WordPress Tutorials
WordPress Autoupdates Tutorial

WordPress Autoupdates Tutorial

Important! On all SiteGround Cloud and Shared accounts, our Autoupdate system takes precedence over the default WordPress Autoupdate system. You can check this tutorial for more information on that matter.


In WordPress 3.7 a new feature was introduced to the core functionality of the application – the automatic updates. This tutorial explains the way those autoupdates work, how to configure them and how to completely disable WordPress autoupdates in case you want to handle them manually.

Default autoupdate configuration

By default, from version 3.7 and above, your WordPress site will update itself when a new minor or security update is released. This means, that if you’re on WordPress 3.7.0 and version 3.7.1 is released the application will autoupdate itself. On the other hand, if WordPress 3.8 is released (a major version) by default you will have to update to it manually.

How to enable major release updates?

If you want the WordPress autoupdates to handle major core updates too, you will have to add a single configuration line.

To do this, open the wp-config.php file in the root folder of your WordPress installation and add this line to it:

define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true);

How to enable plugin updates

If you want your plugins to be automatically updated by WordPress when a new version is released, you need to add a line to your wp-config.php file, similar to the one above. This time, however, a filter is used for enabling the plugin autoupdates:

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );

How to enable theme updates?

If you want WordPress to handle theme updates you need another line added to the wp-config.php file:

add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );

Important! This will work only if your theme is downloaded from the official WordPress repository. If you’re using a paid theme for example, or you’ve downloaded your theme from a designer’s website it will not update automatically when a new version is released.

How to disable core autoupdates but enable plugins and themes autoupdates?

If you want to stop the autoupdates of the WordPress core (the WordPress application itself) but enable them for your Plugins and/or Themes, you can add these lines in the wp-config.php file:

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );
add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );
add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );

How to completely disable the WordPress autoupdates?

If you want to disable the WordPress autoupdates completely, open the wp-config.php file and add this line to it:


Important! This will not disable the SiteGround WordPress Autoupdate system. Check this tutorial for more information about the service and how to manage it.

Important! If you disable WordPress autoupdates completely, this will disable both plugins, themes, and core autoupdates no matter what configurations you’ve made for themes or plugins.

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