How to Set Up Auto-updates for WordPress Plugins

March 26, 2021 / WordPress

This tutorial will explain how to set auto-updates for the plugins you use on your WordPress Website.

Why do I need auto-updates?

When developers release updated versions of plugins, it’s often because vulnerabilities have been discovered in older versions. The quicker you update, the sooner that vulnerability is removed. Not updating quickly leaves your site at risk of hacking or malware infection. Setting up auto-updates means you do not have to manually update your plugins every time a new version is released.

Should I use auto-updates on my site?

Auto-updates work fine with most sites. However, there is the potential that changes to the coding of a plugin can cause a software conflict that prevents your site from working properly. Though the chance of this is very small, it is important that you have a backup to restore your site to its earlier version should this happen.

Can I automate updates for all my plugins?  

You can choose which plugins you wish to auto-update. However, usually, you can only set auto-updates for plugins you have installed from the WordPress repository. Third-party plugins generally need to be manually updated, though some developers have set up auto-updates for their own plugins.

How to set up auto-updates for plugins in WordPress?

1. Log into your WordPress Admin Panel.

2. Navigate to Plugins > Installed Plugins.

3. On the Plugins page, go to the Bulk Actions dropdown menu and select the Enable Auto-updates option.

4. To enable Auto-updates for all plugins, click the Plugin checkbox at the top of your list of plugins. This will put a check in the boxes of all the plugins you have. Then click Apply.

5. To select individual plugins to auto-update, scroll through your list of plugins, and click on the checkbox of those you want auto-updates enabled. Then click Apply.

6. To check whether there are any problems, look at the links above the Bulk Actions box and click on the Auto-updates disabled link.

7. This will display all the plugins you have decided not to auto-update as well as any plugins for which auto-update is not an option, such as third-party plugins. Any plugins in this list will need to be manually updated.

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