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How can I remove the "updates" menu in the Wordpress Admin panel?

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The needed solution depends of what you want to achieve. Just removing it from display could be done via a php global variable, css and jQuery. Just removing it would still leave it accessible. Completely denying the access to a user is bit more complicated. – kaiser Jan 8 '12 at 5:43
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can use the remove_submenu_page function (http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/remove_submenu_page)

add_action( 'admin_init', 'wpse_38111' );
function wpse_38111() {
    remove_submenu_page( 'index.php', 'update-core.php' );
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