In a Wordpress 3.5.1 network, I have six plugins which have updates available:

  • AddThis Follow Widget
  • AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget
  • AddThis Welcome Bar
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com
  • Visual Form Builder
  • WordPress SEO

I select them, press Update, Wordpress loads through it's update procedure:

The update process is starting. This process may take a while on some hosts, so please be patient.

Enabling Maintenance mode…

All updates have been completed.

and then I see that I still have 6 updates available, and the updates have not been applied to these 6 plugins.

I have not made any changes to Wordpress, and deactivating plugins does not resolve this.

I receive no errors, and the hosting plan we're on is unlimited disk space.

  • no if there where no permission wordpress would not even try to update and then say they are updated! Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 22:10
  • are you sure James? I doubt this
    – Steve
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 6:15
  • 1
    It would be helpful to see the request parameters. Use the Chrome developer tools network panel to view the request. It should be a POST to update-core.php?action=do-plugin-upgrade (though I'm using multisite to test this so it might be a little different for you). The form data should look something like, upgrade=Update Plugins&checked[]=some-plugin/some-plugin.php&checked[]=another_plugin/another_plugin.php. Is there anything non-traditional about your WP installation, like symlinking the plugins directory? Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 21:37
  • @Steve yes I am sure, WordPress asks for FTP credentials and lets you do it the ftp way and not even tries to write the files with if there is no permission. Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 3:34
  • @JamesMitch: add an answer; I think you're right.
    – Steve
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 10:51

6 Answers 6


did you install memcached or apc plugin? If you did, remove them and try it. Probably its caching problem.

Update: I am not sure if this is your case but i was facing this problem when i try to use apc for opcode caching. Basically main problem is fcgi prosesses are not using same cache pool. Here is more details: https://bugs.php.net/bug.php?id=57825 What can i suggest: dont use opcode cache or use memcached for opcode caching.

Update2: It seems we are getting another alternative to apc.. Optimizer+: https://twitter.com/unsalkorkmaz/status/309736703852154880

  • I use W3 Total Cache, which is front end caching I believe.
    – Steve
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 6:14
  • Please try to disabled w3 total cache and try update. If it works, probably your hosting company using FCGId or CGI wrapper thats cousing problem with apc opcode caching. Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 12:16

Here is how to solve/determine the problem.

Download the plugin files and update them manually through FTP.

If the problem persists. Disable all plugin files except ones that need to be updated.

Try again to update.

If problem persists disable all plugins and update one by one. If you have a plugin conflict you should really try to find the problem plugin because it could cause other problems later that you don't know about know.

If problem persists change the theme and try to update again.

If WordPress still says they need to be updated download the WordPress core files for 3.5.1 and overwrite core files only. Be sure not to overwrite your Wp-config file and .httaccess file intact so you don't have to change the settings for your network.

These are the steps to always take if you ever have any problem with your plugins or themes.

If none of this solves your problem. There is definitely some sort of caching problem and you should contact your host.


We had a similar issue and the plugins were not updating. The issue was due to the incorrect permissions on the plugin folder and the files inside the folders. Make sure to update the correct permission and this issue will be fixed.


So lets see if I accidentally got this figured out just by proving @Steve 's comment wrong

So you maybe had typed in the wrong ftp creditials for another server, wordpress uploads this plugins to the ftp what is on another server, then is thinks the plugins are updated, tells you that and then they are not (on this server)?


Another possible way to trigger this issue is by hooking into one of WordPress's update filters (like pre_set_site_transient_update_plugins) and returning false, which prevents the updater from finishing its update check and causes it to believe that it successfully executed with no updates found.

I'm not sure that's technically a bug or not, but in any case, it's one possible reason why this silent failure can occur. So if you have any plugins that run custom update-related code, double check to make sure that they're not screwing something up.


Turn off the OpCache. +optional: install plugin: WP Crontrol, then run "wp_update_plugins" Cron Event.

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