WordPress Auto Updates

Learn how to configure or disable WordPress auto updates

In WordPress 3.7 a new feature was introduced to the core functionality of the application - the automatic updates. In this tutorial we will do our best to explain you the way those auto updates work, how to configure them and how to completely disable WordPress auto updates in case you want to handle them manually.

Default auto update configuration

By default, from version 3.7 and above, your WordPress site will update itself when a new minor or security update is released. This means, that if you're on WordPress 3.7.0 and version 3.7.1 is released the application will auto update itself. On the other hand, if WordPress 3.8 is released (a major version) by default you will have to update to it manually.

ImportantIf you are using version control system, WordPress will disable its auto updates. Currently, it will check if you're using Subversion, Git, Mercurial, or Bazaar.

How to enable major release updates

If you want the WordPress auto updates to handle major core updates too, you will have to add a single configuration line. To do this, open the wp-config.php file in the root folder of your WordPress installation and add this line to it:

define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true);

How to enable plugins updates

If you want your plugins to be automatically updated by WordPress when a new version is released, you need to add a line to your wp-config.php file, similar to the one above. This time, however, a filter is used for enabling the plugin auto updates:

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );

How to enable themes updates

If you want WordPress to handle themes updates you need another line added to the wp-config.php file:

add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );
NoteThis will work only if your theme is downloaded from the official WordPress repository. If you're using a paid theme for example, or you've downloaded your theme from a designer's website it will not update automatically when new version is released.

How to disable core auto updates but enable plugins and themes auto updates

If you want to stop the autoupdates of the WordPress core, but to enable them for your Plugins and/or Themes, you can add these lines in the wp-config.php file:

Stop the core auto updates:
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );
Then Enable the plugins/themes:
add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );
add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );

How to completely disable the WordPress auto updates

If you want to disable the WordPress auto updates completely, open the wp-config.php file and add this line to it:

define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );
ImportantIf you disable WordPress auto updates completely, that will disable both plugins, themes and core auto updates no mater what configurations you've made for themes or plugins.

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