How to Disable Automatic Updates in WordPress

Are you looking for a way to disable automatic updates in WordPress?

WordPress comes with a built-in automatic update feature for your website. In some cases, this can also include plugins and themes.

Despite the security benefits, there’s a possibility that these background upgrades will break your site.

In this post, We’ll show you how to disable automatic updates in WordPress with the plugin or without the plugin.

Why Disable Automatic Updates in WordPress?

WordPress sites are automatically updated whenever the WordPress team releases a security update. These upgrades are required because they help prevent your website from hackers.

However, automatic updates may do more harm than benefit your website in some cases. For example, if a plugin is dependent on a specific version of WordPress, an auto-update may break your website due to compatibility issues.

Although the WordPress team tests each update before releasing it to users, it is impossible to test every plugin or theme combination by every WordPress user. For example, the number of plugins on website A will differ from that on website B.

Because of this discrepancy, certain sites may have compatibility issues because the upgrades have not been thoroughly tested.

Another scenario can be seen on websites that use custom styles. An automatic update to your existing theme will override any adjustments you have made to your website.

This could cause your site’s design to break and negatively impact the user experience. Of course, if you use a child theme, you can avoid this.

Pros and Cons of Disabling WordPress Updates

Following are some of the pros and cons of disabling WordPress updates.

Pros of Disabling WordPress Auto Updates:

  • You have more control over updates to your website.
  • You can ensure that your plugins and themes are compatible with new updates, preventing site errors and broken functionality.
  • There’s no need to worried about theme and plugin updates overwriting any manual changes you’ve made.

Cons of Disabling WordPress Auto Updates:

  • You may miss crucial security updates, leaving your website vulnerable.
  • If you disable automatic updates, you’ll have to manually update your site, which can be time-consuming.

How to Disable WordPress Automatic Updates

There are two ways you can achieve this on your website. The first method is straightforward, using a WordPress plugin, while the second requires basic coding knowledge.

Disable Automatic Update in WordPress Using Plugin

On WordPress websites, there are plugins to handle almost any task or problem. As you may guess, several plugins are available to disable auto-update in WordPress.

In this guide, we will use the Easy Updates Manager plugin. This is a popular plugin tested with the latest WordPress version.

With this plugin, you can choose which updates to enable or disable. You have the option of disabling auto-updates for your plugins and themes or enabling them for minor core updates. It is entirely your decision.

First, install and activate the Easy Updates Manager plugin. For more in detail, see our guide on how to install a plugin in WordPress.

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

Easy Updates Manager Plugin Updates Settings

On the General tab, there is the option to Disable all updates on your website. By default, this option is enabled. If you disable this option, you will not get any notification whenever an update is available. We recommend not changing any setting here.

Instead, you should choose your preferred settings. You can disable plugin and theme auto-updates but keep the core WordPress auto-updates enabled.

Disabling Automatic Plugin and Theme Updates in Easy Updates Manager Plugin

Note: If you select ‘Disable plugin updates’ and ‘Disable theme updates’ rather than ‘Disable auto updates,’ you will not see any update notifications in your plugins or themes lists.

This plugin also contains a Logs section that keeps track of all of your website’s updates. This is helpful because you can use it to roll back updates that are incompatible with your site.

To view the setting, click on the Logs tab. If you complete any updates, the information will be logged here.

The Logs Tab of the Easy Updates Manager Plugin

Disable Automatic Update in WordPress Manually

Some WordPress users choose to solve tasks on their websites manually since it saves server resources.

If you don’t want to use a plugin to do this, you can use custom code to disable auto updates on your website.

Because this option needs changes to your site’s files on the server, we recommend you backup your site before proceeding. If anything goes wrong, you can always restore your changes.

To start, first, you need to open the wp-config.php file on your WordPress site. It’s in the root folder of your WordPress site, and you’ll need to use an FTP client to access it.

Now, open the wp-config.php file and copy and paste the code snippet below just before the line that reads “That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing”.

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );

Once finished, save your changes and re-upload your wp-config.php file to your server.

The code above will disable auto updates for WordPress core files. If you want to disable automatic updates for plugins and themes, you need to include an add_filter() function on your themes’ function.php file.

Manually Disable Automatic Updates for Themes and Plugins

Open the function.php file and copy and paste the below code snippet into it.

Disable automatic WordPress plugin updates:

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_false' );

Disable automatic WordPress theme updates:

add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_false' );

Conclusion – Should I Disable Automatic Updates In WordPress

There is no yes or no answer here. If you enable automatic updates on your site, it helps secure your WordPress site. However, if the upgrade is incompatible with your website, they may break it.

For small sites, automatic updates rarely cause any complications because your site has fewer plugins and files. Allowing automatic WordPress core updates in this situation is a good choice because it saves you time.

Larger sites with more files and plugins may experience issues such as the White Screen of Death if an automatic update is incompatible with some of the plugins on your website.

Manually testing these updates in a staging environment allows you to find and fix any issues before deploying them to your live site.

So, if you want to disable automatic WordPress updates on your website, we’ve shown you two simple ways to do so.

Keep in mind that this means you’ll have to manually inspect, test, and update your site every time WordPress releases a new version.

This can be time-consuming and annoying, especially if you run multiple websites.

We hope this post helps you learn how to disable automatic updates in WordPress. For your next steps, you’ll find these resources helpful: