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How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

In another blog post, we provide a detailed explanation of what WP plugins are all about and how you can use plugins to easily add new features or functionality to your website or blog without editing code.

To read the article, go here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all plugins up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and remove your WordPress plugins, and discover some great plugin management tools.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Your Plugins Need To Be Frequently Upgraded

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

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

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code or features in the new WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for conflicts to sometimes develop.

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

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

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete WordPress plugins in the dashboard without web programming knowledge required.

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The WP Dashboard – Tutorial

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

For example, you can see how many plugins are out-of-date inside your WP Dashboard by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

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

You can also view how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (the example below shows that 9 plugins need to be updated) …

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

In addition to providing information about which plugins have available updates, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update your plugin with one-click …

Let’s start by showing you how to update plugins individually.

Update Individual Plugins

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

In your WP admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

The “Plugins” screen will display in your browser. The table of plugins can be quite long depending on how many plugins you have installed in your site …

(The WordPress Plugins Section)

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

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 …

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

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

Find the plugin that needs updating and click on the update now link …

WordPress provides smooth & simple plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins screen …

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


Now that you know how to upgrade one WP plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to bulk-update plugins.

Bulk-Updating WP Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins in a single operation from your admin area, go to the “Plugins” area and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Tick the checkbox 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 …

In the Bulk Actions pull-down menu above the table of plugins, select Update

And then click Apply

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin updating …

After the update process has been completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins section, or visit another section of your dashboard …

Once your plugins are all 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) …

All plugins are now up-to-date!

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

Now that you know how to update your plugins, let’s show you how to safely remove plugins from your blog or website.

How To Delete Plugins

It’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This conserves resources on your server and also helps to eliminate potential problems.

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

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 restore your site.

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

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

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

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

Click on Delete

If you would like to review a list of 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” page …

A complete list of files associated with the plugin that you are about to remove will display on your screen …

If you are positively sure that you would like to proceed and delete these plugin, then click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted from your server …

How To Bulk-Delete Plugins

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

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

Once you have done this, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Click Apply

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

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

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 …

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

Click Apply

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 certain that you want to proceed to the next step and remove all of the selected plugins …

All selected plugins will be deleted …

Useful Management Tools For Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can use other WordPress plugins that let you manage your plugins.


Plugin Central is a Free plugin that helps you manage your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your WP Dashboard and also allows you to update many plugins at once with one click …

For more details about this plugin, visit the plugin site:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever a plugin update is released, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin right away.

What if you run multiple sites with the same plugin installed? Typically, you would have to login to each site individually and then update the plugin from that site’s admin dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while!

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

Here are a few WordPress management tools you should check out:

Jetpack By WordPress.com – Plugin For WordPress

Jetpack is a versatile plugin for WordPress that offers users a powerful range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, easy social sharing, and a whole lot more.

(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 single interface.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to automatically update, and activate or deactivate plugins on a site-by-site basis or in bulk, whether you’re on your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

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


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

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

To download and use this plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline.com

(With WP Pipeline, you can update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from one central location)

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 updates from one single dashboard.

For more information about this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and delete plugins without coding skills required.


"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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