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Can I opt out of WordPress core version updates?

Updated on April 30th, 2020

Note

It is always advisable to make updates as soon as possible. Older versions of WordPress—as well as older versions of themes and plugins—are more vulnerable to malware, and may suffer in performance and functionality. We therefore echo WordPress.org’s recommendation of making major version updates as early as possible.

We’ll always run minor security updates automatically on Flywheel, but you can opt out of major version updates on a site-by-site basis if you like.

By default, Flywheel will always keep your WordPress core version up-to-date, as recommended by WordPress.org. We do often take a little bit of time to evaluate each release (particularly with major version releases) just to make sure things go smoothly when updating, but we always roll out WordPress updates automatically soon after they’re released. See this help guide if you’d like a little more information on how we handle automatic upgrades.

This is great, especially when WordPress releases minor updates and patches for security or performance (for example, version 4.7.2 to 4.7.3). But some users prefer a little more control over major version updates (like 4.6 to 4.7).

 

Opting out

If you would rather make major version changes on a site manually, just head to the “advanced” tab of the site’s Flywheel dashboard. Hover over the ellipsis icon next to the WordPress version number, and a dropdown menu will appear. Select “Manage Updates” from that menu:

Hover over the ellipsis icon in the WordPress card, and choose "Manage Updates"

From here, you can choose to continue allowing Flywheel to make all WordPress core version updates on the site as soon after they become available (the default setting); or to opt out of major version releases and only have Flywheel automatically update the site when minor upgrades are available, by selecting “Minor updates only.”

Just click the “Submit” button once you’ve made your selection.

Choose "Minor updates only" to opt out of major version releases, then hit the "Submit" button

Any site with major updates disabled will be left out of batch WordPress major core version updates, and will remain on its current major version, only receiving security updates.

Note

Disabling major updates is not necessarily permanent. Sooner or later, any old WordPress version will eventually be deprecated, either by WordPress.org or by Flywheel. At that point, sites still on that major version will be updated regardless of this setting for the sake of security and performance. This setting will delay that upgrade by anywhere from weeks to years, but in keeping with WordPress best practice, we won’t leave sites on old versions forever.

 

Opting back in

If you’ve chosen to opt out of major version releases for a site, you’ll see a message in the “advanced” tab of the site’s Flywheel dashboard saying “Major updates disabled”:

You can identify sites with major updates disabled from the Advanced tab of the site's Flywheel Dashboard

Clicking the “Change Settings” button here will allow you to change back to All Updates.

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