How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your WP Admin DashboardIn another blog post, we provide an overview of what WP plugins are all about and how you can use plugins to add new features to your site 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 easily upgrade and delete plugins, and discover some tools to help you better manage your plugins.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Many Of Your WordPress 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 found in previous 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 new update notifications for WordPress plugins when new versions of WordPress are released.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were built for a previous version. When this happens, there is a potential for problems 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 required). All you need to do on your end, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really simple and easy to do.

Info

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

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins without web coding knowledge or skills necessary.

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely – Tutorial

WordPress has a number of different ways to let you know when your plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need to be updated inside your WP Dashboard by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 plugins need updating …

How To Update And Delete Plugins From The Dashboard

You can also tell how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Notification Toolbar (the example below shows that nine plugins need to be updated) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

In addition to 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 the plugin with one-click …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

Updating Plugins Individually

Warning

We recommend making a full backup of your site files and database before updating your website or blog.

In your dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

The “Plugins” page will display in your browser. The list of plugins can be quite long depending on the number of plugins you have added to your site …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

(The WordPress Plugins Section)

Practical Tip

Additional Information:

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 (all plugins show up on the screen by default), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your Plugins area 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 Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

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

WordPress provides streamlined plugin updates, so that the process of updating your plugins takes place “behind the scenes” without leaving your Plugins area …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Repeat the above process for all 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 upgrade all plugins in bulk.

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Now that you know how to update individual WordPress plugins, the next step is to learn how to upgrade multiple plugins simultaneously.

How To Bulk-Upgrade Plugins

To upgrade multiple WP plugins simultaneously using the automatic update feature, 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 Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

After all updates have completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins section, or go to another section of your dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In The WP Dashboard

Once your plugins are all 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 on your screen, toolbar and menus) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

Now that you know how to automatically upgrade WP plugins, let’s take a look at how to safely remove plugins safely from your site.

How To Remove Plugins

At times, you may decide to remove WordPress plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This decreases server resources and also help to minimize problems.

In this section, we show you how to delete unused plugins from your WordPress 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 remove a plugin, go to your admin menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

Next, click Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

If you want to have a look at 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” page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The WordPress Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

The selected plugin(s) will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Deleting Several Plugins In Bulk

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

Useful Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently 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 check box, 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 Inside Your Dashboard

Next, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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 Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 absolutely sure that you would like to proceed to the next step and remove all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

Useful Tools For Managing WP Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install a range of third-party tools that let you manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Management Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the WP Admin and also allows you to update many plugins at once with one click …

Plugin Central

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever a plugin update is released, the best practice is to update the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple sites using the same plugin? Typically, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WP dashboard. If you own multiple sites, this process can take quite a while to complete!

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

Here are a few WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack Manage

The Jetpack plugin is a single WordPress plugin that offers users a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, automated social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack By WordPress.com

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your WordPress sites from one dashboard.

With Manage, you can upgrade plugins, set plugins to automatically update, 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 and use the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP – WordPress Management Tool

ManageWP

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

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

Visit this site to download this plugin:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Management Software

WP Pipeline - Update All Your Sites From From One Dashboard

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but has a one-time purchase fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you manage your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from a central installation.

Visit this site to download and use this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins in WordPress without coding knowledge or skills needed.

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Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.