How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress DashboardIn another blog post, we provide a detailed explanation of what WordPress plugins are about and how you can use plugins to increase your web site’s capabilities.

To view the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to automatically upgrade and remove plugins from your site, and some great tools to help you better manage your plugins.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Some Plugins Need Regular Updating

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in previous releases, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to users.

Depending on how many plugins you use on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for WordPress plugins when WordPress distributes a new version.

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by 3rd-party developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed for a previous version. When this happens, conflicts can sometimes occur.

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 this is required). All you have to do as a WordPress user, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very easy and simple to do.

Important

Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date and deleting old plugins you no longer need is an essential aspect of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid potential errors and problems.

The tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins in the dashboard with no coding skills required.

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress employs a number of different ways to notify users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need to be updated inside your WordPress Dashboard simply by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

You can also view how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Admin Toolbar (as shown below, several plugins have to be updated) …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

The Plugins screen (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also provides information about plugins that need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Let’s start by showing you how to upgrade one WP plugin at a time.

Update Individual A Plugin

Warning

Always make a full backup of your data and files before making any upgrades to your website.

In your main menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

(The WordPress Plugins Page)

Useful Tip

Tips:

If you have too many plugins and would like to reduce the number of plugins displaying on your page, then click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your Plugins screen and enter a smaller number of items per page (by default, all plugins display on the page), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

Your Plugins page 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 “Plugin Search” feature …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

WordPress has done away with the loading screen when updating plugins and streamlined the plugin updating process, so that updating your plugins happens with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins area …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or see the section below if you have a number of 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 update one plugin at a time, let’s show you how to upgrade multiple WP plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Upgrading Plugins

To bulk-update plugins using the automatic upgrade feature, go to the “Plugins” section and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Tick 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 …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the list of plugins, select Update

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Once all plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to the Plugins section, or go to another section of your dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

Once your plugins are all 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) …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

All plugins are now up-to-date!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

(When your plugins are up-to-date, the notification icons no longer show)

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

Deleting WordPress Plugins

It’s a good idea to remove inactive plugins. This can conserve resource usage and also eliminate potential problems.

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

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 reinstall your site.

To remove a plugin, go to your admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The WP Admin Dashboard

Once you have deactivated the plugin, click Delete

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

All files belonging to the plugin that you are about to remove will be listed on your screen …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

Your plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely

Once you have done this, select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click on the checkbox in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to delete by checking their individual boxes …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Once you have selected all of the plugins that you want deleted, specify Delete from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 go ahead and delete all of the selected plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your plugins will be deleted …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

WordPress Tools For Managing WordPress Plugins

As well as the methods shown above, you can install Free and Paid WordPress plugins to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins by allowing you to install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update in the Admin area and lets you update multiple plugins with a single click …

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

For more details about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin updates get released, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin to the newest version ASAP.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? Typically, you would need to login to your sites one by one and then update the plugin from that site’s own 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 and deactivate plugins on all of your sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

Below are just some WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional WordPress plugin that provides users with a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, easy social sharing, and many other features.

Jetpack By WordPress.com  - Plugin For WordPress

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from a central dashboard on WordPress.com.

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 laptop, tablet, or smart device.

Visit this site to learn more about using the plugin:

ManageWP – WordPress Management Software

ManageWP - Update All Your Plugins From One Central Dashboard

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

ManageWP helps you manage all of your sites and blogs from one dashboard, including upgrades, backups, security and more. The tool features easy and intuitive one-click management and instant login access to your WordPress sites.

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

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline - WordPress Mass Control Plugin

(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 online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from a central installation.

Visit this site to learn more about using this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to upgrade and safely uninstall your plugins in WordPress via your WP admin dashboard.

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.