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Disable Automatic Updates in WordPress Core

Disable Automatic Updates in WordPress Core

Did you know that WordPress can automatically update your website? In some cases, that can include plugins and themes too.

Despite the security benefits, there is a slight chance that these background updates can break your website.

In this article, we will show you how to disable automatic updates in WordPress, so you can manually update on your own.

Why WordPress Updates Automatically

WordPress automatically updates the core WordPress software for security reasons.

Sometimes, it may also update a plugin or theme to fix a potential threat. For instance, a WordPress plugin or theme might be updated to remove a critical vulnerability. If that plugin or theme is used by a lot of websites, WordPress core team may push out an automatic update for that.

There is an option to enable automatic updates in WordPress. However, we recommend that you keep automatic updates enabled because they usually address crucial security issues and vulnerabilities.

If you’re confident that you can manage manual updates yourself, then you can safely disable 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.

Disable Automatic Updates in WordPress Core

You can choose to ‘Disable all updates’, but we don’t recommend this option. Primarily because it’ll prevent all update notifications from appearing.

Note: If you choose ‘Disable plugin updates’ and ‘Disable theme updates’ instead of ‘Disable auto updates’, then you won’t even see the update notifications in your plugins and themes lists.

Easy Updates Manager keeps a log of what’s updated, so if anything does break on your site, you can rollback to a previous working version. 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 wp-config.php file:

define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false);

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:

add_filter('auto_update_plugin', '__return_false');

Disable automatic WordPress theme updates:

add_filter('auto_update_theme', '__return_false');

We hope this article helped you learn how to disable 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.

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Written by

Devid Cols

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