How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete PluginsIn another article, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to extend your blog’s functionality.

You can view this article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping WordPress plugins up-to-date, how to safely update and delete plugins from your site, and practical tools to help you better manage your plugins if you currently run multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Your WordPress Plugins Need Regular Updating

WordPress constantly updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in previous software versions, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to WordPress users.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notices for plugins when WordPress releases a new version.

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 created and tested to work with a previous version. When 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 this 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 easy and simple to do.

Important

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

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins safely inside the WordPress dashboard without requiring web programming skills.

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The WP Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress employs a few methods to notify you when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins are out-of-date inside your Admin area just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, you can see that nine plugins are out of date and need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

You can also see how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Toolbar (in the example below, you can see how many plugins should be updated) …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

In addition to providing information about plugins that have updates available, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin download sites and gives you the option to update the plugins individually or in bulk …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrade WordPress Plugins One At A Time

Warning

We recommend performing a full backup of your website before upgrading your blog or website.

From your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins

You will be taken to the “Plugins” section. The list of plugins can run down your page for a while, depending on the number of plugins you have installed on your blog …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

(Plugins Page)

Practical Tip

Useful Info:

If you have too many plugins and would like to make this section more manageable, 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 screen), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your Plugins page 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 “Plugin Search” function …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Plugins that need updating have a distinctive notification message: “There is a new version of [Plugin] available”

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

WordPress provides smooth & fast plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

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Now that you know how to upgrade individual plugins, let’s show you how to update a bunch of WordPress plugins simultaneously.

How To Bulk-Upgrade WordPress Plugins

To bulk-upgrade plugins 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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin updating …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WP Dashboard

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” notices no longer display) …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, update messages disappear)

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade your plugins, it’s time to learn how to uninstall plugins safely from your site or blog.

Deleting Plugins

At times, you may choose to remove plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to conserve resource usage and also help you avoid problems.

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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

Next, click on Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

The entire list of files associated with the plugin selected for deletionwill be listed on your screen …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your WordPress Dashboard

Your plugin(s) will be removed from your server …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

How To Delete Multiple WP Plugins In Bulk

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

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) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In The WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

A list of all selected plugins will be displayed 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 selected plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

The plugins will be deleted …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Useful Management Tools For WordPress Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install WordPress plugins that let you manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that helps you manage your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Admin area and lets you update multiple plugins with a single click of the mouse …

Plugin Management For WordPress

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates are released, the best practice is to update that plugin to the latest version as soon as possible.

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

WordPress Power User Tip: If you manage multiple 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 few WordPress management tools you should look at:

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack is a versatile plugin for WordPress that offers users a wide range of features, 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

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from a central interface.

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

To download this plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com

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

ManageWP lets you manage all your sites and blogs from one central location, including updates, backups, security and more. This application features easy and intuitive one-click management and instant login access to your sites.

Visit this site to download and use the plugin:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Tool

WP Pipeline.com

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

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

Visit this site to download and use the plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins.

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

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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.