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 WordPress Plugins SafelyIn another post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to add new features to your blog without editing code.

You can read the article here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping all plugins up-to-date, how to easily upgrade and remove your WordPress plugins, and discover practical tools to help you better manage your plugins.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

The WordPress software is constantly updated (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in older releases, as well as to improve existing features or introduce new ones.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new new update notices for plugins every.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes 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 fairly proactive when it comes to ensuring that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if needed). All you need to do as a website owner, is simply keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is really 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 management and helps to avoid potential problems and errors.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to upgrade and delete plugins safely inside the WP admin dashboard with no web programming knowledge necessary.

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress has a few methods to notify you when plugins need updating.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins are out-of-date from your Administration panel simply by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, nine WordPress plugins are out of date and need updating …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

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

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The WordPress Dashboard

In addition to providing information about plugins that have updates available, the Plugins section provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update the plugin individually or in bulk …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating Individual A Plugin

Warning

We recommend making a full backup of your data and files before updating your website.

From your WP admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

You will be taken to the “Plugins” section. This table of plugins can be quite lengthy depending on the number of plugins you have installed on your site …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins

(Plugins Section)

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

Your Plugins area will now be made more manageable with a pagination feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search Installed Plugins” field …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From The WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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 one WP plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to bulk-update plugins.

How To Upgrade Several Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

Click the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select only the plugins you want to update by checking their individual boxes …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

In the Bulk Actions drop-down menu above the table of plugins, choose Update

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

And then click Apply

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

The plugins you have selected will begin updating …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

Once your plugins have all been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to your Plugins screen, or choose another option from the WordPress dashboard menu …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your Dashboard

Once your plugins are all up-to-date, the update reminders will 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 Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

You have updated all plugins on your site to their latest version!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

(When your site uses the latest version of all plugins, update alerts disappear)

Now that you know how to upgrade WP in the dashboard, let’s take a look at how to uninstall plugins from your site.

How To Safely Remove Plugins

It’s a good idea to delete plugins that you no longer need or are no longer using on your site. This helps to decrease resources on your server and also help to minimize problems.

In this section, you will learn how to deactivate and delete unused plugins from your WordPress site or blog.

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 restore your site.

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Click on Delete

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

If you would like to browse all the files that will be deleted before proceeding any further, 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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The Dashboard

If you are positively sure that you would like to proceed and delete these plugin, just click on the Yes, Delete these files button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

The selected plugins and related files will be deleted …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

How To Safely Bulk-Delete WP Plugins

You can bulk-delete all inactive plugins, or select a combination of active and inactive plugins to be cleared.

Info

Note: To delete any plugins that are currently active, you 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 check box, or selecting the check box next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Once you have deactivated your plugins, click on the Inactive link on the menu at the top of the page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins From Your WP Dashboard

Select all of the plugins you want to delete by either placing a tick next to their checkbox, or click on the check box next to the Plugin column header to select and delete all inactive plugins …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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 sure that you would like to go ahead and remove all of the selected plugins …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

WordPress Management Tools For WP Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a number of third-party tools to manage your WordPress plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Management 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 Dashboard and lets you update multiple plugins with one click …

Plugin For WordPress

For more details about this plugin, visit the plugin site:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

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

What if you run multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? Normally, you would need to login to every site and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s own dashboard. With multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite some time!

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

Below are a few WordPress management tools you can check out:

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

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

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

(Jetpack lets you access a 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 one dashboard.

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

Visit this site to download and use the plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP.com - Update All Your Blogs From One Central Dashboard

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

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

Visit this site to download and use this plugin:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Mass Control Plugin

WP Pipeline

(WP Pipeline lets you update all of your WordPress sites, plugins and themes from a central location)

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time purchase fee instead of monthly payments. It lets you manage your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple updates from a central location.

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

Congratulations! Now you know how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely in the WordPress dashboard without touching web code.

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.