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Disable Automatic Updates in WordPress

Automatic updates in WordPress help ensure that your site is running the latest version, including security patches and new features. However, there might be situations where you want to disable automatic updates, especially if you prefer to control when and how updates are applied.

In this document, we’ll discuss what WordPress automatic updates are and why you might want to disable automatic WordPress updates.

Then, with the help of code and a simple plugin, we’ll show you how to disable automatic updates.

What Are WordPress Automatic Updates?

WordPress automatic updates allows your website to automatically check for and install updates. This includes security updates for the core WordPress software, as well as updates for plugins and themes to address potential security risks.

While automatic updates aim to save time and effort by handling the update process for you, sometimes you find them time-consuming and may prefer manual updates.

Manually updating allows you to retain control over how upgrades are implemented and ensures your presence if any issues arise during the process.

Why Disable Automatic WordPress Updates?

Automated updates in WordPress, while generally reliable, can cause serious problems, such as the rare but impactful risk of causing your website to crash. This is more likely with major updates and can impose compatibility issues between your plugins, themes, WordPress Core, and any code modifications you’ve made. In such cases, having a backup to restore your website is crucial.

Sometimes, these updates add new features that may not align with your specific needs, disrupting your workflow. Customizing each element and feature to match your unique vision can become a time-consuming task.

How to Disable Automatic Updates in WordPress Using Plugin

You can disable automatic updates with the help of the Easy Updates Manager plugin.

For that, firstly you need to install and activate the plugin from Plugins → Add New Plugin section of WordPress dashboard.

Disable Automatic Updates

Once the plugin is activated, navigate to Dashboard → Updates Options to configure the settings.

Disable Automatic Updates

The Easy Updates Manager settings page will pop and if you want to turn off all updates, toggle the Disable all updates option.

Disable Automatic Updates

However, disabling all updates will prevent update notifications from appearing.

Instead, you can choose your preferred settings. You can disable plugin and theme auto-updates while enabling the core WordPress auto-updates.

Disable Automatic Updates

How to Disable Automatic Updates in WordPress Without Using a Plugin

To disable the automatic updates, you can add the following code snippet in the wp-config.php file.

define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, false );

WordPress will no longer automatically install updates. However, this only pertains to the core installation. If you wish to disable updates for plugins and themes, you can do so by adding the following filters to your theme’s functions.php file.

To access the functions.php file, navigate to Appearance → Theme Editor from your WordPress dashboard. Then, open the functions.php file from the list on the right.

To disable automatic plugin updates, add the following code.

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_false' );

To disable automatic updates for themes, add the following code.

add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_false' );

If you want to disable automatic updates to both your theme and any plugins, you need to add both lines.

Disable Automatic Updates

Please note that whether you use automatic or manual updates, keeping your site backed up regularly is important.

We hope this document has been helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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