How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

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Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your DashboardIn another blog post, we provide a detailed explanation of what WP plugins are all about and how you can use these to easily add new features or functionality to your website with no technical knowledge required.

You can view this article here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and remove plugins from your site, and some plugin management tips.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Plugins Need Upgrading

The WordPress software is regularly updated (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older versions, as well as to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notices for WordPress plugins each time a new version of WordPress is announced.

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 conflicts with plugins that were developed and tested with 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 required). All you have to do as a website owner, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really easy to do.

Important Info

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress employs a few ways to inform you when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need updating as soon as you log into your Admin area by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

You can also tell how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Administration Toolbar (the example below shows that a number of plugins should be updated) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you how many plugins need updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

In addition to providing information about plugins that have updates available, the Plugins page provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update the plugin instantly …

How To Update And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to update individual WordPress plugins.

How To Update Single Plugins

Warning

Always make a full backup of your site files and database before upgrading your website.

In your admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

You will be taken to the “Plugins” page. The page can be quite long depending on how many plugins you have installed in your blog …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

(Plugins Section)

Practical Tip

Additional Info:

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

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 “Search Plugins” function …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

Repeat this process for any other plugins on your site that need updating, or refer to the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update them all in bulk.

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Now that you know how to update WordPress plugins one at a time, it’s time to learn how to upgrade a bunch of plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Updating Plugins

To bulk-upgrade WP plugins from your admin area, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will all be updated at once …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Once all plugin upgrades are finished, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins section, or choose another option from the WordPress admin menu …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The 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) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Now that you know how to update in the dashboard, let’s show you how to delete plugins from your WordPress blog or website.

How To Remove Plugins

Occasionally, you may decide to delete WP plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to decrease resources on your server and also help to minimize problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely uninstall unused plugins from your WordPress 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 main menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Dashboard

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

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In The Dashboard

Click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

If you would like to browse all the files that will be deleted before proceeding any further, 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 Safely

A complete list of files associated with the plugin selected for deletionwill display on your screen …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Deleting Multiple WordPress Plugins At Once

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

Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are presently active, your will 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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Next, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

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

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your WordPress Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

WordPress Plugin Management – Useful WordPress Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a number of third-party tools that help you manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps to improve the management of your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your WordPress Admin and lets you update many plugins at once with a single mouse-click …

Management Plugin For WordPress

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update that plugin to the newest version ASAP.

What if you run 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 own admin dashboard. If you plan to run multiple sites, this process can take quite a while to complete!

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

Here are just a few great WordPress management tools you can look at:

Jetpack Manage – Single WordPress Dashboard Management

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack is a multifunctional 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 great features.

Jetpack Manage - Single WP Dashboard Management

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from a single dashboard.

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 PC, tablet, or smart phone.

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP

ManageWP - WordPress Management Tool

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

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

Go here to learn more about using the plugin:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline.com

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way 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 a central dashboard.

Go here to learn more about using this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and safely remove your plugins in WordPress.

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Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.