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How to enable automatic updates of WordPress plugins

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Recently, one of our readers asked how to enable automatic updating of themes and plugins in WordPress. Many users find it easily annoying to always have to update yourself.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to enable automatic updates for WordPress plugins. We will also show you how to exclude certain plugins from automatic updates.

automatic update WordPress plugin

When and why should you activate WordPress plugin updates

By default WordPress can update automatically when a new minor version is available. For major releases, you must start the update yourself. You must also update the themes and plugins yourself.

Keeping your WordPress site up-to-date is crucial for the security and stability of your site. Discover why you should always use an updated version of WordPress.

Ditto for all plugins and themes installed on your site. You need to install updates to have new features and fixes.

However, you may have noticed that some of them are updated more frequently than others. This is the case of the most popular plugins are regularly updated.

WordPress update

Some users find it really annoying that every time when logging into the dashboard there is an update available for one or more plugins.

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This is the reason why some are looking to enable the automatic update option for WordPress plugins. This is exactly what we will do in this tutorial.

How to enable automatic update for all WordPress plugins

You can configure the automatic update, all you have to do is add the following code of a your WordPress plugin.

Add_filter ('auto_update_plugin', '__return_true');

This filter will allow WordPress to automatically update plugins when a new version is available. If you also want to automatically update your themes, you can add the following code:

Add_filter ('auto_update_plugin', '__return_true');

How to activate updates for certain WordPress plugins

If there are a few plugins that are updated more frequently, then you might just want to enable automatic updates for those plugins. Conversely, it may happen that you do not want to update some plugins.

Here's how you can include or exclude plugins from automatic updates.

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The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Automatic Updates plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on way to install a WordPress plugin.

After activating the plugin, you need to access this location " Settings »Automatic Plugin Updates To configure the plugin settings.

Selectives update plugins

You can select which plugins you don't want to update automatically. You can also enable email notifications for automatic updates. Once you are done, click on the "Save Changes" button to save your settings.

Se plugin will therefore be responsible for updating your plugins, but will not do it for the plugins you have selected.

Remark If you use this plugin, then you should not use the previous method with the filter.

How to revert to a previous version of a plugin after an update

Incompatibility with themes and plugins can cause serious problems on your blog. Even though multiple tests are often performed by plugin and theme authors, errors are not uncommon.

What you should always do to protect your blog is do regular backups. However, restoring your WordPress site from a backup can seem a lot more painful, especially when knowing which plugin or theme update is causing the problem. So it is easier to go back.

Here's how you can easily roll back after plugin updates. Just install and activate the plugin WP Rollback.

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After activation, return to the list of plugins for your blog. You will notice a new “Rollback” option on every plugin installed on your blog.

Rollback wordpress plugin

By clicking on Rollback, you can revert to a previous version of the plugin. This feature also works for themes. That's it for this tutorial, I hope it helps you enable automatic updates for your WordPress plugins. Feel free to share it with your friends on your favorite social networks.

This article features 5 comments

  1. Where do I add this line to do this update on my own?

    add_filter ('auto_update_theme', '__return_true');

  2. Hi
    You made a mistake in the code for the theme update.

    Esque you know how to have a success alert of plugin update in code?

    1. Hello,
      Indeed, the shortcode should be:

      add_filter ('auto_update_theme', '__return_true');

      We will correct this. For the return value after a plugin update, I'm not sure what code can do that. I'll do some research on it.

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