How to Turn Off Automatic Updates in WordPress 3.7

How to Turn Off Automatic Updates in WordPress 3.7

Automatic core updates are now part of WordPress, thanks to the release of version 3.7 yesterday, and while it is an “opt-out” feature, developers will be pleased to know it’s possible to switch it off.

WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg has made no secret of his desire for auto-updates, flagging the idea in his State of the Word address in 2012. At the time, Mullenweg said he admired Google Chrome’s approach – the browser software is always automatically kept up-to-date without users necessarily knowing version of Chrome they’re running.

But not all WordPress users have welcomed the feature, with many asking for a way to turn it off.

In this Weekend WordPress Project, I’ll show you how to switch off automatic core updates.

Automatic Updates

So How Do I Turn Auto-Updates?

The WordPress admin area doesn’t have an “Off” switch built into the UI, but you can disable automatic updates by adding the following code to your wp-config.php file:


There are a couple of other methods developers should know about:

  • If you’re using a deployment system that uses SVN or GIT it’s disabled by default
  • You can also make use of the auto_upgrader_disabled automatic_updater_disabled OR auto_upgrade_core auto_update_core filters

Turning Off Automatic Updates With a Plugin

If you don’t want to dig into the code, why not install a plugin instead?

Gary Pendergast’s fantastic plugin Automatic Updater For WordPress not only allows you to automatically keep your WordPress install up-to-date as soon as updates become available, but also allows you to disable updates.

Summing Up

While automatic updates might scare off some developers, it’s important to remember why this feature has been introduced: to ensure WordPress installations are updated to the latest secure version. Remember TimThumb? Exactly.

If you turn off updates if defeats the whole point of automatic updates as a feature.

However, for some developers – and managed WordPress hosts – turning off automatic updates is necessary, particularly if your site is heavily dependent on plugin’s for functionality and you need time to test your plugin’s against future versions of WordPress.

Enjoy your weekend!