WordPress Core Downgrade: Restore the previous WordPress version

With WP Downgrade you can restore any WordPress core version with just a few clicks. A quick WordPress Core downgrade is especially useful if the latest update still contains bugs or is incompatible with the installed plugins.

A week ago I already presented the WP Rollback plugin, which can be used to undo updates of themes and plugins . As a supplement, I would like to introduce another plugin today, with which a rollback is also possible for the WordPress core.

WP downgrade plugin

The plugin is called WP Downgrade | Specific Core Version and is available for download in the official WordPress plugin directory.

Automatic downgrade or update to any WordPress version directly from the backend.

From: Reiseiger

( 130 )
Last updated: 4 months ago
100,000+ active installs
Compatible up to: 5.5.3

The functionality of the plugin is aptly described on WordPress.org and in a nutshell. Since I cannot formulate it better, I quote at this point:

The “WP Downgrade” plugin forces the WordPress internal update function to install a specific WordPress release. The defined core release is obtained like a regular update from wordpress.org and installed directly.

This works as usual via the update button in the admin area or via auto-update. The version number can be higher or lower than the currently installed version. A rollback to earlier releases is therefore also possible. Your WordPress will stay on this version until you save a new version number in WP Downgrade.

Before downgrading WordPress, as with any update, I recommend making a complete backup of the WordPress files and database. Testing the plugin beforehand on a local test bed or staging site is also a good idea.

Configure the desired WordPress core version

You can find the options for the WordPress Core downgrade under Settings → WP Downgrade . At the beginning the plugin shows the status Inactive .

WordPress downgrade options

In addition to the display of the currently installed version and the language, the plugin only offers an input field in which you can specify the desired target version. Both an upgrade and a downgrade of WordPress are possible.

You can see all available WordPress versions at de.wordpress.org/releases/ . When using a WordPress Core version that does not exist, the plugin also displays a suitable warning.

WP Downgrade: Version not available

Downgrade WordPress Core

After entering the exact version number such as 4.8.4 and saving the changes, the plug-in is activated. The status is now active and shows the version offered for upgrading / downgrading.

WordPress Core Downgrade activated

A new button is offered under the settings, which leads to the conventional update menu in the WordPress backend. The downgrade can now be installed there like a normal update.

For installing click on the button again.

WordPress Core Update

Then the WordPress core is updated to the desired version.

Deactivate WP downgrade

After installing an older version, the plugin is still active and prevents updates to the latest WordPress version from being offered. This can be critical because important security releases are not made in the same branch (e.g. 4.8.5).

So I recommend deactivating the plugin after downgrading by entering an empty version number in the options. Alternatively, the complete plugin can be uninstalled.


WP Downgrade is a quick way to roll back to the previous WordPress version in case the latest WordPress update causes problems. Once these bugs have been fixed, you should update to the latest WordPress version.