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How to Enable or Disable WordPress Automatic Update?

How to Enable or Disable WordPress Automatic Update?

As one of the most popular and widely-used content management systems, WordPress undergoes an uninterrupted process of update and refinement, with the aim to guarantee a high level of security and stability. Therefore, if you have built a website using WordPress, you need to always update it to the latest version. Otherwise, you may face some unwanted vulnerabilities and malicious hacking.

To simplify the upgrade process, WordPress developers has released a powerful feature of background update since the version of 3.7, which achieves the WordPress auto update for maintenance and safety. In the following, we’d like to show you how to handle this highlight in a right way.

Before Update

No matter when you want to update WordPress, you should back up your WordPress site, which helps you quickly and easily restore your site if there are any issues. If you are not clear, you can refer to this tutorial for detailed guidelines on how to complete this step.

Enable WordPress Automatic Update

In fact, whenever WordPress releases a new version, its developers will add some new features and use stronger codes. Thus, a new version tends to be more secure and easy-to-use. If you think updating WordPress site regularly is a waste of time, then, try the following method to make it automatic and labor-saving.

Update from Admin Area

In old WordPress versions, if WordPress releases its new version, there will always be a notification at the top of the admin area reading – Please Update Now. Then, you just click on the line and there is a page asking whether you want to update automatically or manually. Click on Automatically; then, the whole process will conduct itself. After the process is finished, your WordPress will be updated to the latest version.

Update WordPress

Update with Codes

As WordPress is based on PHP, of course, people can change things on it with codes. If users want to update their WordPress automatically when there are minor releases, major releases, or development builds, just add the following codes to WordPress wp-config.php file.

Update with Codes

Configure Automatic Update for Wanted Versions

If you are using a version higher than WordPress 3.7, then, congratulations, you don’t have to do the above jobs for the automatic minor updating function is build-in; what you need is just doing some subtle configurations.

ConfigureFor some people, they may just want to update a selected version of WordPress, but the above methods enable all updates, containing development builds, minor, and major. Therefore, we give some filters for those people to disable unwanted versions. Note that all following filters need to be placed in theme’s functions.php.

Disable development updates:

add_filter('allow_dev_auto_core_updates', '__return_false');

Disable minor updates:

add_filter('allow_minor_auto_core_updates', '__return_false');

Disable major updates:

add_filter('allow_major_auto_core_updates', '__return_false');

Install Related WordPress Plugin

The last method for update automation is to install the WordPress plugin to your website. Here, we highly recommend Advanced Automatic Updates. This plugin allows you make some configurations on the default WordPress feature of update. For instance, when you decide the update of WordPress core, you can choose between the major version and the minor version. In addition, you can also decide whether to update your themes and plugins automatically.

Generally, this tool can send you a message via email to inform you of the update as well as the debug information, and you can even configure for this aspect based on your ultimate needs and convenience.

Advanced Automatic Updates

Disable WordPress Automatic Update

Firstly, for security concern, our editors strongly recommend all readers to keep the function to update WordPress automatically. However, everything in the world has exceptions. Under special circumstances, users want to disable WordPress auto update.

For example, a site owner may want to be hands-on, controlling the update pace on your own. Some others may utilize a lot of plugins, then, unprepared update may cause problems with site performance because some plugins may not support for the new WordPress version. Therefore, those people need to disable WordPress automatic update. In general, there are two methods to achieve this – codes and plugins.

Turn off with Codes

Disabling WordPress automatic update with codes is extremely easy and what you need to do is just copy the following codes and paste them to the WordPress wp-config.php file.


You can also achieve this by making use of the following filter.

Disable all updates:


Disable minor updates:

add_filter('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false);

Once you have done the work, your WordPress will never upgrade automatically again; but you’ll still receive the notification when the CMS releases a new version.

Turn off with Plugins

If you consider the whole process with codes is tedious and hard, then, you can ask help from WordPress official site that offers all kinds of plugins. Of course, there are a bunch of disable updates plugins. We carefully choose two popular and easy-to-use ones including Disable Updates Manager and Disable All WordPress Updates. Both of them can help users turn off WordPress automatically update.

Disable Updates Manager


Lucy has been a very experienced SEOer, technical writer, web developer, c# developer since 2002. Now she owns a startup in San Francisco, CA, focusing on running a couple of blogs to share knowledge and experience with global readers and deliver exceptional results to global sponsors by leveraging the power of Internet.