Upgrading And Deleting Plugins In The WordPress Admin Dashboard

In a separate article, we provide a detailed explanation of what plugins are about and how you can use plugins to easily increase your website’s capabilities.

To view this article, go here: Using WP Plugins To Enhance Your Site’s Capabilities

In this tutorial you will learn why plugins need to be kept up-to-date, how to safely update and uninstall plugins from your site, and some great tips to help you better manage your plugins if you plan to own or manage multiple WordPress sites.

Why Some Plugins Need To Be Regularly Upgraded

The WordPress software is regularly updated (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 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 developed and tested with a previous version. Whenever this happens, there is a potential for problems to sometimes occur.

Fortunately, most WordPress plugin developers (and the WordPress developer community itself) are quite proactive when it comes to making sure that plugins get updated when a new version of WordPress is released (if this is required). All you have to do on your end, is maintain your plugins up-to-date, which, as you will soon discover, is very quick, simple and easy to do.


Keeping your plugins regularly updated and deleting old plugins you no longer need is part of good WordPress management and helps to avoid any potential errors or conflicts.

The WordPress step-by-step tutorial below explains how to automatically update and delete plugins safely in the WordPress dashboard without requiring coding knowledge or skills.

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How To Update And Delete Plugins In Your Dashboard – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress employs several ways to let you know when your plugins need updating.

For example, you can tell immediately how many plugins are out-of-date as soon as you log into your WordPress Dashboard just by looking at the main “Plugins” menu.

For example, in the screenshot below, 9 WP plugins have older versions that need updating …

You can also view how many plugins need to be updated from your WordPress Admin Toolbar (in the example below, you can see how many plugins need updating) …

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

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

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

How To Upgrade Plugins Individually


We recommend performing a backup of your site files and database before updating your website or blog.

From your main menu, select Plugins > Installed Plugins

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

(WordPress Plugins Screen)

Practical Tip

Useful Info:

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 (all plugins show up on the screen by default, i.e. “999”), then click Apply …

Your Plugins section 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 “Search Plugins” field …

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

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

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

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

Repeat the above process for all plugins on your site that need to be updated, or refer to the section below if you have several plugins that are out-of-date and would like to upgrade them all in bulk.


Now that you know how to update one plugin at a time, it’s time to learn how to upgrade many WP plugins simultaneously.

Bulk-Upgrading WP Plugins

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

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

In the Bulk Actions drop down menu above the plugin table, select Update

Click Apply

Your selected plugins will begin to update automatically …

After all updates have been completed, you can click on the Return to Plugins page link to return to your Plugins section, or choose another option from the admin menu …

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) …

All plugins are now up-to-date!

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

Now that you know how to automatically update plugins, it’s time to learn how to safely delete plugins safely from your site or blog.

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How To Safely Delete Plugins

As part of good WordPress management, it’s a good idea to remove plugins that you no longer plan to use. This helps to conserve resources on your server and also help to minimize potential problems.

In this section, we show you how to remove unused plugins from your site or blog.


Always create 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 remove a plugin, go to your WP admin menu and select Plugins > Installed Plugins

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

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

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

Click on Delete

If you need to have a look at all the files that will be deleted before taking the next step, then click on the “Click to view entire list of files which will be deleted” link in the “Delete Plugin” screen …

All files associated with the plugin selected for removalwill display on your screen …

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

Your plugins and related files will be removed from your WordPress installation …

Deleting Several WordPress Plugins At Once

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

Important Info

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) …

Next, specify Deactivate from the Bulk Actions drop down menu …

Click Apply

All selected plugins will be deactivated …

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

Click on the checkbox in the Plugin column header to select all plugins at once, or select each plugin you want to delete by checking its box …

Once you have ticked all the check boxes next to the plugins that you want deleted, choose Delete from the Bulk Actions pull-down menu …

Click Apply

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 would like to proceed to the next step and remove all of the selected plugins …

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

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Managing WordPress Plugins – Useful WordPress Tools

In addition to the methods shown above, you can use WordPress plugins to manage your WordPress plugins.

For example, Plugin Central helps you manage your plugins with options that let you install plugins directly, displays the status of plugins in need of update on the WordPress Dashboard and also allows you to update multiple plugins with a single mouse-click …

To learn more about using this plugin, visit the plugin site: Plugin Central – WordPress Plugin

Managing WordPress Plugins On Multiple Sites

When a plugin update is released, the best practice is to update the plugin as soon as possible.

What if you have multiple sites using the same plugin? One option, is to login to each site individually and then update the plugin manually from that site’s own WP dashboard. If you plan to manage multiple sites, updating the same plugin(s) can take quite a while!

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

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

Jetpack Manage – Single WP Dashboard Management

Jetpack is a versatile WordPress plugin that offers users a wide range of added functionality, allowing self-hosted WordPress site users to access WordPress.com’s infrastructure and take advantage of things like robust stats, automated social sharing, and a whole lot more.

(The Jetpack Plugin gives you access to range of powerful WordPress.com features)

One of these features is “Manage”.

Jetpack Manage lets you manage your self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites from one simple interface.

With Manage, you can update plugins, set plugins to update automatically, and activate or deactivate plugins on a site-by-site basis or all at once, whether you’re on your PC, tablet, or smart phone.

Visit this site to download this plugin: Jetpack Manage – Single WordPress Dashboard Management

ManageWP.com (this is the service I personally use)

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

ManageWP lets you manage all your sites from one central location, including updates, backups, security and more. The application features easy and intuitive one-click management and instant login to all of your WordPress sites.

For more information about using the plugin, go here: ManageWP

WP Pipeline – Multiple WordPress Site Management Software

(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 has a one-time license fee instead of recurring payments. It lets you control and organize your entire online WordPress presence and perform multiple upgrades from a single location.

Visit this site to download this plugin: WP Pipeline

Congratulations! Now you know how to update and safely delete your plugins.


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More articles you will find interesting…

Useful Guide to Understanding Plugins

DIY Guide to Launching Your Own WordPress Site

Your WordPress Dashboard Explained

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