Did you know that WordPress can automatically update your website? Yes that include plugins and themes too. Despite the security benefits, there is a slight chance that it can break your website. In this article, we will show you how to disable automatic background updates in WordPress.
Background auto updates were introduced in WordPress 3.7 in an effort to promote better security. By default it is limited to only minor releases however in special cases WordPress may update your plugins and themes.
WordPress 4.1.2 was a critical security update, you have to switch off automatic updates properly to prevent that.
If you are one of the millions of websites that are using Yoast WordPress SEO plugin, then your site was automatically updated about a week ago without any notification!
Automatic updates are great for WordPress security because many users never update their plugins or their WordPress installs. However it can break your site which we will highlight below.
First let’s take a look at how to disable WordPress auto updates.
The easiest way to do this is by installing and activating Disable Updates Manager plugin.
Alternatively, you can disable automatic updates in WordPress by following ways:
- To disable minor and major automatic WordPress updates, add this code to your wp.config.php file. I strongly discourage anyone adding this code unless you’re a savvy developer.
/* Disable minor and major WordPress automatic updates */
define( ‘AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED’, true );
- To disable all major automatic WordPress updates, add this code to your wp.config.php file. Once activated you will receive update notifications.
/* Disable major WordPress automatic updates */
define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, false );
You don’t have to worry about updating minor WordPress releases which are pushed out for maintenance and security purposes.
There is a slight chance that automatic updates can break your site. In our experience, the minor releases haven’t broken any of our sites yet.
But that’s because we are following the best practices and not modifying any core files. If you modify WordPress core files, then these automatic updates can override them.