How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your DashboardIn another post, we explain what plugins are and how you can use plugins to easily add new features to your website or blog without editing code.

To view this article, go here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to update and delete plugins from your site, and practical tips to help you better manage your plugins.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Many WordPress Plugins Need Updating

New WordPress versions are constantly being released (about every three to four months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities found in earlier versions, 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 updates for WordPress plugins each time a new version of WordPress is made available.

The reason for this, is because most plugins for WordPress are created by external developers, so sometimes the code in the new WordPress version conflicts with plugins that were created and tested to work with 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 required). All you need to do on your end, is just keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really quick, simple and easy to do.

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

The tutorial below explains how to automatically upgrade and delete plugins safely with no web programming knowledge or skills needed.

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The Dashboard – Tutorial

WordPress provides a few ways to let you know when plugins on your blog need updating.

For example, you can see ‘at a glance’ how many plugins are out-of-date from your Administration area by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, nine plugins have older versions that need to be updated …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

You can also view how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Administration Toolbar (the example below shows that a number of plugins should be updated) …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

In addition to providing information about plugins that have updates available, the Plugins page provides links to the plugin developer sites and gives you the option to update your plugins instantly …

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Update WordPress Plugins One At A Time

Warning

We recommend performing a complete backup of your site files and database before making any changes to your website or blog.

In your admin menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely

You will be taken to the “Plugins” screen. This page can be quite long depending on how many plugins you have added to your site …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

(Plugins Page)

Practical Tip

Notes:

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Your Plugins area 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 In WordPress

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

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

How To Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In Your Dashboard

Repeat the above process for any other plugins on your site that need to be updated, or see the section below if you have many 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 upgrade individual WP plugins, let’s show you how to update several WordPress plugins simultaneously.

How To Bulk-Update Plugins

To bulk-update plugins from your admin area, go to the “Plugins” section and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard

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

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins

And then click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your selected plugins will automatically begin to update …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

After all 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 main menu …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

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

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

Deleting Plugins

At times, you may decide to remove WP plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This can help conserve resource usage and also help to minimize problems.

In this section, you will learn how to safely delete unused plugins from your WordPress 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 delete a plugin, go to your dashboard menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click Delete

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

If you need to browse 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 WordPress Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins From Your WP Admin Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

How To Safely Bulk-Delete Plugins

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

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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) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Click Apply

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In Your WP Dashboard

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete WordPress Plugins Safely In The WordPress Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want to delete, specify Delete from the Bulk Actions drop-down menu …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Click the Apply button …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

A list of all selected plugins will show up 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 …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your WP Dashboard

Your selected plugins will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete Plugins In WordPress

WordPress Plugin Management – Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can install Free and Premium WordPress plugins to manage your plugins.

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Management Plugin For WordPress

Plugin Central is a Free WordPress plugin that 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 many plugins at once with a single mouse-click …

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

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 WordPress sites using the same plugin? Typically, you would need to login to each site individually and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own WP admin dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite a while!

WordPress Power User Tip: If you own a number of WordPress sites, you can install, upgrade and remove plugins on multiple sites automatically and simultaneously using various WordPress management tools.

Here are a couple of WordPress management tools you can check out:

Jetpack By WordPress.com

Jetpack By WordPress.com - WordPress Plugin

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 many other great features.

Jetpack Manage

(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 from a central interface.

With Manage, you can update 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 computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Go here to download and use the plugin:

ManageWP.com

ManageWP

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

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

To download and use this plugin, visit this site:

WP Pipeline – WordPress Mass Control Plugin

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline is very similar to ManageWP, but has 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 a single location.

Visit this site to learn more about using this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and safely remove your plugins in WordPress.

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"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie

Originally published as How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins.