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Configuring Automatic Background Updates

Automatic background updates were introduced in WordPress 3.7 in an effort to promote better security, and to streamline the update experience overall. By default, only minor releases – such as for maintenance and security purposes – and translation file updates are enabled on most sites.

In special cases, plugins and themes may be updated. In WordPress, there are four types of automatic background updates: 

Core updates 

Plugin updates 

Theme updates 

Translation file updates

Core updates are subdivided into three types:

Core development updates, known as the “bleeding edge”

Minor core updates, such as maintenance and security releases

Major core release updates

By default, every site has automatic updates enabled for minor core releases and translation files. Sites already running a development version also have automatic updates to further development versions enabled by default.

Update Configuration 

Update Configuration Automatic updates can be configured using one of two methods:

 defining constants in wp-config.php, or adding filters using a Plugin.

Configuration via wp-config.php 

Configuration via wp-config.php Using wp-config.php, automatic updates can be disabled completely, and core updates can be disabled or configured based on update type. 

Constant to Disable All Updates 

Constant to Disable All Updates The core developers made a conscious decision to enable automatic updates for minor releases and translation files out of the box. Going forward, this will be one of the best ways to guarantee your site stays up to date and secure and, as such, disabling these updates is strongly discouraged. To completely disable all types of automatic updates, core or otherwise, add the following to your wp-config.php file:

 1 define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );

Constant to Configure Core Updates 

Constant to Configure Core Updates To enable automatic updates for major releases or development purposes, the place to start is with the WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE constant. Defining this constant one of three ways allows you to blanket-enable, or blanket-disable several types of core updates at once. 


can be defined with one of three values, each producing a different behavior:

Value of true – Development, minor, and major updates are all enabled 

Value of false – Development, minor, and major updates are all disabled 

Value of 'minor' – Minor updates are enabled, development, and major updates are disabled 

Note that only sites already running a development version will receive development updates. For development sites, the default value of WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE is true. For other sites, the default value of WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE is minor.

Disabling All Updates Via Filter #Disabling All Updates Via Filter You can also disable all automatic updates using the following filter:1 add_filter( 'automatic_updater_disabled', '__return_true' );