iOS OTA Update

iOS can download and install updates without the need to connect to iTunes; this is known as Over-the-Air (OTA) updating.

When you have an OTA update waiting for you, your Settings app typically gets a red badge and iOS will constantly nag you about software updates. The thing is, not everyone always wants to install Apple’s updates.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to disable requests for iOS updates on your iPhone or iPad. This trick will also remove the nagging badge on the Settings app.

Why turn off iOS software update reminders

For the most part, keeping OTA updates enabled on iOS devices is a great idea for the average. On the other hand, there are a few select reasons for more advanced iOS device users for why you may want to disable it:

  • Just for the sake of having the choice to tell Apple, “no”
  • When you know a software update changes something in a way you don’t like
  • When you want to keep your iOS device jailbreakable
  • When you don’t want constant nagging messages about an available software update

If you fall under any of these categories, then you’ve come to the right tutorial. Below, we talk about the steps to disable OTA updating on your iOS device(s).

How to stop iOS software update prompts and remove the badge

If you’ve gotten this far, you probably have your own reason to disable OTA updates on your device. So let’s get right into it; here are the steps you need to follow:

1) Turn off Find my iPhone on your device from Settings > iCloud > Find my iPhone.

2) Delete any downloaded OTA update files you already have on your device by following this tutorial.

3) On your iOS device, download and install a tvOS configuration profile.

4) Your Settings app will launch and prompt you to install it, so tap on the blue Install button.

Install Configuration profile iOS

5) If prompted for your passcode, enter it now:

iOS Configuration Profile Passcode

6) Next, tap on the blue Install button again, and when prompted, tap on the blue Install button one final time.

iOS Configuration Profile Install Twice

7) After it installs, you will be asked to restart your device; tap on the blue Restart button.

iOS Configuration Profile Restart

8) Once your device boots back up, you can go to Settings > General > Profile and verify that the configuration profile was installed successfully. If it is, move on to the next step.

iOS tvOS Configuration Profile

9) Next, you want to plug your iOS device into your Mac or PC and open iTunes.

10) Go to your device’s page in iTunes and back up your iOS device to your computer.

Backup iOS device in iTunes

11) Once finished, download and install iBackupBot on your computer, then launch it while your iOS device is still connected.

12) From the sidebar, go to /System Files/Home Domain/Library/Preferences under the device you have connected.

iBackupBot System Files

13) Once in the folder you want, open the file by double-clicking on it.

iBackupBot File to Edit

14) When the file opens, you will need to make a couple of edits.

  • Change the value of <key>kBadgedForSoftwareUpdateKey</key> from <true/> to <false/>
  • Change the value of <key>kBadgedForSoftwareUpdateJumpOnceKey</key> from <true/> to <false/>

iBackupBot Change Value 1

15) Next, click on the Save button and then click on the Close button.

iBackupBot Save and Close

16) Now, click on the Restore button in the toolbar.

iBackupBot Restore Toolbar

17) You will now need to select the device you have connected, and then click on the blue OK button:

iBackupBot Select Device OK

18) Next, make sure both of the first options are checked and that the third is un-checked. Then, click OK.

iBackupBot Check First Two Options

19) The process will now begin.

Note: If you get Error 37 during this process, then you forgot to turn off Find my iPhone, so make sure you do that and try again.

iBackupBot Restoring Device

20) When it finishes, your iOS device will say “restoring” and may reboot, just give it a moment. When it completes, you should get this message in iBackupBot. Just click on the blue OK button and move on to the next step.

iBackupBot Completed

And you’re done!

So now what?

Now that you’ve effectively closed off OTA updating on your iOS device AND deleted the OTA firmware that was already downloaded (if it was), you should be in the clear and iOS should say your firmware is update to date even if it’s not:

iOS 933 up to date

Since my iPad now thinks that iOS 9.3.3 is “up to date,” I will no longer get prompts to download and install iOS 9.3.4 or later unless I connect to my computer and open iTunes, which really isn’t very often. So I can live with that.

Wrapping up

Now that you know how to disable OTA updating on your iOS device(s), you can keep your firmware right where you like it without being badgered to update it all the time.

If you found this tutorial helpful, let us know in the comments below!

  • Charlie

    OMG that update message is driving me nuts but the process of stopping it is also very complicated

    • Rei

      Maybe for you, this is a walk in the park. Once you’ve surrounded yourself with this field then it’s nothing.

    • Jesse Guerrero

      If you are jail broken just install mikoto. It automatically prevents it from showing up

      • CS

        I wrote a comment above how to prevent it from being downloaded, if mikoto stops the daemon then fine, otherwise the silly updates would take storage capacity and use the internet connection to download and check for versions. It is much better disabled, for battery life as well.
        For nonjailbroken devices – this guide is the solution, however.

    • chris9465

      I used to think that way when Windows 10 released.

      Not anymore, Ive gotten very good at registry hacks. I deleted all the bloat/nag/crap/spyware Microsoft said was “baked in” hahaha Maps cortana photo app bing edge blah blah snore all gone! not disabled removed entirely!

