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 PluginsIn another post, we provide a detailed explanation of what WP plugins are about and how you can use plugins to easily add new features or functionality to your website or blog with no technical skills required.

You can read the article here:

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to easily update and delete your WordPress plugins, and some great tips to help you better manage your plugins.

How To Update And Delete WordPress Plugins

Why Your WordPress Plugins Need Upgrading

WordPress frequently updates its software (about every 3-4 months) to fix bugs and address security issues and vulnerabilities discovered in older versions, as well as to improve existing features.

Depending on how many plugins you have installed on your site, there will typically be new updates for plugins each time a new WordPress version is released.

This is because most plugins for WordPress are created by third-party developers, so sometimes code in the newly-released WordPress version conflict with plugins that were created and tested to work with a previous version. When this happens, problems can sometimes occur.

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 have to do as a website owner, is keep your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon learn, is really simple and easy to do.

Important

Keeping your plugins up-to-date and removing old plugins you no longer use is part of good WordPress site management and helps to avoid potential conflicts and errors.

The WordPress tutorial below explains how to update and delete plugins safely with no web coding knowledge or skills necessary.

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress uses a few methods to notify users when plugins need to be updated.

For example, you can immediately see how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your Administration panel just by looking at the “Plugins” menu.

In the example below, nine WP plugins need updating …

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete WordPress Plugins In The Dashboard

You can also see how many plugins need to be updated from your WP Administration Toolbar (as shown below, 9 plugins need to be updated) …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely Inside Your WP Admin 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 individually or in bulk …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WP Dashboard

Let’s start by showing you how to update WP plugins individually.

Update WordPress Plugins One At A Time

Warning

We strongly recommend performing a backup of your site files and database before upgrading your website.

In your dashboard menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins

You will be taken to the “Plugins” page. The table of plugins can flow down your screen for a while, depending on how many plugins you have added to your site …

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From The Dashboard

(Plugins Page)

Practical Tip

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely

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

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

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

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside Your WordPress Dashboard

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

WordPress provides faster plugin updating, so that updating your plugins takes place with just “one click” without leaving your Plugins area …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

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

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Now that you know how to upgrade plugins individually, let’s show you how to bulk-update WP plugins.

Bulk-Updating Plugins

To bulk-upgrade plugins simultaneously using the automatic upgrading feature, go to the “Plugins” section and click on the Update Available link on the menu at the top of the page …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Click the checkbox 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 …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely From Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Click Apply

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely In The Dashboard

The plugins you have selected will automatically begin to update …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Inside The Dashboard

After all plugins have been updated, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins screen, or visit a different section of your dashboard …

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

Once all plugins are up-to-date, the plugin notifications 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 Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

All plugins have now been updated!

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In WordPress

(When your site or blog uses the latest version of all plugins, notification icons no longer show)

Now that you know how to update in your admin dashboard, let’s show you how to remove plugins safely from your WordPress site or blog.

How To Safely Delete WP Plugins

Occasionally, you may choose to remove WP plugins that are no longer needed or being used on your site. This helps to decrease resource usage and help to minimize potential problems.

In this section, we show you how to safely remove 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 restore your site.

To delete a plugin, go to your dashboard menu and choose Plugins > Installed Plugins

How To Automatically Upgrade And Delete Plugins

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

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

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely From The WordPress Admin Dashboard

If the plugin is active, click on Deactivate before going any further …

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

Next, click on Delete

Updating And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely From Your Dashboard

If you would like 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 …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting WordPress Plugins Safely

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The WP Admin Dashboard

Your plugin(s) will be deleted …

How To Update And Delete Plugins

Deleting Several Plugins In Bulk

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

Important

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 check box, or selecting the checkbox next to the Plugin column header to select all plugins (warning: this will deactivate all plugins) …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Inside The WP Dashboard

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

Updating And Deleting Plugins

Click Apply

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins Safely Inside Your Dashboard

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

How To Upgrade And Delete Plugins Safely

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 From Your 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 In WordPress

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

How To Update And Delete Plugins Safely In WordPress

Click the Apply button …

Updating And Deleting Plugins Safely In Your Dashboard

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

Upgrading And Deleting Plugins Safely In WordPress

Your selected plugins will be deleted …

How To Automatically Update And Delete Plugins

Managing WordPress Plugins – WordPress Tools

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

PLUGIN CENTRAL

Plugin Central - WP Plugin

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

Plugin Central - WordPress Plugin

For more details about using this plugin, go here:

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

Whenever plugin developers release a new plugin update, the best practice is to update the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you run multiple WordPress sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to each site individually and then go through the plugin update process from that site’s dashboard. With multiple sites, this process can take quite some time to complete!

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

Below are a few WordPress management tools you can look at:

Jetpack Plugin By WordPress.com

Jetpack Manage

The Jetpack plugin is a single WordPress plugin that provides users with a wide range of features, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of stats reporting, easy social sharing, and so much more.

Jetpack Manage

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

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage allows you to manage multiple self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from a central dashboard.

With Manage, you can upgrade plugins, set plugins to update automatically, and activate or deactivate plugins on a per-site basis or in bulk, whether you’re on your computer, tablet, or smart device.

To download and use the plugin, visit this site:

ManageWP – WordPress Management Software

ManageWP.com - Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

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

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

Go here to download the plugin:

WP Pipeline

WP Pipeline

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

WP Pipeline works in a similar way to ManageWP, but has a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you manage your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple updates from one central WordPress installation.

To learn more about using the plugin, go here:

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