A Guide to Disabling Automatic Plugin and Theme Updates in WordPress

Managing a WordPress website efficiently is crucial to ensure smooth performance and user experience. While automatic updates for plugins and themes offer convenience, some website owners prefer to have more control over these updates. Disabling automatic updates can help prevent unexpected changes, compatibility issues, and potential disruptions to your website’s functionality. In this guide, we will explore the process of disabling automatic plugin and theme updates, giving you the tools to enhance your WordPress website management.

Why Consider Disabling Automatic Updates?

Automatic updates can be beneficial for security and performance reasons, as they ensure that your website always has the latest features and fixes. However, there are several reasons why you might want to disable automatic updates:

Compatibility Concerns: Automatic updates can sometimes conflict with customizations or other plugins, leading to compatibility issues.

Testing Before Updating: Disabling automatic updates allows you to thoroughly test updates on a staging site before applying them to the live site.

Fine-tuned Control: Website owners who prefer a hands-on approach may want to review updates manually to ensure their site remains stable.

Now, let’s explore the solutions to disable automatic plugin and theme updates in WordPress.

Solution 1: Using the Dashboard Settings

WordPress provides built-in options to disable automatic updates for both plugins and themes directly from the dashboard.

Step 1: Accessing WordPress Dashboard

Log in to your WordPress website’s dashboard using your administrator credentials.

Step 2: Navigating to Automatic Updates Settings

In the dashboard menu, go to “Plugins” and select “Installed Plugins.” On the top, click on “Updates Disabled” to view the Automatic Updates settings.

Step 3: Disable Automatic Updates for Plugins

Locate the plugin you want to disable automatic updates for and click the “Disable Updates” link beneath its name. This action will prevent the selected plugin from updating automatically.

Step 4: Disable Automatic Updates for Themes

To disable automatic updates for themes, click on “Appearance” in the dashboard menu and then select “Themes.” Find the theme you want to manage, and click on the “Disable Updates” link below it.

Solution 2: Using Code Snippets

For users who prefer managing updates through code, this method allows you to disable automatic updates without relying on plugins.

Step 1: Accessing the functions.php File

Access your WordPress theme’s functions.php file using an FTP client or the built-in theme editor in WordPress (Appearance > Theme Editor).

Step 2: Add the Code Snippet

To disable automatic updates for plugins, add the following code snippet to the end of the functions.php file:

add_filter( ‘auto_update_plugin’, ‘__return_false’ );

To disable automatic updates for themes, add this code snippet to the functions.php file:

add_filter( ‘auto_update_theme’, ‘__return_false’ );

Step 3: Save Changes

Save the changes made to the functions.php file to disable automatic updates for both plugins and themes.

<strong>Solution 3: Using a Plugin

For users who prefer a user-friendly interface to manage updates, a dedicated plugin can simplify the process.

Step 1: Install and Activate “Disable Updates Manager” Plugin

Install and activate the “Disable Updates Manager” plugin from the WordPress dashboard by going to “Plugins,” clicking on “Add New,” and searching for “Disable Updates Manager.” Install and activate the plugin.

Step 2: Configure Plugin Settings

Once activated, go to “Settings” in your WordPress dashboard and select “Disable Updates Manager.” From there, you can choose to disable automatic updates for plugins, themes, or even core updates. The plugin provides granular control over updates, allowing you to manage them according to your preferences.


Disabling automatic updates for plugins and themes in WordPress can provide greater control over your website’s performance and stability. By carefully considering the reasons for disabling updates and implementing the appropriate solutions outlined in this guide, you can optimize your WordPress website management. Whether you choose to use the dashboard settings, code snippets, or a dedicated plugin like “Disable Updates Manager,” the key is to find the right balance between security, convenience, and control, ensuring a smooth and successful website management experience.

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