How to configure or Disable WordPress auto updates

By default, from version 3.7 and above, your WordPress site will do an automatic update when a new security or minor update is released.

This means, that if you’re on WordPress 3.8.0 and version 3.8.1 is released your site will auto update itself. On the other hand, if WordPress 3.9 is released (a major version) by default you will have to update it manually.

However, the truth is that sometimes things don’t go as planned especially if you have heavily customized website with a millions of plugins. If this is a case we strongly suggest that you disable auto-updates for the core, themes, plugins and do all of the updates manually one by one! Looks time-consuming, well it is a hell of a lot better than having your clients website crashed.

How to completely disable the WordPress auto updates

If you want to disable the WordPress auto updates completely, open the wp-config.php file and add this line to it:


How to enable plugins updates

If you want your plugins to be automatically updated by WordPress when a new version is released, you need to add a line to your wp-config.php file, similar to the one above. This time, however, a filter is used for enabling the plugin auto updates:

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );

How to enable themes updates

If you want WordPress to handle themes updates you need another line added to the wp-config.php file:

add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );

How to enable major release updates

If you want the WordPress auto updates to handle major core updates too, you will have to add a single configuration line. To do this, open the wp-config.php file in the root folder of your WordPress installation and add this line to it:

define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true);

How to disable core auto updates but enable plugins and themes auto updates

If you want to stop the autoupdates of the WordPress core, but to enable them for your Plugins and/or Themes, you can add these lines in the wp-config.php file:

Stop the core auto updates:

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );

Then enable the plugins/themes:

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );
add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );

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