WordPress 2.9 Feature Focus Batch Plug-in Updates


WordPress 2.9 (Carmen) has been officially released and has quite a few new features.  Some are visible and right on the page while many others are under the hood. 

One of the features that I really like is the ability to bulk update my plug-ins.  In previous versions of WordPress you had to update each plug-in individually by clicking on the automatic upgrade link in the WordPress plug-in, entering your FTP credentials and then waiting for the update to happen. If you had a lot of plug-ins this process could take a while to do.

To utilize the new bulk update process go to the Tools>Upgrade menu in the admin panel: 


There you will find a screen that looks something like this":


Select the check boxes for all the plug-ins you want to update and then press the Upgrade Plug-in button at the bottom and you will then be taken to a dialog box your familiar with to provide your FTP credentials. Once you have plugged those in the upgrade process will happen and once it is done you will be presented with this results page:


That is it for the process.  The only change I would recommend in a future update to WordPress is to place a link for this functionality on the actual plug-in admin page – maybe in the bulk action drop down menu.  From what I could see this bulk update option is only available on the main upgrade page.

So what is your favorite new feature of WordPress 2.9?




  1. Erik (1 comments.) says:

    Ha – I went straight to the bulk actions looking for the upgrade option. It makes the most sense – better than burying it under Tools.

  2. shep (1 comments.) says:

    I love the bulk upgrade of plugins but I think putting it in Tools -> Upgrade has to be the dumbest decision. Why not have it a bulk action on the plugins page? That would seem extremely logical. I actually had to google how to do it because I wasn’t expecting it to be located on the Upgrade page. I’d like to see the thinking behind that move.

  3. jcwinnie (5 comments.) says:

    Watcha talkin bout Willis? I followed those directions, and saw no screen such as you described. And, I have automagically upgraded to 2.9.

    • WindowsObserver (9 comments.) says:

      Hmm not sure what to say – it is in the Tools Upgrade menu for all 5 of the sites I manage.


    • WindowsObserver (9 comments.) says:

      Just thought of this and I know it seems like a silly question but do you have any plugins to be uprgaded? The option only appears if there are plug-ins to be updated.


  4. Simon (1 comments.) says:

    I think this is a great feature, it’s just a shame they decided to hide it from everyone. Why on earth have they put it under “tools”? Why not with the rest of the plugin options. Specifically, they have a link on the plugins page that shows only the plugins that have updates available, why not at least put a link to it on that page.

    I think they’ve really missed a usability trick. It took me a google search to find the option after hunting through all the plugin related pages in the admin area.

    • WindowsObserver (9 comments.) says:

      I agree Simon – hopefully that can be a part of a point upgrade down the road. I looked and looked for it on the plugin page and thought I was going crazy. Not sure what made me go look in the upgrade page but there it was. That is why I wrote this post to maybe help others looking for it as well.


    • Abhinav Sood (2 comments.) says:

      Really… I, too, had almost gone mad trying to find a way to batch-upgrade the plugins along with other plugin options, just when it struck me that maybe it will be under the upgrade tab!

      I won’t mind an immediate minor release addressing this issue! because this is a key feature of this milestone release – and I don’t want to wait for this to be fixed in the next milestone release around spring next year.. There are so many plugin upgrades every other day ..

      With the way it is, presently – it’s such a hassle!

  5. Abhinav Sood (2 comments.) says:

    Alright, I posted this issue as a Topic in WordPress Support > Requests and Feedback.. You can find it at —

    Usability Bug – Batch-Upgrade Plugins Feature in WP 2.9 : ()

  6. Michael Aulia @CravingTech (5 comments.) says:

    Really love this feature. I thought it was on the plugins screen, but after a few Google searches, managed to find it on the Tools-Upgrade section :D

  7. Developer Overseas says:

    Ahhhh……. ok…. I was looking all around for the Bulk Upgrade and could not find it on the Plug-in area so I just individually updated the plug-ins. Now I read your post and I see where it is :)

  8. goofydg1 (6 comments.) says:

    Not to pile on but I have to agree. It would seem to make more sense having it as a drop down option in the plugins bulk actions area. I never would have looked in the tools upgrade until I found this article.

    I’ll probably keep using the plugin central plugin because it puts the upgrades on the admin landing page. It’s also nice to be able to export a list of plugins and install them in the bulk install when I’m setting up a new site. Good time saver.

  9. sam says:

    Sorry if this is unrelated but I really need help, I just upgraded to the new WP version, and now cannot access my wp-admin, it shows Database Upgrade required and its been that way for 2 days now!! I know I might have a big database, but I need to add content right away. Can anyone help? thanks very much.


  10. Dion Hulse (2 comments.) says:

    It was an oversight that it was missed from the Plugins bulk actions, Personally, I just assumed it had been added there…

    Theres a trac ticket, and it’ll definately be in the next release in the bulk actions list!

    Its strange how developers can miss these things, Which is why having more users testing the beta’s is always helpful, test it, get confused why its not there, Report it, Developers realise “Hey… why didnt I think of that” or “Oh sh… i didnt write that part..” So please to those who are commenting with a “WTF?”.. Test the beta versions of WordPress :)

  11. Ostsee (1 comments.) says:

    this is a great feature , that safe many time.. but is the really secure?

    • WindowsObserver (9 comments.) says:

      I believe it is as secure as the method for updating them before version 2.9. They just added the ability to update more than one at a time.

  12. joecr (20 comments.) says:

    Well that explains why I could never find the feature. So like others I updated them manually. I hope they fix this issue.

  13. Rick@Rickety (10 comments.) says:

    I like the support for rel=Canonical. Also the trash is good (no, not my posts, I mean the trash can).

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