Core updates are subdivided into three types:
- Core development updates, known as the “bleeding edge”
- Minor core updates, such as maintenance and security releases
- Major core release updates
By default, automatic updates are only enabled for minor core releases and translation files.
Automatic updates can be configured using one of two methods: defining constants in wp-config.php, or adding filters using a Plugin.
Configuration via wp-config.php
Using wp-config.php, automatic updates can be disabled completely, and core updates can be disabled or configured based on update type.
Constant to Disable All Updates
The core developers made a conscious decision to enable automatic updates for minor releases and translation files out of the box. Going forward, this will be one of the best ways to guarantee your site stays up to date and secure and, as such, disabling these updates is strongly discouraged.
To completely disable all types of automatic updates, core or otherwise, add the following to your wp-config.php file:
define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );
Constant to Configure Core Updates
To enable automatic updates for major releases or development purposes, the place to start is with the WP_AUTO_UPDATE_COREconstant. Defining this constant one of three ways allows you to blanket-enable, or blanket-disable several types of core updates at once.
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );
WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE can be defined with one of three values, each producing a different behavior:
- Value of true – Development, minor, and major updates are all enabled
- Value of false – Development, minor, and major updates are all disabled
- Value of 'minor' – Minor updates are enabled, development, and major updates are disabled