How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress DashboardIn a previous post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily add new features to your website without touching code.

You can view the article here:

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and remove plugins, and discover some tools to help you better manage your plugins if you plan to run or manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Of Your Plugins Need Upgrading

WordPress frequently updates its software (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older 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 notifications for WordPress plugins every.

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 and tested with a previous version. Whenever this happens, conflicts can sometimes develop.

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

Important

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

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely in WordPress with no web programming knowledge necessary.

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins – Tutorial

WordPress provides several ways to inform you when plugins need updating.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need updating as soon as you log into your Administration site simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

You can also view how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Administration Toolbar (the screenshot below shows how many plugins should be updated) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also lets you know which plugins need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Let’s start by learning how to update plugins individually.

How To Update Plugins Individually

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a complete backup of your website before upgrading your website.

In your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

(Plugins Page)

Tip

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

Your Plugins page 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 Plugins” box …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the process, so that updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Repeat the above process for any other plugins on your site that need to be updated, or refer to the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update them all at the same time.

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Now that you know how to upgrade one plugin at a time, the next step is to learn how to upgrade multiple plugins simultaneously.

How To Bulk-Update Plugins

To bulk-update 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WP Admin Dashboard

Click the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to upgrade by checking its box …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins From Your Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu above the table of plugins, choose Update

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

And then click Apply

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

The plugins you have selected will begin updating …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

After your plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins section, or choose another option from the WP dashboard menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Once all plugins are up-to-date, any plugin alerts disappear (i.e. the “at-a-glance” indicators and “There is a new version of XYZ plugin available” notices no longer display on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, the notification icons no longer show)

Now that you know how to automatically update WP inside your admin dashboard, it’s time to learn how to delete plugins safely from your site.

How To Safely Remove Plugins

As part of smart WordPress blog management practices, it’s a good idea to remove plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This conserves resource usage and help you avoid problems.

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

Warning

We strongly recommend creating 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 remove a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your WP Admin Dashboard

Next, click on Delete

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

If you need to review a list of all the files that will be deleted before going ahead with the next step, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” section …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

If you are certain that you want to go ahead and delete the selected plugin, click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WP Dashboard

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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 check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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 Update And Delete Plugins

Once you have selected all the plugins that you want to delete, select Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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 certain that you want to go ahead and delete all of the plugins listed …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Managing WordPress Plugins – WordPress Tools

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in your Admin area and also allows you to update many plugins at once in one click …

Plugin Central

For more details about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates get released, the best practice is to upgrde the plugin to its newest version as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin from that site’s dashboard. If you plan to manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while!

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

Here are a couple of WordPress management tools you should check out:

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack By WordPress.com - WordPress Plugin

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional WordPress plugin 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 stats reporting, automated social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack

(Jetpack gives you access to range of powerful WordPress features)

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites and plugins from a central interface.

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

Go here to download the plugin:

ManageWP

ManageWP.com

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

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

To download and use the plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - WordPress Management Software

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but has a one-time license fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you control and organize your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from a single installation.

Visit this site to download this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically update and safely delete WordPress plugins via your dashboard.

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"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.