Support » Fixing WordPress » How to turn OFF Automatic updates

  • I was shocked to wake up this morning to dozens of email messages saying the sites I control have been automatically updated to 3.8.1!

    How do I turn that OFF?

    I have many many plugins across those sites that are not always compatible with the latest version of WP.

    The auto update might have seemed like a good idea, but I see that it is bound to cause all kinds of issues that will mostly be non-billable for me to to pass along to clients that I talked into using WordPress as their platform.

    Please tell me the WordPress developers built in the ability opt out of this very bad idea!

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
  • Andrew Nevins


    WCLDN 2018 Contributor | Volunteer support

    Thanks. Had a good laugh on that one… compatible up to 3.7. Kind of makes my point.

    It seems utterly ridiculous to me to control core functionality with a plugin. Why not build it into the settings (like Genesis does)?

    Andrew Nevins


    WCLDN 2018 Contributor | Volunteer support

    You can just edit the wp-config file if you don’t want to risk installing a plugin:

    Thanks. Had a good laugh on that one… compatible up to 3.7. Kind of makes my point.

    You do know that 3.8 came out like two minutes after 3.7, right?

    The Plugin is still compatible with WordPress 3.8. When core updates happen around the holidays, Plguin developers don’t always have the time to push out Plugin header updates. I’ll fix that post-haste.

    I landed here because I’m indeed looking at a way to control automatic updates.

    Overview: With around 20% of websites in the world created with WordPress, that means if this “feature” got hacked, it could destroy 20% of the web as we know it!! That is a ridiculous risk.

    Sure, the WordPress developers keep saying how secure their update system is. What with Heartbleed and a-hack-a-minute in the news, I don’t believe that for a second. As Heartbleed taught us, yes open source software is a noble cause, but is not immune just because it’s noble.

    I believe that automatic updates are the biggest security hole that presently exists in WordPress. More, WordPress automatic updates are quite possibly the biggest security risks to ever exist on the internet.

    The question, how best to regain control? Take more time out of the day and modify WordPress core files, or install a plugin? I’ll try the Update Control plugin and report back. Thanks, MTN

    Andrew Nevins


    WCLDN 2018 Contributor | Volunteer support

    I’d recommend editing the wp-config.php file, as it’s just adding 1 of code that can be copied from the Codex example. It shouldn’t be a difficult task for those who are knowledgeable enough to choose to disable automatic security updates.

    Isn’t auto update turned of again? I thought it was present but then removed due to to many people not liking the new feature?

    No – WordPress still carries out minor updates automatically by default.

    I need to disable all updates also, especially on one of the blog sites I manage because the updates cause compatibility issues with some of the plugins. I see I can add this line of code to my config.php file
    define( ‘AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED’, true );
    Is there anywhere in particular that it needs to be added in the file, or can I just copy it at the end?

    3.9 hit a lot of people hard, in terms of TinyMCE functionality they’ve been used to for years. Right now I am trying to fix my editing issues by over-writing the TinyMCE 4 in Core with TinyMCE 3.5.11. I’ve spent days trying to get the new TinyMCE to do what I need and no go so far, so for now I may need to control the core files.
    I’ll try the plugin. I am also reviewing this guide:
    +1 for allowing us to control auto-updates more easily than editing core files. I know they’re tested for “safety” but I’m sure they can’t explicitly test all the plugins and features we need to control compatibility for.

    Andrew Nevins


    WCLDN 2018 Contributor | Volunteer support

    Major updates do not update automatically (by default) and plugins are there to help non-coders.

    Thanks for the hint on the config file. Hopefully it has done the trick. I just wanted to say that I find auto updates (no matter what program/app), without controls, is a little arrogant. The user should be given the option first. Otherwise it is a bit like getting home from work to find a stranger in your house who says “I’ve rearranged your cupboards for you.”

    This Plugin FAILED its first test.

    I used it and the auto update went through.

    Does anybody have a plugin that they have used that worked?


    I guess individual results must vary. I’ve been using update-control for quite a while with no issues.

    There’s a definitive non-plugin solution available though. Quick, easy, one and done. Configuring Automatic Background Updates

    Constant To Disable All Updates

    To paraphrase:

    “To completely disable all types of automatic updates, core or otherwise, add the following to your wp-config.php file:

    define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );

    Yeah, I am too lazy these days to open filezilla…lol


    I switched to this plugin, it had pretty good reviews so hopefully it will do the trick.

    Disable Updates Manager

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
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