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I have a couple of WordPress websites that are giving me problems with plugin updates. When I check for updates, it appears that there are no updates available, but then when I check the plugins website individually I see that they all have updates available (I have other websites using the same plugins/themes/server and they can update without problems).

I have tried the following to try to resolve it:

  • Completely reinstall the subscription on the plesk server.
  • Reset folder and file permissions. First all to 777 and then seeing that it doesn't work, 755 to folders and 644 to files.
  • Plugin easy updates manager, but it doesn't show the updates either.
  • Deactivate all plugins, but it doesn't find updates either.
  • Updating plugins manually by uploading the new file does work, but it is not practical in the long term.
  • Review logs when checking for updates. No error appears.
  • Delete the update.php file from wp-includes and replace it with one from other websites that does work, but does nothing either.
  • Reinstall the wordpress core.
  • I checked the functions.php file in themes/wp-includes looking for a filter that blocks updates, but it doesn't.
  • I've check for disallow_file_edit and disallow_file_mods defined but cant find them neither (WordPress not showing plugin updates available)
  • Check for _site_transient_update_plugins in wp_options but row is not there (I did not delete it)

One thing I have noticed is that when updating a plugin manually, the translation updates appear but they give an error, download failed: unauthorized, but then when I check the file permissions they are fine...

I have tried everything I have imagined and searched everywhere for information, but I can't find what the problem is. Could anyone tell me or have they had a similar problem?

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  • Can you check the wp_options table in the database for a row like '_site_transient_update_plugins` and _timeout ? Is the timeout set far in the future? (You may need to convert the number to a date e.g. an online unix epoch converter) It's safe to delete the rows.
    – Rup
    Commented May 15 at 10:01
  • Is your WordPress cron system running OK?
    – Rup
    Commented May 15 at 10:02
  • @Rup I've check for both rows but they are not in the wp_options table. I've also check logs but no error in wp-cron, just this: 503 POST /xmlrpc.php HTTP/1.0
    – Charlie
    Commented May 15 at 10:58
  • Then that sounds like the update code wp_update_plugins isn't running at all. Apologies, I don't remember off the top of my head how it's triggered, or to go about debugging it. I think it gets run by the cron system, and at first glance it should also be run by opening the plugins page in the admin site.
    – Rup
    Commented May 15 at 11:38
  • I'd probably put error_log() calls into wp_update_plugins in wp-includes/update.php to trace out the flow and work out what's going wrong.
    – Rup
    Commented May 15 at 11:42

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