I've got this strange issue where a WordPress website is fully up to date, has no issues in terms of PHP errors etc

However, the installed plugins are stuck as old versions, and are not showing any available updates, no matter how many 'Check again' I click, cache is cleared, and hard refreshes happen.

Some have told to look in wp-config for a rule that affects cache, but there's nothing in there.

Is there anywhere else I can look, or anything I can do? I literally have no idea why it's happening...

  • 1
    Which plugins? Are they plugins from wordpress.org, or 'premium' plugins? Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 8:37
  • They're all genuine plugins found on wordpress.org/plugins/. Latest versions showing on there are newer than installed versions. However, the website is not showing any updates being available.
    – Lee
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 10:15
  • Can you look for _site_transient_update_plugins in wp_options in the database and see if that looks correct, with all plugins and available updates? I'd also try deleting it (and _site_transient_timeout_update_plugins) and trying a hard refresh again, to make sure it is actually happening. If that's no good then I'd start adding error_log() calls to e.g. wp-admin/includes/update.php get_plugin_updates() to work out what's going on. If it is there and correct then you'll need to look at the code that's reading it to see why your dashboard isn't flagging available updates.
    – Rup
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 11:03
  • @Rup _site_transient_update_plugins has an empty value, and _site_transient_timeout_update_plugins doesn't appear at all in the options table. Am I okay to completely remove the row for both of these then?
    – Lee
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 11:10
  • Yes, in general you can remove transients and WordPress will regenerate them. If the updates were working you should see a PHP-serialized list of plugins and available updates there instead. (Of course back up your database if you're ever unsure.)
    – Rup
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 12:40

1 Answer 1


There are two constants related to preventing editing of themes and plugins through the WordPress admin: DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT and DISALLOW_FILE_MODS. If these constants are set to true, editing themes and plugins in the WordPress admin will be disabled, and no core or plugin updates will be shown. Check if those constants are defined, and if they are, locate where and remove.

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