I have two dozen installations of WordPress on my servers and until my most recent install, I have had to manually update versions (my preferred method). But this morning I received that a notice that this latest install updated to 5.7.2 automatically. I'd like to turn this off but only see a way to toggle minor vs. major updates on the Update screen. There is no mention of updates in wp-config.php, however, there are settings in wp_options that show auto_update_core_major is disabled (I just did this via the Update screen) and now auto_update_core_minor is enabled. I searched the "Interwebs" on how to turn this off. Is this the default? and can it only be overridden by wp-config.php or the MySQL command line?

This thread (ibid. #131334) explains some random process, but that doesn't seem very safe and a bit domineering.

Thanks, Brad

Update: Best explanation: wpengine.com.au/resources/disable-auto-update

  • 1
    This was the first result when searching "How to turn off automatic updates of the WordPress core": wpengine.com.au/resources/disable-auto-update Have you tried that? May 13, 2021 at 13:31
  • Also, disabling these updates will leave you vulnerable if you don't manually update as soon as you can anyway. May 13, 2021 at 13:32
  • @JacobPeattie I did read that, but I thought there had to be a simpler solution, e.g., in Settings. Changing code or using a plugin seemed a bit much for the average user. But, I guess that's what it is. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
    – breadwild
    May 13, 2021 at 14:18
  • @JacobPeattie I have a cron that checks for updates every night so I can stay on top of updates.
    – breadwild
    May 13, 2021 at 14:20
  • 1
    The "average user" shouldn't need to change this. And why are you running your own cron job when you could just use this feature? May 13, 2021 at 14:30

1 Answer 1


In wp-config.php add

// Disable all wordpress auto updates. 
define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false);

In functions.php add

// Disable auto plugin updates
add_filter('auto_update_plugin', '__return_false');

// Disable auto theme updates
add_filter('auto_update_theme', '__return_false');

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