Automatic Updater for WordPress

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This plugin will automatically keep your WordPress site up-to-date, downloading updates for WordPress, your plugins and your themes, as soon as they become available.

wp-config Settings


From: 0.9

When this option is defined as true in your wp-config.php file, Automatic Updater will not run any updates.


auto_updater_before_update / auto_updater_after_update

From: 0.2

The auto_updater_before_update and auto_updater_after_update actions are triggered before and after any update is triggered, respectively. They are passed a single parameter, $type (string), which will be one of “core”, “plugins” or “themes”, depending on what is being updated. These actions are useful for triggering a backup prior to the update, or running sanity checks after the update.



From: 0.2

The auto_updater_core_updates filter passes information about the selected version of WordPress core to upgrade to. Returning NULL will cause the update to be safely aborted.


From: 0.2

The auto_updater_plugin_updates filter passes an array of the plugins to be updated. This can be used to remove any plugins that you don’t want to be included in the automatic update. Returning NULL will cause the update to be safely aborted.


From: 0.2

The auto_updater_theme_updates filter passes an array of the themes to be updated. This can be used to remove any themes that you don’t want to be included in the automatic update. Returning NULL will cause the update to be safely aborted.


From 0.4

The auto_update_get_update_data filter passes an array of available update totals, used for determining if any updates need to be scheduled. If you’re using the auto_updater_plugin_updates or auto_updater_theme_updates filters to block updates of a theme or plugin, you should decrease the totals appropriately, to avoid any unnecessary update being repeatedly scheduled.


From 0.7

The auto_updater_notification_email_address filter passes the email address that it intends to send an update notification email to. Returning a different address will cause the email to be sent to the new address, instead.


  1. Hi, when does this plugin actually fire? i.e. if the site admin does not log in, will the core/plugins/themes be updated? using wp-cron? or does this require requesting an admin page and it then operates in bg?

    1. Every 12 hours, WordPress checks for updates using wp-cron. Automatic Updater hooks into these update checks and installs any updates found.

      If it doesn’t install an update then (for example, Automatic Updater won’t install plugins or themes at the same time as a Core update), it also checks on every page load to see if WordPress has found any updates in the past, and schedules an immediate wp-cron job to install them.

      If you have a Beta Release Candidate version of WordPress installed, a daily wp-cron job is scheduled to install the latest build.

      Finally, if you’re using SVN updates, Automatic Updater will schedule a wp-cron job once an hour to do the update.

      None of these updates require an admin to visit the page, they’re all done asynchronously using wp-cron.

      1. Brilliant that’s what I wanted to hear. The reason is that I want to push automatic updates out to client sites, but only once I have tested and approved them. So I can toggle your plugin on/off via the active_plugins setting and do this early in the morning to minimise impact.

        Keep up the great work, appreciated!

  2. I created a script that when called will switch core, plugins, themes to 1, then call wp-cron via http/file_get_contents, then switch core, plugins, themes to 0. I then run this on a WP 3.4 install now that 3.5 is released. It updated the core files, but subsequently, when trying to visit the admin screen, I’m prompted to update the database.

    What am I missing here, I know your plugin works as it updated another install to 3.5 no problem. What else do I need to do in this script?

    Basically I want to call this script manually, and otherwise have your script disabled. It’s the silent updates I want 🙂

  3. I am using the “Automatic Updater” plugin on several of my blogs, no doubt it updates the wordpress version, themes and plugins perfectly. But, the main issue is with the Email Notifications. When the updates are automatically done, after that it sends Email Notifications in 100’s figure. Today, I have received around 475 email notifications about the plugin updates.

    Could you please fix this issue?
    I have already opened the same issue on the Official WordPress Plugin page.

  4. Are you really serious regarding your developed plugins… A lot of people are using your plugins and might face the same issue I am facing. Please respond…

  5. I’m having the same problem. I’ve been receiving email notifications on a daily basis and they’re now running in the hundreds, too!

  6. From the plugin description: “You should also be aware that this will only work on WordPress installs that have the appropriate file permissions to update through the web interface”

    So exactly what permissions on what folders/files are required in order for this plugin to work? Thanks!

  7. From above: “These actions are useful for triggering a backup prior to the update…”

    Can anybody explain exactly how to get this plugin to trigger a backup prior to updating? I am hoping it could be made to work this way with the “Online Backup for WordPress” plugin from Backup Technology. But if that is not possible, then at least triggering any WordPress backup would be great. Thanks for any suggestions!

  8. I am baffled as to why the interface doesn’t simply allow one to maintain a list of themes and plugins that will not be automatically updated. It would be simple and it would make life a lot easier than having to write code to accomplish this. I’d think this would be a high priority. If one has modified themes or plugins , obviously one wouldnt want them updated willy-nilly. Then again , if one is modifying themes and plugins, they are probably capable of doing the coding, It just seems like it should be part of the core functionality of this plugin… 2 cents.

  9. What kind of $type (string) would I need to use for the the auto_updater_before_update function to trigger a Back Up Buddy save before updating the pug-ins on a WordPress site and similarly for the auto_updater_after_update function to re-activate the plug-ins – or does it do that automatically?

  10. Brilliant! Many thanks for the plugin, I have been looking for something like this for years!

    I do have a couple of questions,; having distributed this by script to all of my hundreds of sites, how can I

    a) turn on update everything core, themes, plugins ?
    b) activate all of the copies of the automatic updater by script without logging in to each site?

    Again, Many thanks


  11. How do we fire the cron job “on command”? Also I will second the posts for FTP and options to check off what we DONT want automatically updated. And the ability to force a backup before updates would be cool too!

  12. It should be noted that this plugin is now redundant with the release of WordPress 1.7, which contains automatic updates built in by default.

  13. PLEASE Don’t stop developing this plugin!!!! I can’t live without it! I’d be willing to pay $1 per year per site. Or even $2!! Just charge us, make some good money and keep up the great work!!!

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