Support » Fixing WordPress » WP Updates not showing latest WP version available

  • Resolved Drumology2001


    Hi all,

    I’m a little confused this morning: I am an admin of many WordPress-based websites, and while going in and doing some site maintenance on several of them this morning, I see that their versions are out of date. One of them is on 3.9, another is on 3.9.2, another is 4.0, another is on 4.1, and so on.

    In the past, I have been used to seeing the ‘nag’ at the top of the screen that lets me know there’s a newer version available. I am not seeing that on any of these sites which aren’t on the newest version (4.1.1). When I go to Dashboard > Updates and click “Check Again” to force a manual check, it still is acting as though everything is up to date (when it clearly is not).

    On one site, I installed a plugin called “WP Updates Notifier”. I ran it on one of the sites and it sent me an e-mail with the following:

    There are updates available for your WordPress site:
    WP-Core: WordPress is out of date. Please update from version 3.9 to 4.1.1
    Please visit to update.

    I followed the link…which took me to the WP Updates page, which said nothing about the update. (Again, acted like it’s up to date, even though it’s clearly not.) :\

    I really appreciate the ease of having WordPress give me the option to upgrade, and clicking one line and letting it update itself. I manage 30+ WP websites, and I’d rather not go through and manually update each and every one’s core files.

    Does anybody have some ideas on why this would be happening? And how I can get it to recognize it’s out-of-date and offer me the upgrade link again?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 38 total)
  • Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator 🚀

    Double-check your wp-config.php file to make sure that the following line is *not* present:

    define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );


    The following in wp-config.php will a disable the entire auto updater:

    define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );

    I use it in my blog because I don’t want automatic updates, but manual updates work just fine and I get the nag screen. You might try the Background Update Tester to see if there are any problems. I used it to figure out my blog just wasn’t talking to long time ago.

    James and Mark, thanks for the insights.

    James: that line does not exist in the wp-config.php file of any sites. On the site in particular that I was referencing (using WP 3.9), I actually added the line in but changed the ‘false’ statement to ‘true’ to see if it would force a core update. (It did nothing.)

    Mark: I wonder if I used that code snippet and changed ‘true’ to ‘false’ if that would spur any change? (I’m thinking it wouldn’t, logically.) I did try the Background Update Tester plugin, and it says “PASS” for all 4 conditions, so it’s clearly able to connect to WP to check for an update (which makes my issue all the more baffling). :/

    Any other ideas, my friends? I’m just at a loss, trying to figure this out.

    Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator 🚀

    Might as well just try this to see what it does. 🙂

    define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', fales );

    I added the following line to wp-config.php (correcting the spelling error of ‘fales’ to ‘false’):

    define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', false );

    Uploaded it to the server. Not sure if it needs to sit there for 24 hours or more? Guess we’ll see. I’m open to other suggestions in the meantime.

    Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator 🚀

    It should be instant, those are settings constants.

    Did it make any difference?

    If not, try deactivating all plugins. If that resolves the issue, reactivate each one individually until you find the cause.

    If that does not resolve the issue, try switching to the Twenty Fifteen theme to rule-out a theme-specific issue (theme functions can interfere like plugins).

    Hi James,

    So, the “update nag” didn’t come back, unfortunately, after adding the line of code mentioned above to the wp-config.php file.

    I also tried your suggestions of disabling all plugins and switching to the default theme to rule out that a plugin or theme wasn’t blocking the updates; it changed nothing. Still no update link given. (Tried deactivating plugins only, then theme only, then both simultaneously — still no luck.)

    Any other suggestions? I’m kind of at a loss here. I can’t understand how the install can connect to WP just fine, but not see that there’s an updated version and offer to install it automatically like it normally does. :\

    Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator 🚀

    At the moment, my only other guesses would be either a corrupt core file somewhere, or your server’s firewall is blocking communication with the update server.

    A manual update will rule-out the first and get you up to date:

    As for the second, are all of these sites on the same server?

    I’m not in a huge hurry to upgrade the handful of sites that aren’t auto-upgrading, so I would like to continue investigating for a bit in order to try and find the root cause, rather than throw in the towel and manually upgrade all of these sites (which is a full day of work for me that I could otherwise spend working on other projects).

    To answer your second question: all of these sites are on the same server; there doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason as to why these update nags make themselves available on one install, but then not on another.

    One thing I’ve noticed while cross-comparing installs (updated vs. outdated) is that, on the Dashboard > Updates page, it says the following on an updated version:

    You have the latest version of WordPress. Future security updates will be applied automatically.
    If you need to re-install version 4.1.1, you can do so here or download the package and re-install manually: Download 4.1.1

    On the other outdated installs, it doesn’t mention anything about not having the latest version of WordPress (as shown above); it’s as if it doesn’t know how to check for a new version, or even that it’s supposed to report on the fact that it’s out-of-date.

    Outside of that, all plugins are operational and not interfering with an update (as I’ve shut them off and it made no difference, like I mentioned above), the themes aren;t an issue (as reported before), and the Background Update Tester plugin is reporting that the installs that are out-of-date are ‘passing’ on all 4 criteria related to connecting to to check for the latest core updates.

    I am just scratching my head here. This makes NO sense why these wouldn’t see they’re not running the latest WP core files and offer to upgrade.

    Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator 🚀

    Do you have sites on the same server which have updated correctly?

    Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator 🚀

    A few more questions;

    2. Do update notifications appear for themes/plugins?

    3. What do you see when you switch on wp_debug and script_debug ?

    Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator 🚀

    Also, who is your hosting provider? Maybe they’re doing something to override updates.

    Hi James,

    Thanks for following up; I didn’t respond sooner because I was doing an audit on all of our WordPress-based sites to see what their versions are, when they were first produced (etc.) looking for some clues. (Something like ‘sites developed after X date aren’t updating’ or something). Still not seeing any correlations in it all; both newer and older sites are updating (or not updating).

    To answer your questions:

    1) Yes, all of these websites are on the same server.

    2) Update notifications do appear for themes and plugins — just not the WP core files.

    3) If I switch on wp_debug and script_debug on one of the sites, I see an error about CSS padding-bottom not being defined on one element, but I highly doubt that would affect anything related to this situation.

    4) Hosting provider is Bluehost. We have a VPS server with them.

    In my audit, it appears that — of 37 total WP-based websites on our server — we have 14 that have not updated to the latest version of WordPress. Of those 14, the oldest version is 3.9 (which 3 of 14 are running), and the newest is 4.1 (which 4 of the 14 are running).

    Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator 🚀

    Ok, install and use it to switch on automatic updates.

    Does that make any difference for you?

    No, it doesn’t appear that it does. I installed it and saved the settings, but it doesn’t prompt any kind of update.

    I also tried this tip, which I just found here:

    The best solution I have found to automatic update issues like this is fixing the ownership/permissions on the upgrade folder.

    To do: delete the upgrade folder in wp-content.

    Recreate the folder and reset permissions to 777

    That didn’t seem to help, either. Still stuck with no prompt to update. :/

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 38 total)
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