      Sure, Cortana can’t be removed hahaha shes gone and never coming back!

      Never trust a software company they lie to live.

    • donna

      It just took a few minutes, keep screen open to see info while doing it, that helps

    • Dmitri

      Not really, all that’s truly needed to stop the nagging (albeit leaving the visual badge icons in place) is to install that profile by following steps 3 through 7. Took me about a minute, together with the reboot.

  • Daniele

    Thanks!! It was going me crazy!!

  • Xee

    Thanks, it does annoy me, but I’m too lazy to do all the above…

    • iphone72

      I totally agree

  • Y2J

    I love OTA updating, I just wish that when I say no and delete the update, don’t redownload the freaking update and keep asking me!

  • Rahat Ali

    Simplicity of Apple

    • Its this coplex because they don’t want you to disable it in the first place…

  • Joaquim N.

    I don’t OTA update my devices, ever. I’m very into downloading the whole firmware and restoring it as new, always! Since I did it a lot during the old days of different jailbreaks, trying all kinds of new weird and innovative apps and often messing up with my devices, I just got used to the procedure.

  • Y2J

    Hey Anthony (or anyone else), I restored and rejailbroke my phone (6s+ 9.3.3) like three days ago and it’s been working flawlessly. But about 20 minutes ago it resprung(?) and now it’s saying activation required. When I go through the short process it takes me to my home screen for about three seconds then resprings and does it again. I would love any help on this because my phone isn’t usable right now.

    • Santana

      Hey Y2J, did you restored from a back that was jailbreak? If so that could be the problem. I would suggest you reinstall ios and star as fresh

      • Y2J

        Nah man the restore was clean that’s why I’m not sure why this would happen. I’ve restored from jailbroken backups before and had issues that’s why I decided to do it this way. Anyway, I went to restore it in iTunes and it said “iTunes could not detect device” and suggested I go to an Apple Store if the problem persists. Fml

      • iGuru

        Drink it in, man. You don’t have… it…

  • Saulo Benigno

    OMG, what a hard process. Sorry, but no.

    • Rei

      This is nothing lol (well, for me-there’s pictures!), you just haven’t gotten into modifying the system yet.

    • It isn’t hard lol

    • leart

      4-5 minutes max

  • Mesos

    It won’t mess up Apple TV? :O Or am I asking something stupid?

  • Valinor

    I laughed lol
    So many steps for something that should be implemented by default…… Thanks Apple.

    • On the one hand I agree with you but on the other hand disagree with you. OTA updates usually fix gaping security flaws in iOS and it’s usually a good idea to install them since security fixes rarely get backported to older versions of iOS. On the other hand you as a user should be able to turn off or disable updates as long as you understand the implications of doing so.

      • leart

        dude, now with ios 10 coming next month our devices will be constantly downloading and working hard on background without our permission .. when 9.3.4 come out i noticed some overheat on my device.. didnt know it that my device was downloading, and preparing the update and I thought that the device was hot from my usage but it was not true .. it was the F….. update …

    • leart

      did this tutorial in 5 minutes… if your used with ibackupbot it’s pretty easy, just use the FIND option to find the right code to modify .. basically find, modify, save and click restore

  • Option 3: follow this guide 🙂

  • diggitydang

    Anyone know a tweak once you’re jailbroken to permanently remove the update badge on settings? I jailbroken my wife’s phone and it’s always had the badge on it (because there was a newer version available when I JB). If anyone knows, it would be appreciated.

  • ltcommander_data

    Can Find my iPhone be reactivated after the procedure is complete or does Find my iPhone have to remain permanently disabled?

  • Alexander S

    It isn’t hard but it’s not quick and easy either. Just to disable this little notification it’s not worth this much trouble. It’s good to know there is a long way for such a little reward. Thanks for the guide though.

  • mynamesuxlol

    Installed profile and the badge disappeared! Try checking if the badge is gone after reboot before doing all this

  • ScooterComputer

    Do you need to leave the tvOS 10 Beta Profile installed, or can it be removed?

    • Rolf Bause

      You have to leave it installed.

  • Yohannon

    Don’t really need to jailbreak the phone now that nightshift is in the OS, but even if I could this is useful for my work phones that CAN’T be jailbroken (for the “just jailbreak!” crew out there). THANK YOU.

  • Rolf Bause

    Isn’t it enough to just install the profile? Why do I have to do the following?

    • leart

      yes its enough .. the rest is to remove the badge from the icon and inside the settings menu

  • CS

    There is hell a lot easier way! Install iCleaner Pro, and just turn off the OTA SOFTWARE UPDATE daemon. Then after restarting, just goto the storage section on settings to delete the iOS 9.3.x newer version. It never appears nor is downloaded again, you’re a free human being now.

    • fattyz

      Thank you SO much I vaguely remember this I just did it that was driving me crazy!

    • faisal

      you my friend… this is all we needed…

  • Julioz

    Did the whole process. But the badge on the settings app is still there. The OTA section says the iOS is up to date, but the badge still remains. Do you know why this happened?

