January 6, 2021

How to Disable WordPress Auto-Update | FREE PLUGIN

WordPress caused major headaches for thousands of WordPress website owners by triggering their sites to automatically update to an alpha released version of WordPress.

WordPress introduced background auto-updates to version 3.7, which was released on October 24th, 2013. This feature was added to enhance security for unmaintained and abandoned WordPress websites. While actively used WordPress websites also receive updates, it’s less likely to become an issue as website administrators typically oversee updates and fish out potential breaking changes before they happen.

Why Disable WordPress Auto-Updates?

Here are a few things you should know.

Auto-update Failures

On October 30th, 2020, WordPress caused a major headache for thousands of WordPress website owners by triggering their websites to automatically update to an alpha released version of WordPress, which could have inadvertently caused plugin errors, theme display problems, among other issues. Also noticeable would be a message upon login to the WordPress dashboard “BETA TESTERS: This site is set up to install updates of future beta versions automatically.” 

Not only did this auto-update come from an alpha version of WordPress, but it was bundled with several default WordPress themes and the Akismet plugin, all of which a website administrator would need to delete.

It goes without saying, this caused website administrators to reconsider the effectiveness of auto-updates and how they handle future updates.

Depreciation of Features

As WordPress grows, it introduces new features and removes outdated ones. While many plugins and themes update to accommodate these changes, they can also get abandoned when their authors don’t release updates. This causes a cascade of problems when WordPress is automatically updated, introducing broken layouts, functionality problems, and potential for security issues.

Simplicity vs Functionally

There are other existing plugins that can fine-tune the control of WordPress auto-updates, but they can cause their own set of problems, including complicated settings and bugs.


We developed an always running, small, and simple plugin, so we know exactly how it’s built!

  • No advertisements
  • No “pro” version upgrades
  • Deactivated auto-update processes
  • Kept manual update options via the WordPress dashboard

Our plugin will give you the peace of mind that no upgrades will happen without prior knowledge and only when triggered via the WordPress dashboard.

Aside from a simple plugin, we wanted the “set it and forget it” approach too. Lucky for everyone, WordPress allows for this. WordPress comes with a little known and hardly used function called Must Use Plugins, so our plugin is always running in the background without any interaction