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 Safely Inside Your DashboardIn another article, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily add new features or functionality to your website without touching code.

To read the article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily update and uninstall plugins, and discover some plugin management tips if you currently manage multiple WordPress sites.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Many Of Your WordPress Plugins Need Regular Updating

New versions of WordPress are regularly released (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in earlier software versions, and to improve existing features.

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

This is because most WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were developed and tested with a previous version. Whenever this happens, problems can sometimes occur.

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 updating is required). All you need to do as a WordPress user, is simply maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is very quick, simple and easy to do.

Important

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

The tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins in WordPress without requiring web programming knowledge or skills.

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress employs a few ways to alert users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins need updating as soon as you log into your WP Dashboard just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that 9 WP plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

The Plugins page (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you how many plugins need updating …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

As well as providing information about plugins that have available updates, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin download sites and gives you the option to update the plugins with one-click …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade Single WordPress Plugins

Warning

We strongly recommend making a complete backup of your website before upgrading your blog or website.

In your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

(WordPress Plugins Page)

Useful 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 page and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show on the page by default), then click the ‘Apply’ button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your Plugins page will now be reduced in size with a pagination 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 Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Repeat the above process for all plugins on your site that need updating, or refer to the section below if you have many plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade them all at once.

***

Now that you know how to upgrade individual plugins, let’s show you how to bulk-upgrade WordPress plugins.

How To Bulk-Update WP Plugins

To update multiple WordPress plugins simultaneously directly inside your dashboard, go to the “Plugins” area and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your WP Dashboard

Click the check box in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to update by checking its box …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

In the Bulk Actions pull-down menu at the top of the page, choose Update

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Your selected plugins will all be updated at once …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

Once your plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins area, or select another option from the admin menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Once all plugins are up-to-date, the plugin notifications disappear (i.e. the “at-a-glance” indicators and “There is a new version of XYZ plugin available” messages no longer display) …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Dashboard

You have updated all plugins on your site!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

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

Now that you know how to automatically update your in the WP dashboard, it’s time to learn how to safely remove plugins safely from your WordPress blog or website.

How To Safely Delete WordPress Plugins

It’s a good idea to uninstall plugins that you no longer need. This reduces server resources and also help to minimize potential problems.

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

Warning

Always create 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 main menu and click on Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

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

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

Next, click on Delete

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

If you want to browse all the files that will be deleted before going ahead, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” section …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

How To Safely Bulk-Delete Plugins

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

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) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Once you have done this, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From The 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

Tick the checkbox in 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 In Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

A list of all selected plugins will display 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 sure that you want to proceed to the next step and delete all of the plugins listed …

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Your selected plugins will be deleted …

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

WordPress Plugin Management – Tools

As well as the methods shown above, you can use a number of 3rd-party tools that help you manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central

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 your Admin area and lets you update many plugins at once with a single click of the mouse …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update gets released, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin right away.

What if you have multiple WordPress sites with the same plugin installed? Normally, you would have to login to every site and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own WP dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite some time to complete!

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

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

Jetpack

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional WordPress plugin that provides users with a powerful range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to benefit from WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of robust stats, easy social sharing, and a whole lot more.

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

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

One of these features is “Jetpack Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage your self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com 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 PC, tablet, or mobile device.

To learn more about this plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

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

ManageWP lets you easily manage all of your WordPress sites from one place, including upgrades, backups, security and more. The tool features easy one-click updates and instant login to all of your WordPress sites.

Go here to download this plugin:

WP Pipeline.com

WP Pipeline.com

(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 sells for a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from one single WP installation.

Go here to download the plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and uninstall WordPress plugins.

***

"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

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.