We love the plugin autoupdate functionality in WordPress, but we really don’t want them to update on a Saturday night, potentially bringing a site down and messing up our weekend.
When do plugin autoupdates happen?
Every time someone hits admin:
add_action( 'admin_init', '_maybe_update_plugins' );
This function checks if plugin autoupdates have happened in the last 12 hours: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/browser/tags/5.5.3/src/wp-includes/update.php#L804
So it’s not a specific time, but rather it’s checking a transient to see when it last happened. It’s also not reliant on WP_CRON.
This is good news, because we don’t have to worry about hitting a 12 hour window – it will just check if it’s happened in the last 12 hours and then run if it’s in a predefined window we set.
How do we set time windows for updates?
Method 1: All Autoupdates
Method 2: Plugins Only
Note that this second method respects the autoupdate setting within business hours, so you can still fully disable autoupdates for specific plugins individually.