What is the update_plugins permission in WordPress?

The update_plugins permission allows update WordPress plugins to a more recent release.

The update_plugins permission gives access to the Dashboard > Updates menu link. A user with this permission will also see a red update icon in the left menu and a grey icon in the top menu.

Users with the update_plugins permission will be able to see select plugins and click the “Update Plugins” button:

If the user has the activate_plugins permission, they will also be able to update plugins via the “Plugins” link shown below.

Who has the update_plugins permission?

The update_plugins permission is available on single WordPress sites and on multisite networks.

By default, the update_plugins permission is only given to Super Admins, and Administrators.

Users not in these roles are not allowed to update plugins.

How can you control who has the update_plugins permission?

You can control who has the update_plugins permission by installing the PublishPress Capabilities plugin.

  • Install the PublishPress Capabilities plugin.
  • Go to “Capabilities” in your WordPress admin menu.
  • Using the dropdown in the top-left corner, choose the role you want to edit.
  • Check or uncheck the “activate plugins” and “update plugins” boxes in the “Other WordPress Core Capabilities” area.

All plugin permissions in WordPress

All update permissions in WordPress

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