How to stop your iPhone from automatically downloading app updates

disable automatic app updates

Introduced along iOS 7, automatic app updates is a feature, which like its name suggests, updates your App Store apps automatically, making sure you have the latest version on your device. This is for most users a great way to stay up-to-date without having to manually do anything.

However some users like to remain in control of what is happening on their devices, and may want to disable automatic app updates. In this post we will show you how to prevent your iPhone or iPad from automatically downloading app updates.

When do automatic app updates happen anyway?

I looked through Apple’s support documents and couldn’t find details about how automatic app updates actually work, their refresh rate, etc. I’d assume that iOS doesn’t recklessly update apps at random times, but rather intelligently proceeds. For example, and don’t quote me on that, I would assume that automatic app updates happen at night, when you’re connected to a known Wi-Fi network, with your device plugged in and charged at 100%.

It might not work exactly as I’m thinking, but I’m sure I’m not too far off. For instance, I highly doubt iOS would check and update apps in the middle of the day when you’re at work with 20% of battery left.

How to disable automatic app updates

These instructions apply whether you use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

1) Go to Settings > App and iTunes Stores.

2) Tap on the Updates button to toggle it off.


I personally don’t mind having this feature enabled, but I understand others might feel differently. Your mileage may vary, of course.

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