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How to Disable Automatic Updates in WordPress


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Did you know that WordPress can update your website for you? This can include plugins and themes in some cases.

Despite the security benefits, these background updates have a small chance of breaking your website.

We’ll show you how to disable automatic updates in WordPress in this article so you can update manually.

Why Should You Update Your WordPress Site?

WordPress updates the core WordPress software automatically for security reasons.

It may also update a plugin or theme to address a potential security risk. A WordPress plugin or theme, for example, could be updated to fix a critical flaw. If a plugin or theme is widely used, the WordPress core team may release an automatic update for it.

Except in those cases, WordPress allows you to choose when you want to install updates.

Turning off automatic WordPress updates is not recommended. They’re a crucial safety feature.

Updates, on the other hand, can occasionally break or affect the functionality of your website. It’s possible that you’ll lose business and customers as a result of this.

You can safely disable automatic updates in WordPress if you’re confident in your ability to manage manual updates.

Automatic WordPress Updates: Configuring and Disabling

Installing and activating the Easy Updates Manager plugin is the simplest way to do this. Take a look at our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin if you’re not sure how.

After you’ve activated the plugin, go to Dashboard » Updates Options to customize your settings.

You can choose to ‘Disable all updates,’ but this is not something we recommend. The reason for this is that it will prevent all update notifications from appearing.

Instead, you should choose your preferred settings. You can turn off plugin and theme auto-updates while keeping the core WordPress auto-updates enabled.

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Note: If you select ‘Disable plugin updates’ as well as ‘Disable theme updates’ rather than ‘Disable auto updates,’ the update notifications in your plugins and also themes lists will be hidden.

Easy Updates Manager keeps track of what’s been changed, so you can revert to a previous working version if something goes wrong. Go to Dashboard » Updates Options and then to the ‘Logs’ tab to see this.

There’s also a paid version of Easy Updates Manager that comes with a slew of extra features. It integrates with UpdraftPlus, for example, so you can run an automatic backup of your site before applying updates.

Using a Plugin to Disable Automatic WordPress Updates

If you don’t want to use a plugin, what options do you have? By adding this line of code to your wp-config.php file, you can disable automatic updates in WordPress.

1define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );

All automatic WordPress updates will be disabled as a result of this.

Important: Please read our article for step-by-step instructions on how to safely edit the wp-config.php file in WordPress.

You can disable theme and plugin updates while receiving minor core updates by adding the following filters to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

Disable automatic plugin updates in WordPress:

  1. ‘auto update plugin’, ‘__return false’); add filter(‘auto update plugin’, ‘__return false’);

Disable WordPress theme updates automatically:

  1. ‘auto update theme’, ‘__return false’; add filter(‘auto update theme’, ‘__return false’);

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Automatic WordPress Updates

Now that you know how to turn off automatic updates, should you? There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and it is entirely dependent on you and your website.

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We’ve disabled automatic plugin and theme updates on our sites, but we’ve left minor core updates enabled.

Let’s look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of automatic updates. You can then choose whether or not to disable auto-updates on your site.

The Benefits of Automatic WordPress Updates

WordPress security benefits greatly from automatic updates. Many users overlook updating their plugins or their WordPress installation as a whole.

You won’t have to worry about updating your site if WordPress releases a minor update if you have automatic WordPress updates enabled. These are pushed out for the sake of maintenance and security.

Automatic updates were previously only available if you paid for managed WordPress hosting. They’re now available to everyone (at least for minor releases).

You also know that if WordPress or a popular plugin has a critical security flaw, WordPress will automatically update. Your site will remain secure even if you are busy or away from home.

Automatic updates can save you a lot of time if you have a lot of sites. Even if you only have one site, you might prefer the peace of mind that comes with knowing WordPress is in charge.

Automatic Updates in WordPress Have Drawbacks

The WordPress core team, which is in charge of releasing updates, ensures that everything goes smoothly.

Automatic updates, on the other hand, have a small chance of breaking your site. Minor releases have yet to break any of our sites in our experience.

This is due to the fact that we are following best practices and not altering any core files. If you make changes to the core files of WordPress, these automatic updates may override them.

If WordPress ever feels compelled to release a security update for a theme you’re using, there’s a chance it’ll break your site. This is especially true if you’ve changed your theme’s files.

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Automatic plugin updates may also cause your site to malfunction. There are simply too many factors to consider, such as server environments and plugin combinations.

It’s important to note that the vast majority of websites will not be affected by these changes. Nonetheless, you may feel hesitant to take the risk.

Another disadvantage is that you may not always receive an automatic notification when your site is updated.

Should I Turn Off WordPress Updates Automatically?

Essentially, the decision is yours to make.

Automatic updates are safe for most beginners and the vast majority of WordPress websites, and you should not disable them.

You can safely turn off automatic updates if you run an online store or don’t want to lose business due to a broken site.

Still, to ensure your website’s security, make sure you manually install those updates on a regular basis.

We hope that this article has shown you how to turn off automatic updates in WordPress.

Whether you use automatic or manual updates, it’s critical to keep your site backed up on a regular basis. Check out our roundup of the best WordPress backup plugins.

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