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You are correct, Wordpress checks for updates to core and plugins every 12 hours, but a better way to word it would be: it checks updates if last update was more than 12 hours ago. The 12 hour setting is hard codded in wp-includes/update.php The last updated dates are stored in wp_options table and the options are: _site_transient_update_core ...


The relevant functions wp_update_plugins() and wp_maybe_auto_update() are hooked to the wp-cron events of same name, running on twice daily schedule. Logically the initial schedule will start to tick from the time of first run. Due to wp-cron implementation (not being real cron and trigered by site visits rather than server clock) it will also "drift" ...


In your finctions.php add_filter( 'auto_core_update_send_email', '__return_false' );

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