Did you know that WordPress can update your website automatically? In some cases, this may also include plugins and themes.
Despite the security advantages, there is a small chance that these background updates will break your website.
In this article, we’ll show you how to disable automatic updates in WordPress so that you can update manually.
Why WordPress Updates Automatically
WordPress automatically updates the core WordPress software for security reasons.
It may also update a plugin or theme to address a potential security risk. A WordPress plugin or theme, for example, might be updated to fix a serious flaw. If a plugin or theme is widely used, the WordPress core team may provide an automated update for it.
There is an option to enable automatic updates in WordPress. Automatic updates, on the other hand, are recommended because they usually address critical security issues and vulnerabilities.
If you’re confident in your ability to manage manual updates, you can safely turn off automatic updates in WordPress.
Configuring and Disabling Automatic WordPress Updates
The easiest way to do this is by installing and activating the Easy Updates Manager plugin. If you’re not sure how to do that, take a look at our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Once the plugin is activated, go to Dashboard » Updates Options to configure your settings.
You can choose to ‘Disable all updates,’ but this is not something we encourage. The reason for this is that it will prevent all update alerts from displaying.
Note: You won’t see the update notifications in your plugins and themes lists if you choose ‘Disable plugin updates’ and ‘Disable theme updates’ instead of ‘Disable auto-updates.’
Easy Updates Manager maintains track of what’s been changed, so you can revert to a previous functioning version if something goes wrong. To view this, go to Dashboard » Updates Options and then click the ‘Logs’ tab.
Disabling Automatic WordPress Updates Without Using a Plugin
What if you don’t want to use a plugin? You can disable automatic updates in WordPress by adding this line of code in your
This will disable all automatic WordPress updates.
Important: Make sure you read our article on how to safely edit the wp-config.php file in WordPress with step-by-step instructions.
If you want to receive minor core updates, but disable theme and plugin updates, you can do so by adding the following filters in your theme’s functions.php file or in a site-specific plugin.
Disable automatic WordPress plugin updates:
Disable automatic WordPress theme updates:
We hope that this post has shown you how to turn off automatic updates in WordPress.
Whether you’re using automatic or manual updates, it’s crucial to make sure you have regular backups of your site. Take a look at our comparison of the best WordPress backup plugins and our guide on how to restore your WordPress site from a backup.
How to disable automatic updates for WordPress plugins (UI)
Add the following filter to your site to disable the UI portion (link) of the WordPress dashboard for automatic plugin updates. The free Code Snippets plugin is recommended. You can also include it in the functions.php file of your website.
add_filter( 'plugins_auto_update_enabled', '__return_false' );
How to disable automatic updates for WordPress themes
Add the following filter to your site to disable the UI part (link) of the WordPress dashboard for automatic theme upgrades. The free Code Snippets plugin is recommended. You can also include it in the functions.php file of your website.
add_filter( 'themes_auto_update_enabled', '__return_false' );
Disable all automatic updates
Add the following to your wp-config.php file to prevent WordPress auto-updates for all aspects of your site. Note: If you don’t keep up with your updates and maintain eyes on everything, I don’t advocate this strategy.
define( 'automatic_updater_disabled', true );
Disable only core updates
Some hosting companies may automatically update core after a period of time. You may prevent this by including the following code in your wp-config.php file.
define( 'wp_auto_update_core', false );
Only minor updates (WordPress 5.5.1, 5.5.2, etc.) are applied automatically if you use a WordPress hosting service like Kinsta (WordPress 5.5, 5.6, etc.). Minor updates aren’t normally responsible for breaking sites, and you’ll still get security fixes, so this is one of the most popular options. After using the staging environment to test it, you can manually update major releases.