I’m not a fan of automatic updates. Unless there’s a security issue, I don’t update WordPress, themes, and plugins right away.

I learned it the hard way!

Updates (even minor ones) often come with bugs that can break your website.

Therefore, I always disable automatic updates and wait at least a week before I start updating things.

Usually, if the developers are active, a week or more is enough for them to spot the bugs and release a new update with fixes.

A good example is WooCommerce, who always has a lot of updates with fixes.

woocommerce fix updates

Accessing Your WordPress Files

Save Now and Scale with Cloudways

I recommend backing up the files or the whole website before editing!

Depending on what automatic WordPress updates you want to disable, you’ll have to access one or two files: wp-config.php and/or functions.php.

Here’s how to access your WordPress site’s files.

wp-config.php

The wp-config.php file is normally found in the /public_html/ folder.

If you’re using an add-on domain, it should be in:

YourDomain/public_html/wp-config.php
wp-config.php cpanel
Editing wp-config.php via cPanel

You’ll have to add one of the codes below right before the /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ line.

functions.php

The functions.php file is found in your child theme’s folder:

public_html/wp-content/themes/ThemeName-Child/functions.php

I recommend having a child theme in place, otherwise, the changes will be removed with the next update!

edit functions.php cpanel
Editing functions.php via cPanel

Or, you could use a plugin called Code Snippets.

In functions.php, you have to add the code at the very bottom or right before the ?> closing tag if it has one.

Disable All Types of Automatic Updates

Add this code in the wp-config.php file:

define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );

This will disable automatic updates for WordPress, themes, and plugins.

Note that this applies for themes and plugins from the WordPress repository, not premium ones.

Disable WordPress Core Automatic Updates

If you only want to disable WordPress core automatic updates (minor and major), then use one of the following codes.

For both minor and major updates (in wp-config.php):

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );

For major updates (in wp-config.php) – will only allow minor updates:

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', minor );

For minor updates (in functions.php):

add_filter( 'allow_minor_auto_core_updates', '__return_false' );

Disable Automatic Updates for Themes and Plugins

As I mentioned above, this won’t apply to plugins and themes that are not in the WordPress repository.

WordPress doesn’t automatically update themes and plugins unless there’s a very special case, like, a serious security issue.

Both codes go into the functions.php file!

For plugins:

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_false' );

For themes:

add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_false' );

Will This Work 100%?

Not always!

Some web hosts might have their own tools that perform automatic WordPress updates and override the above codes.

For example, SiteGround (affiliate link ) has a tool called WP Auto Update, which automatically updates WordPress even if you add those PHP codes.

Fortunately, they allow you to delay or skip automatic WordPress updates.

So, you should check if your web host has such a feature before adding the codes, which might prove to be pointless.

That’s a Wrap

I hope you found the guide comprehensive, and you managed to disable the automatic WordPress updates that you wanted!

If you have any questions or thoughts, drop a comment or send a message via contact or Facebook page.

You can also hit the follow button on Twitter and subscribe to the YouTube channel.

Don’t forget to share the post to help out others!

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