What are the Procedures to Disable WordPress Automatic Updates?

WordPress has the ability to update your website automatically. This includes the update of all the themes and plugins. Developers of the WordPress dispatches new updates to add new features and new enhancement in the performance. Whenever any bugs are spotted, the developers try to fix it by bringing patches for bugs. These auto-updates are very useful as it updates all the things we use in WordPress.

However, for this same reason, you need to disable the WordPress automatic updates. You may think that this is a bad idea. But, I will tell you why you need to disable WordPress auto-updates.

The Reasons Why you need to Disable WordPress Automatic Updates

The reason I do not recommend to enable auto-update starts with WordPress version 3.7.

In this version, it is set by default to update the minor updates of security, maintenance and translation files on many sites. In some sites the plugins and themes are also set for automatic updates.

However, when the updates are automated, there remains a chance for your site to breakdown. For a large e-commerce site, this would be a disaster. During this time, none of the customers will be able to visit your site. Eg- if your site breaks down at midnight, and you only got aware when you logged in the next morning.

Besides, in WordPress, the site owners will not get any notification when any automatic update is done. In this case, you may log in and find a white screen with nothing showing on it. You may not know the exact reason, but there is a chance it may be due to the auto-update done to your site.

Procedure to Disable the  WordPress Automatic Updates

After disabling the WordPress automatic updates, you will have complete control over your updating process. You can then test all the new plugin, core, or theme updates on your testing site rather than your working WordPress site.

By testing the updates, you can see whether the updates are safe or not. Even if something goes wrong, your testing site will take the damage and your working site will be safe. And if the updates work, then you can proceed to apply it on your original site.

To disable the WordPress auto-update, you can go for any of the two methods. The methods are:

  1. Approaching to disable it manually.
  2. Approach by plugin.

You should know that with both the methods of disabling your auto-update, you have the flexibility to choose what auto-updates you want to disable.

Manually Disable WordPress Automatic Updates

If you want to disable the auto updates for the Core files, then you have to log in to your control panel. Go to the SFTP or File Manager to change the files at the base of your database.

  1. Then, find the Wp-config.php file.
  2. Select it and click Edit.

Within this file, you need to add these lines on the basis of what you want to do

  1. define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, false);

This line of code will help you to disable the automatic WordPress updates for the core files.

  1. define( ‘automatic_updater_disabled’, true );

This will disable the automatic update for WordPress for all aspects of your site.

But, if you choose to receive monor core updates, but not for themes or plugins, you can achieve it by putting the given filter in the theme’s functions.php file or you can also apply in a site-specific plugin.

Disabling the automatic plugin updates for WordPress:

add_filter( ‘auto_update_plugin, ‘_return_false’ );

Disable the automatic theme update in WordPress:

add_filter( ‘ayto_update_theme’, ‘_runtime_false’ );

Disabling the WordPress Automatic Updates by Using a Plugin

Easy Update Manager is a plugin which needs to be used for disabling the auto updates.

In the dashboard of your WordPress,

  1. Go to Plugins
  2. 2Then select Add New.
  3. Find the Easy Updates Manager.
  4. Press on Install Now.
  5. Then press Activate.

Now, from the plugin list, find the Easy Update Manager and press Configure. Then in the General tab, you can configure how you want to get the notifications for the updates. 

The options you can configure here are:

1. Disabling the automatic updates.

2. Enabling automatic updates.

3. Selecting to the Default will leave the WordPress setting in its place.

4. Selecting Yes will turn all the updates to automatic.

5. Selecting No will make no updates to be automatic.

6. Selecting Custom will enable you to customize the updates as you like.

You can customize the setting like:

Disabling/ enabling auto updates for plugin

Apart from disabling the plugins to get automatically updated, you can also select on which of them the setting will apply.

Disabling/ enabling auto updates for theme

Its process is same as that of the plugin.

Enabling the auto update of the core

In this, you will keep using the auto-updates.

You can turn the updates off altogether for all the parts of your site. However, I would not recommend it. It may be ok to disable the auto updates, but disabling the updates altogether is not advisable.

Updates are a crucial part of your website’s security. 

In the Plugins tab, you can select each plugin and disable or enable their auto updates as you like. 

In the Themes tab, there is only the option of enabling or disabling its updates. There’s nothing about any automatic update here. Therefore, be careful in this tab or otherwise you can end up losing all the updates from your theme developer.


So, from the article, you have understood why it is important to disable WordPress automatic updates. Moreover, the process of doing so being so easy, you should disable it as soon as possible.

This will mean that you have to check for new updates more frequently. But, this is the cost you need to pay to keep your website safe.