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 In WordPressIn another article, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to easily add new features and functionality to your website without editing code.

You can view this article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily upgrade and remove your WordPress plugins, and some great tools to help you better manage your plugins if you need to run multiple WordPress sites.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need Updating

WordPress regularly updates its software (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in earlier software releases, and to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for plugins when WordPress releases an updated version.

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

Important Info

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

The tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins from your WordPress dashboard without editing web code.

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress uses a number of different ways of letting users know when plugins need updating.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your Administration area by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that nine plugins need updating …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

You can also view how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Admin Toolbar (as shown below, 9 plugins should be updated) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

In addition to 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 the plugins individually or in bulk …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Let’s start by showing you how to update one WordPress plugin at a time.

Upgrading Plugins One At A Time

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your data and files before making any upgrades to your website.

From your admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. This screen can be quite lengthy depending on the number of plugins you have added to your site …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

(The WordPress Plugins Screen)

Practical Tip

Notes:

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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” function …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

WordPress provides simpler plugin updating, so that the process of updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

Repeat the above process for any other plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update them all at the same time.

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Now that you know how to update individual plugins, it’s time to learn how to bulk-upgrade WordPress plugins.

How To Update Various Plugins Simultaneously

To bulk-update WordPress plugins simultaneously 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

In the Bulk Actions drop down menu above the list of plugins, choose Update

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Once all updates are finished, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins area, or select another option from the sidebar menu …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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” notices 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!

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

Now that you know how to update your inside the dashboard, let’s take a look at how to delete plugins safely from your blog or website.

How To Safely Delete Plugins

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

In this section, you will learn how to 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 restore your site.

To delete a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

In the Plugins area, 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 show an “Activate” link below the plugin name …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Click Delete

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

If you need 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” screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

All files belonging to the plugin selected for deletionwill be listed on your screen …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

You can delete all inactive plugins at once, or select a combination of active and inactive plugins to be deleted.

Important Info

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 Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

To delete all or some of the inactive plugins, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Inactive link on the main menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Click the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to remove by checking their individual boxes …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating 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 absolutely certain that you would like to go ahead and remove all of the plugins listed …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

Your plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Managing Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Management For WordPress

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your Dashboard and lets you update many plugins at once with a single mouse-click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin updates are released, the best practice is to update that plugin as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. If you plan to manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while to complete!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own multiple WordPress sites, you can install, upgrade or remove plugins on all of your sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack is a versatile plugin for WordPress that provides users with a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, easy social sharing, and a host of other great features.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites and plugins from one simple dashboard on WordPress.com.

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.

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

ManageWP

ManageWP.com

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

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

For more information about using the plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Software

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but you only have to pay once to access the software. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one single dashboard.

Go here to download and use this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and safely uninstall your plugins in WordPress using the WP dashboard.

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"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 founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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.