Support » Fixing WordPress » Automatically Updated to 5.8 from 5.7.x, But Docs Mentioned Minor Updates Only

  • Resolved pumpkinbread


    Hi, I have multiple production websites automatically updated to v5.8 today from 5.7.x.

    I am concerned because major updates could potentially break the website and according to the documentation, by default, only minor releases are enabled by default. (By minor I understand it will not automatically update for major releases, e.g. going from 5.7 to 5.8)

    Configuring Automatic Background Updates

    “By default, only minor releases – such as for maintenance and security purposes – and translation file updates are enabled on most sites.”
    “By default, every site has automatic updates enabled for minor core releases and translation files.”

    #1-Has the policy changed / did I misunderstand these statements?

    #2-Or should I add this on all the installs going forward?
    define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, ‘minor’ );

    #3-Anywhere I should look / common pitfalls / wrong configuration on my end?
    To be clear, I did not turn major updates on with the code.
    define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, true );

    #4- Has this happened to anyone else these few days?

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    The policy hasn’t changed, however there are a number of situations that can cause the update to occur.

    The most common is your webhost did it. If you have a managed WordPress host, they regularly force update people for security.

    The second most common is that one of your plugins is actually set to update major releases too.

    Have you been able to eliminate those possibilities?

    Thread Starter pumpkinbread


    Hi, thank you for quick response.

    #1- webhost – it is not a managed service. We have a few hundred wordpress installs on the same vendor and has not happened before / consistently across all our sites, so I would eliminate this as a possibility

    #2- plugins – yes this is a likely candidate. I will look forward to see if there is a common plugin among the sites that auto-updated.

    Right now, 5 sites auto-updated. Give or take 2% of sample size.

    We are also racing against this by adding the auto update minor code to all installs before it hits more sites, so may not be able to get the best data.


    Hello @pumpkinbread,

    How old is your website? Starting WordPress 5.6, auto-updates are not for minor release only but for all WordPress core releases. But when WP 5.6 was released, only new installs were concerned by this change.

    You can check your settings in wp-admin/update-core.php, where you can opt-out from auto-updates for major releases.

    By the way, the documentation need to be changed to mention that auto-updates for major releases is the default setting for all new installations since December 2020. I’ll make sure it’s mentioned as soon as possible, thank you for pointing this out.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Jb Audras.
    Thread Starter pumpkinbread


    Ok now I understand. Yes, all the sites that are auto-updating today are from 5.7.X

    This starts to make sense now, given the documentation is not up to date.

    I just want to confirm: this flag will still disable / prevent all automatic major updates?
    define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, ‘minor’ );

    Here is a crazy ask:
    Is it possible to delay further auto update push by 24 hours? We have relied on the documentation thinking that auto major updates would not happen. I do have a few hundred production installs where I would set auto update to minor release only to prevent sites crashing out of the blue (even if it is a small percentage, it is not ideal). This time would allow me (and potentially others) to avert disaster by putting the flag in and disabling an automatic major update.

    I don’t think I am the only person managing a few hundred installs who may be have the same issue (?)

    Yes you can opt-out for major releases auto-update by using define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, ‘minor’ );. You can also go to wp-admin/update-core.php and click on the link to switch to “maintenance and security releases only”.

    It is not possible to delay the auto-update natively, but I believe some plugins may help you to do that. Depending on your PHP/WP API skills, you can also code it on your own by using a transient or a Cron task which would prevent the auto-update for 24 hours.

    (I’m currently updating the documentation. I realize that this page is not up-to-date at all, sorry for the inconvenience)

    Thread Starter pumpkinbread


    It’s fine.

    My question was about delaying remote push by on this major update as this would affect a lot of installs (not just mine) that relies on the documentation.

    Regardless, I assumed the answer is a no, we have proceeded to change our settings hopefully before the automatic update gets pushed to more installs.

    Ah ok. No, this is not an option, indeed 🙂
    This change took place months ago and automatic updates for both minor and major releases is the default setting right now.

    Thread Starter pumpkinbread


    no problem.

    Managed to comb through everything through ssh as root.

    Use find command to locate all 5.7.2 installs.
    Then use grep to find config files without the auto update flag.
    Then manually proceeded to insert the flag to the installs that don’t have it set.

    I am sure someone who knows bash can write a script that automates the whole process, but that’s beyond my knowledge.

    Hope others find this helpful. Can consider this matter resolved.

    Thank you!

    Thread Starter pumpkinbread


    Marking resolved.

    Just to say thanks, this was helpful, caught me by surprise when email of notice of major core update came through for two sites… Was able to make sure not happening on other sites…



    I have several websites with version 5.7.2, and about 50% of them are automatically updated. When I enter wp-admin, they are automatically updated. After I restore and try again, the automatic update is still the same.

    Finally I use this code to prevent the update.

    # Enables minor updates:
    define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, ‘minor’ );

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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