How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

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How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The DashboardIn a previous post, we provide a detailed explanation of what WP plugins are about and how you can use these to easily add new features and functionality to your website with no technical skills required.

You can read the article here:

In this tutorial you will learn why WordPress plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to safely upgrade and delete your WordPress plugins, and discover useful tools to help you better manage your plugins if you currently own or manage multiple WordPress sites.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Your Plugins Need Upgrading

New WordPress versions are regularly released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older versions, and to improve existing features or introduce new functionality to WordPress users.

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

This is because most WordPress plugins 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. When this happens, problems can sometimes develop.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are very proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if required). All you have to do as a website owner, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very easy and simple to do.

Useful Information

Keeping your 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 errors and conflicts.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins from your dashboard without requiring web programming skills or knowledge.

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress provides a few ways of letting you know when your plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can see how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your Admin area by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, nine plugins have older versions that need updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The WP Dashboard

You can also view how many plugins need updating from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (as shown below, several plugins require updating) …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

The Plugins section (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also notifies you about plugins that need updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

Let’s start by learning how to update one plugin at a time.

Upgrading WordPress Plugins Individually

Warning

We strongly recommend making a backup of your data and files before making any upgrades to your website.

From your admin menu, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

(Plugins Section)

Useful Tip

Useful Info:

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 enter a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the page by default, i.e. “999”), then click Apply …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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” box …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Repeat the above process for any other 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 update them all at the same time.

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Now that you know how to upgrade plugins individually, it’s time to learn how to update a bunch of WP plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Updating WordPress Plugins

To upgrade multiple plugins simultaneously 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 …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

Tick the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to upgrade by checking its box …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu at the top of the page, select Update

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

And then click Apply

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

The plugins you have selected will begin the update process …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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” messages no longer display) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

All plugins are now up-to-date!

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

(When your plugins are all up-to-date, update notices no longer appear)

Now that you know how to automatically update plugins, let’s show you how to remove plugins safely from your site.

Deleting WordPress Plugins

It’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This can help to conserve server resources and help to eliminate causes of problems.

In this section, you will learn how to remove unused plugins from your WordPress blog or 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 restore your site.

To remove a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Click Delete

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

If you need to have a look at 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” section …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Bulk-Deleting Plugins

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

Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are presently active, your will 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) …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Next, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop-down menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins In Your Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

Click Apply

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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 would like to proceed to the next step and delete all of the plugins listed …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

WordPress Tools For Managing Plugins

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

Plugin Central improves the management of your plugins with features that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on the Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin Management For WordPress

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

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

What if you run multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? One option, is to login to every site and then update the plugin from that site’s own dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite a while!

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

Below are a couple of WordPress management tools that are worth knowing about:

Jetpack

Jetpack

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

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 your WordPress sites and plugins from a central dashboard.

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

Go here to download and use the plugin:

ManageWP.com – Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

ManageWP

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

ManageWP helps you manage all of your sites from one dashboard, including updates, backups, security and more. This tool features easy and intuitive one-click updates and instant login to all of your sites.

For more information about the plugin, go here:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline.com

(With WP Pipeline, you can update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from a 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 upgrades from a single location.

To learn more about using the plugin, go here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and delete plugins in WordPress without editing web code.

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Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.