    • leart

      follow the steps again, first should be installed the profile.. it works 100% .. tried this on 3 devices

  • leart

    nice tutorial 😉

  • leart

    done 🙂

  • Rares

    I need some clarification here. I m on 9.3.4 and I plan to stay on it after the ios 10 release. If I install this profile, I will no longer have the settings badge and the update file but what if this profile makes my phone check for an update and drain the battery cause it won t find anything?? And does it screw up with my accounts, mail, icloud, icloud photo library? Basically, any downsides to this??

  • Anton Hedenström

    After this guide ive had to re enter my passwords for icloud, facebook, both email accounts etc

    Does it have to do with the tvos thing? None have mentioned it here but i cant see any other reason why it would start with the “there was a problem accessing your account please re-enter your password”

  • Danys Riri (Deniz)

    how to restore it to default settings?
    I mean, get the iphone back into automatic update whenever new software updates released?

    • D.S. Ryelle

      I would reload the iOS (either the one you’re running or the release before it) and it should go back to asking you for updates.

  • The Mazaya

    Omg this iOS9 is disgusting makes me wanna cry every time I use it

  • chris9465

    Curious question. Can I just block the apple site that the updates come from?

    I have my reasons for doing this, just curious if its even possible.

  • donna

    Followed your instructions, seems to be good so far, question: if I do decide to later update to ios 10 or above, do i just plug into itunes and do it, or can i still just do it on my iphone 6? Also, can I now turn wifi back on without fear of dreaded update happening ?

  • Fiftyseven

    Nicely outlined and described. Works great. I’m not ready for the thrill of iOS 10 yet!

  • Bill Judd

    I believe I followed all of the instructions correctly but when I double-clicked the, there were no entries as you listed so I was not able to complete the edits:
    Change the value of kBadgedForSoftwareUpdateKey from to
    Change the value of kBadgedForSoftwareUpdateJumpOnceKey from to

    So, my software shows “up-to-date” but I cannot get rid of the flags. Please advise. Thanks.

    OS10.7.5, iOS 9.3.5, iPhone 6

    • Bill J

      After everything mentioned above has been completed, can Find My iPhone be turned back on and still not receive software update reminders?

  • R71 Gg98

    This is awesome!!! It works on 9.3.5. Thank you so much.

  • DoctorZin

    My folder doesn’t have “” in it. It goes from preferences.datetime.plist to purplebuddy . . .

  • Kåre

    Setting->Notifications->AppStore->Allow Notifications to OFF


    • :D

      This is for OTA updates

  • roberte

    Anthony – Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • D.S. Ryelle

    I can’t find either of those keys in the file…there’s next to nothing in there. Very tempted to jailbreak, as I’ve changed phones and my 5S is nothing more than a backup-in-case-of-emergency/I’ll-go-back-if-I-can-get-rid-of-this-damn-problem sort of thing.

    • D.S. Ryelle

      I put their keys and edits in by hand and–nothing. The badge number is gone (has been for a long time), but the little number is there on the general bar. I may just put up with that…after all, getting rid of the popup every time I turned on my phone was all I wanted.

      (Don’t know what I’m going to do in 2018 when it’s time to get a new phone, but that’s 2018’s problem!)

  • jess

    i have an iphone 6s with ios 10. would like to keep it from updating to ios 10.1 using this…but i keep getting error -1 with iBackupBot even thoughFind my phone is disabled…anyone knows why?

  • Jack Sweeney

    I cant load backup in IbackupBot i get a error cannot load file info ive tried mutiple computers

  • Favna

    This has saved my ios 10.1.1 iphone 7+ from going 10.2 while I await the jailbreak to be stable. Thank you sooo sooo much Anthony!

  • NICE 🙂

  • Diego Milano

    What happens if I just install the profile and that’s it? 🙂

  • mgabrysPHX

    Those updates have not only near-bricked my 1st gen ipad mini, but have forced an update and accidental install situation with a parent who will no longer have any idea how her device worked. She got the ipad because it specifically was supposed to be easy to use.

    Moving the UI and settings around negates this – and she’s not capable of “relearning” it.

    Thanks Apple. You’ve become more evil than Microsoft.

  • mike

    spam bot

  • Jerzy Powązka

    has anyone tried it on ios 10.2.1? any success?

    I can not find the kBadgedForSoftwareUpdateJumpOnceKey line 🙁

    • rik

      Same here, it doesn’t work anymore. Probably apple read this artice too and made it unworkable. Backupbot even erased the whole preferences file and no problem even after rebooting.

  • Yudhi Mrgembel

    Nice trick..

  • scania471

    For me, there isn’t any page for the profile. 🙁

  • Henrique Furia Silva

    The link to the tvOS configuration profile is missing. Could you please update it?

  • dubstir

    I just followed all these steps word for word, but receive the -1 error while attempting to restore. I proceed to restore through iTunes and it appears to get to 80% or so, then an error and the iPhone prompts for a restart. It asks to try again. I want to prevent an iOS 11 update. Maybe this doesn’t work for iOS 11?!?