How to Disable WordPress Core Auto Updates

Table of Contents

Updating your WordPress website regularly is important to your site’s security and stability.
Often WordPress is set to make core system updates automatically and your backup solution may not make a backup beforehand which could have serious consequences.

In this article you’ll learn how to disable wordpress core auto updates, putting you back in charge and ahead of any potential issues.

When it comes to controlling automatic updates in WordPress, including minor and major releases, disabling them through the wp-config file offers an effective solution. However, it’s essential to exercise caution while making changes to this critical file as any mistakes can lead to site crashes. This guide will walk you through the process of disabling automatic updates in WordPress using the wp-config file.

Differences between Core, Major, and Minor WordPress Updates: To understand the distinctions between core, major, and minor WordPress updates, consider the following points:

Core Updates:

  • Core updates refer to major releases of the WordPress software.
  • These updates include significant changes, new features, and improvements.
  • Disabling core updates helps maintain control over when and how updates are applied.
  • To disable core auto updates, follow the steps below:


    1. Log into cPanel or access your site files using an FTP client like FileZilla or Cyberduck.
    2. Locate the wp-config file, usually found in the root directory where WordPress is installed.
    3. Make a copy of the wp-config file for backup purposes.
    4. Add the following line of code just before the “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing. */” line in the file: define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, false );

Note: Avoid placing this code after the “happy publishing” line or significantly above it to prevent interference with vital code.

    1. Save the changes and exit the file.


Major Updates:

  • Major updates in WordPress include significant releases that may introduce new functionalities, security enhancements, and bug fixes.
  • Disabling major updates provides more control over the update process.
  • To disable major updates while allowing minor ones, modify the code as follows:


      1. Follow steps 1-4 mentioned in the “Core Updates” section above.
      2. Change the code from “false” to “minor”: define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, ‘minor’ );
      3. Save the changes and exit the file.


Minor Updates:

  • Minor updates refer to smaller updates released within a major version of WordPress.
  • These updates typically focus on bug fixes, security patches, and minor improvements.
  • By default, minor updates are enabled in WordPress.
  • To disable all automatic updates, including both major and minor ones, add the following line to the wp-config file:


      1. Follow steps 1-4 mentioned in the “Core Updates” section above.
      2. Add the line of code: define( ‘AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED’, true );
      3. Save the changes and exit the file.



Disabling automatic WordPress updates using the wp-config file provides granular control over the update process. Remember to handle the wp-config file with care and create backups before making any changes. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively disable core, major, or minor updates based on your preferences.

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