored, or endorsed by WordPress, nor have they been reviewed, certified, or tested by WordPress. The owner, contributors and/or advertisers may derive financial benefit from sales of items linked to, advertised, or reviewed on this site.

***

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Please feel free to share this page with other WordPress users using the social links below.

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.