How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In The DashboardIn a previous post, we provide an overview of what WordPress plugins are about and how you can use these to easily add new features to your web site without touching code.

You can view this article here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily update and delete plugins from your site, and discover some tips to help you better manage your plugins if you plan to run multiple WordPress sites.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Many Of Your Plugins Need To Be Upgraded

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in earlier software releases, 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 updates for plugins every.

The reason for this, is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were developed 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 fairly proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if updating is needed). All you need to do as a WordPress user, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really easy and simple to do.

Important Info

Keeping your plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress management and helps to avoid any potential errors or conflicts.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely inside your WordPress dashboard without touching web code.

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

WordPress provides a few methods to let users know when plugins need updating.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins need to be updated as soon as you log into your Site’s Dashboard simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that 9 plugins are out of date and need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

You can also tell how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Notification Toolbar (as shown below, nine plugins should be updated) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

As well as 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 plugins instantly …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Let’s start by learning how to upgrade WP plugins individually.

How To Upgrade Individual A Plugin

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a backup of your data and files before upgrading your website.

From your dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

The “Plugins” page will display in your browser. The table of plugins can run down your page for some length, depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

(WordPress Plugins Page)

Tip

Additional 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 page), then click Apply …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Your Plugins section will now be reduced in size with a page scrolling feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search Plugins” box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have several plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade them all in bulk.

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

Bulk-Updating Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins at the same time directly inside your dashboard, go to the “Plugins” page and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

Tick the checkbox 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 …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will begin to update automatically …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, the update reminders 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 WordPress Admin Dashboard

You have updated all plugins on your site!

Updating And Deleting Plugins

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, the notification icons disappear)

Now that you know how to update in the admin dashboard, it’s time to learn how to safely remove plugins from your WordPress site.

How To Delete Plugins

As part of good WordPress blog management, it’s a good idea to remove plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This reduces resource usage and also eliminate problems.

In this section, we show you how to deactivate and delete unused plugins from your blog or site.

Warning

We strongly recommend creating 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 delete a plugin, go to your admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

Click on Delete

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

If you would like 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” page …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

The entire list of files associated with the plugin selected for deletionwill be listed on your screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

How To Bulk-Delete Plugins

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

Important

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Next, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

The selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Once you have selected all the plugins that you want deleted, select Delete from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

A list of all selected plugins will be displayed 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 want to proceed to the next step and delete all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Managing WordPress Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress 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 in one click …

Management Plugin For WordPress

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When plugin updates get released, the best practice is to update that plugin to its latest 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 WordPress admin dashboard. If you own or manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time!

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

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

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin is a versatile plugin for WordPress that provides users with a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like stats reporting, automated social sharing, and so much more.

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 your WordPress sites from one interface.

With Manage, you can update 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 this plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com – Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

ManageWP.com - WordPress Management Tool

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

ManageWP lets you manage all your WordPress sites from one central location, including upgrades, backups, security and more. This tool features easy one-click upgrades and instant login to all of your WP sites.

Visit this site to learn more about this plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline - WordPress Mass Control Plugin

(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 updates from one central dashboard.

Visit this site for more information about using the plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and safely delete your plugins in WordPress using the WordPress dashboard.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.