I am getting

Fatal error: Call to undefined function add_filter() in example.com/wp-config.php on line 20

after adding

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );

to wp-config.php

My plugins.php file is present and add_filter() is defined inside of it.

I just want to enable automatic updates for core, plugins and thems.

What am I doing wrong?

3 Answers 3


There is a section that should look like this:

defined( 'ABSPATH' ) || define( 'ABSPATH', __DIR__ . '/' );
require_once( ABSPATH . 'wp-settings.php' );

add_filter() is available after that, you are probably using it too early.

  • That's it, thanks! The Automatic Background Updates Wordpress codex entry (codex.wordpress.org/Configuring_Automatic_Background_Updates) should probably be updated with this info, but I have no idea how.
    – SkyHiRider
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 23:45
  • 1
    @SkyHiRider I made that update. :) You need an account on wordpress.org to edit the wiki pages.
    – fuxia
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 0:59

The recommended best practice is to use a mu-plugin for this. Adding add_filter()s to wp-config.php directly can cause all kinds of other problems and conflicts.


I used wp-cli and got this error.

I had in wp-config.php at bottom:


instead i put to top



it solved my problem

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