How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your DashboardIn another article, we provide a detailed explanation of what plugins are all about and how you can use plugins to easily add new features to your site without editing code.

To view the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to automatically update and delete plugins, and discover some tips to help you better manage your plugins if you plan to manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some WordPress Plugins Need To Be Updated

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in previous versions, and to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notices for plugins each time a new WordPress version is made available.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were built for a previous version. Whenever this happens, there is a potential for issues to sometimes occur.

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

Info

Keeping your plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer use is an essential aspect of good WordPress management and helps to avoid any potential errors and problems.

The tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins safely in the dashboard without editing web code.

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress utilizes a number of different methods of letting you know when plugins on your blog need updating.

For example, you can instantly see how many plugins need updating inside your Administration panel just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that 9 WordPress plugins have older versions that need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

You can also view how many plugins need updating from your WP Notification Toolbar (the example below shows that nine plugins should be brought up to date) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also provides information about plugins that need updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

As well as providing information about which plugins have updates available, the Plugins screen provides links to the plugin download sites and gives you the option to update the plugins individually or in bulk …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Updating Individual WordPress Plugins

Warning

Always make a backup of your site files and database before making any updates to your website or blog.

In your dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. The list of plugins can go down your page for a while, depending on how many plugins you have added to your site …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

(WordPress Plugins Screen)

Useful 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 area and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the page by default), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

WordPress provides smooth & simpler plugin updates, so that updating your plugins happens “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

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Now that you know how to update individual WordPress plugins, let’s show you how to bulk-update WordPress plugins.

Bulk-Upgrading WP Plugins

To update multiple plugins in one go 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 Inside The 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 upgrade by checking its box …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your selected plugins will automatically begin updating …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

After all plugin upgrades are finished, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins screen, or choose another section of your dashboard …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

Once all plugins are up-to-date, the update reminders disappear (i.e. the “at-a-glance” indicators and “There is a new version of XYZ plugin available” messages no longer display) …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

(When plugins on your site are all up-to-date, notification icons do not display)

Now that you know how to upgrade WP inside your dashboard, let’s show you how to remove plugins from your WordPress blog or website.

How To Safely Remove Plugins

At times, you may choose to delete WP plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This can help to reduce resource usage and help you avoid problems.

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

In the Plugins section, locate the plugin you want to delete and make sure it is inactive.

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

Click Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

If you need to review a list of 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 …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

A complete list of files associated with the plugin that you are about to delete will be listed on your screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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 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 Inside The WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically 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

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 Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want to delete, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 proceed to the next step and delete all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

Useful Management Tools For Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install Free and Premium WordPress plugins that help you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Management 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 in the Admin area and also allows you to update multiple plugins in one click …

Plugin For WordPress

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update gets released, 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 have to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while!

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 various WordPress management tools.

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

Jetpack Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack is a multifunctional plugin for WordPress that provides users with a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, automated social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack Manage

(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 multiple WordPress sites from one simple dashboard.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to automatically update, and activate or deactivate plugins on a per-site basis or all at once, whether you’re on your laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

Visit this site to learn more about using this plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

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

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

To download this plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline

(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 has a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from a single location.

To learn more about this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and delete plugins with no web programming knowledge or skills necessary.

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"Your training is the best in the world! It is simple, yet detailed, direct, understandable, memorable, and complete." Andrea Adams, FinancialJourney.org

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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.