How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins SafelyIn a separate post, we provide an overview of what WP plugins are about and how you can use plugins to easily enhance your blog’s functionality.

To read this article, go 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 uninstall plugins from your site, and discover practical tools to help you better manage your plugins if you currently own or manage multiple WordPress sites.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Many Plugins Need Regular Updating

WordPress regularly updates its software (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous software releases, as well as 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 notifications for plugins whenever new versions of WordPress are released.

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 conflict with plugins that were developed for a previous version. Whenever this happens, there is a potential for problems to sometimes occur.

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

Important Info

Keeping your plugins regularly updated and removing old plugins you no longer need is an essential aspect of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid potential problems and errors.

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely inside the dashboard without editing web code.

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress employs several methods to let users know when plugins need updating.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins need to be updated from your Administration panel by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 plugins have older versions that need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

You can also check how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Toolbar (as shown below, nine plugins have to be updated) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also notifies you about plugins that need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrade Individual WordPress Plugins

Warning

Always make a complete backup of your data and files before upgrading your website or blog.

From your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” page. This screen can be quite lengthy depending on how many plugins you have added to your blog …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

(The WordPress Plugins Section)

Useful Tip

Useful Information:

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Your Plugins section will now be made more manageable with a ’numbered pages’ feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search Installed Plugins” box …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

Repeat the above 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.

***

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

How To Bulk-Update Plugins

To update multiple plugins in one go using the automatic upgrading feature, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Tick the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to update by checking its box …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will all be updated at once …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, any plugin alerts 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 Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

You have updated all plugins on your site!

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

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

How To Safely Delete WP Plugins

Occasionally, you may decide to delete WordPress plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to decrease server resources and also will help you avoid causes of some problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely uninstall unused plugins from your 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 restore your site.

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

In the Plugins section, locate the plugin you want to remove 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

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

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

Next, click on Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

If you want 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

If you are absolutely sure that you want to proceed and delete these plugin, just click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

How To Delete Several Plugins Simultaneously

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

Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are presently active, you must first 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 check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Tick 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 its box …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want deleted, select Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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 sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and delete all of the plugins listed …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Plugin Management – WordPress Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use WordPress plugins to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Dashboard and lets you update many plugins at once with one click …

Plugin Central

To learn more about 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 that plugin to its newest version as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Normally, you would need to login to every site and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WP dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while!

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

Below are just some WordPress management tools you may want to look at:

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard.

With Manage, you can upgrade 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 device.

To download the plugin, go here:

ManageWP.com – Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

ManageWP

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

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

Go here to learn more about this plugin:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

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

WP Pipeline is very similar 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 a central WP installation.

To download and use the plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and delete plugins safely without requiring web coding skills.

***

"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

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, endorsed, or sponsored 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, reviewed, or advertised on this site.

***

Have you found this post useful? If so, please consider sharing this article with others using the links below.

Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for non-techies and beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!