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 Upgrade And Delete PluginsIn another article, we explain what plugins are and how you can use these to expand your web site’s functionality.

To view this article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn the importance of keeping your plugins up-to-date, how to automatically update and uninstall your WordPress plugins, and discover some tools to help you better manage your plugins if you currently run multiple WordPress sites or blogs.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Your Plugins Need To Be Frequently 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 previous releases, and to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, you can expect to see at least some new new update notifications for WordPress plugins each time a new WordPress version is announced.

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

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are fairly 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 really simple, quick and easy to do.

Important

Keeping your plugins regularly updated and removing old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress management and helps to avoid any errors and problems.

The tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins from the dashboard without touching web code.

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From Your WP Admin Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress uses a few ways to inform users when plugins need updating.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins need updating as soon as you log into your Admin area just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the screenshot below, you can see that nine plugins are out of date and need to be updated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

The Plugins screen (Plugins > Installed Plugins) also tells you what plugins need to be updated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

Updating WordPress Plugins One At A Time

Warning

We strongly recommend making a backup of your site files and database before making any updates to your blog or website.

In your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

You will be taken to the “Plugins” area. The page can be quite lengthy depending on how many plugins you have installed in your site …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

(The WordPress Plugins Section)

Practical Tip

Useful Info:

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 screen and type in a smaller number of items per page (all plugins show up 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 pagination feature added. You can find an installed plugin by scrolling through the pages or using the “Search” function …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Locate the plugin that needs to be updated and click on the update now link …

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

WordPress provides smooth & simple plugin updates, so that updating your plugins takes place with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins screen …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Repeat this process for all plugins on your site that need to be updated, or refer to the section below if you have a number of plugins that are out-of-date and would like to update them all at once.

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Now that you know how to update one plugin at a time, let’s show you how to bulk-upgrade plugins.

How To Update Multiple Plugins

To update multiple plugins in one go using the automatic updating feature, go to the “Plugins” screen and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click on 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 its box …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

In the Bulk Actions dropdown menu above the plugin table, choose Update

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

And then click Apply

How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

Your selected plugins will begin updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

Once all updates have been completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to go back to the Plugins area, or go to a different section of your dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your WP Admin Dashboard

Once all plugins are 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” messages no longer display) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your Dashboard

All plugins have now been updated!

Updating And Deleting Plugins

(When your plugins are all up-to-date, the notification icons do not display)

Now that you know how to update plugins, let’s show you how to safely delete plugins from your blog or website.

Deleting WordPress Plugins

Occasionally, you may want to remove WP plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to decrease server resources and eliminate potential problems.

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

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 main menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

In the Plugins screen, find the plugin you want to remove 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 …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside The Dashboard

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

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

Click on Delete

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

If you would like to have a look at all the files that will be deleted before going ahead with the next step, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” section …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins From The Dashboard

All files belonging to the plugin selected for removalwill be listed on your screen …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside The WP Admin Dashboard

Your plugin(s) will be deleted …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The WordPress Dashboard

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 cleared.

Important

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 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 Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

Click the Apply button …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deactivated …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your 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

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins From Your WP Admin Dashboard

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 certain that you want to proceed to the next step and delete all of the selected plugins …

Updating And Deleting Plugins In The WP Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

Managing WP Plugins

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install a range of tools to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that helps you manage your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on your Admin area and also allows you to update multiple plugins with a single click …

Plugin For WordPress

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

As discussed earlier, when plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to upgrde that plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to your sites one by one and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. If you have to update plugins on multiple sites, this process can take quite a while!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you manage multiple WordPress sites, you can install, update and remove plugins on all of your sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

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

Jetpack Manage

Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin is a multifunctional WordPress plugin that offers users a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site owners to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, easy social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack Manage - Single WordPress Dashboard Management

(Jetpack lets you access a range of powerful WordPress.com features)

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites and plugins from a single interface.

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 computer, tablet, or smart device.

To learn more about using the plugin, go here:

ManageWP

ManageWP - WordPress Management Software

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

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

To download the plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline - WordPress Management Software

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but sells for a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you manage your entire portfolio of WordPress sites and perform multiple upgrades from one single WP installation.

For more information about the plugin, visit this site:

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

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.