How to download apps that won’t update on your iPhone or iPad

App Store Updates shortcut iPhone

Are your app store updates getting stuck? Here are a few things you can try to help get things moving again.

Making sure you’re running the latest version of an app is important. App developers frequently update apps with new features, bug fixes, security improvements and other essential changes to make sure you’re up to date and using the latest and safest technology possible. Sometimes these downloads get stuck, and it isn’t always clear what’s causing the problem

How to download apps that won’t update

How to check for App Store updates

When Apple released iOS 13, it changed the way we see updates on our devices. iOS 13 removed the Updates tab in favor of the new Apple Arcade tab. Fortunately there’s an easy way to check right from the Home screen to see if you have any updates you need to install.

TUTORIAL:How to quickly access App Store updates from your Home screen

There’s a longer way to to do it, too:

To manually check for App Store updates

1) Tap on the App Store icon.

2) Tap your account icon in the upper right hand corner to access your account info.

Stuck Apps account info

3) Tap and drag down to refresh the Account screen with a list of apps that need to be refreshed.

4) Tap the Update button next to any app you’d like to be updated, or tap Update All to update all apps.

App Stuck Downloads

If you have apps that need to be updated but your iPhone or iPad is too stubborn to actually download the updates, follow these steps to help sort things.

Restart your device

It’s an old joke, but there’s truth to it: Have you tried turning it off and back on again? The first thing you should do to encourage a “stuck” iPhone or iPad that isn’t downloading apps you need updated is simply to  turn it off then on.

1) Tap Settings.

2) Tap General.

3) Tap Shut Down.

4) Slide the power button to the right to power off.

5) Once the power down cycle is complete, press the power button on your device to restart it.

Adjust network and App Store data settings

Depending on the size of the update, you might have to be on Wi-Fi in order to download it. If you’re on your cell data network, switch to Wi-Fi once it’s available and try the update again.

If you’re having trouble on Wi-Fi and you’re not concerned with data caps on your cell service, you can alternately switch to cell service – or to another Wi-Fi network, if one is available, to see if that sorts things.

Do you regularly use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection? If so, turn it off temporarily to see if that resolves your issue.

TIP: How to uninstall a VPN from your iPhone or iPad

You also have control over the threshold the App Store uses to download updates. Follow these steps to change the App Store’s download setting.

To adjust App Store cellular data settings

1) Tap Settings.

2) Tap iTunes & App Store.

3) Tap App Downloads. There are three settings for you to choose from Always Allow enables all apps to download automatically using cellular data. Ask if over 200 MB will only allow aos under 200 MB to download automatically, and Always Ask will ask for permission any time apps are downloaded using cellular data. Choose the option best for you given the terms of your cellular data plan.

Stuck apps update buttons

Pause and restart your app download

Firmly press the app that’s stuck on the Home screen. You may see the options to Resume Download, Pause Download or Cancel Download. If the app download is paused, tap Resume Download to continue. Toggle between Pause Download and Resume Download to see if that helps.

Verify your payment method

Under some circumstances the App Store will require you to re-enter your credit card info – especially the Card Verification Value (CVV) number imprinted on the back of the card – in order to continue processing your orders.

How to verify your App Store payment info

1) With your account info open, tap on your Apple ID info at the top of the screen to open your account settings.

2) Tap on Manage Payments

3) Highlight your preferred credit card payment method.

4) Enter the CVV security code.

Verify payment

5) Tap Done.

Delete the app and download it again

Is your app still being stubborn about downloading? Delete the app and download it again from the App Store. The App Store always has the most recent version of the app available for download.

Be aware that doing so will also delete any data associated with the app. So don’t do this if the app contains data you don’t have stored any other way.

TIP: How to delete installed iPhone and iPad apps right from the update list on iOS 13 and iPadOS

Wrapping up

Hopefully by now your app updates are downloading successfully. Let us know if you still run into problems or if you have any questions that weren’t answered by posting in the comments.