Arizona Senator John McCain famously asked Apple CEO Tim Cook “Why the hell do I have to keep updating my apps on my iPhone all the time and why you don’t fix that?” I’m waiting for the day that McCain or some other Congress critter flip-flops and asks for instructions on how to turn automatic app updates back off again. Tim Cook and Apple fixed automatic updates for Apps and caught up with Android. Windows users got the feature with the move to Windows 8.1. So, now users of the three major mobile platforms can automatically update Apps until the cows come home. Huzzah!
Or maybe not. Call me old fashioned, and perhaps not a maverick, but I prefer to have some control over when things change on my devices. I may not be able to control how the NSA grabs my data going out, but I can at least stop App updates from coming in when I don’t want them to. So, I keep automatic updates turned off. I run devices on Windows 8.1, iOS 7, and Android 4.3. I keep automatic app updates turned off for the simple reason that even when manually downloading an update I’ve seen updates go bad. Which means you need to wait for the developer to release a new update. Admittedly for the most part this can be a first world problem, but when it happens it is horribly frustrating.
I used to semi-religiously hit the Update All button in App Stores whenever updates appeared. But after being bitten once or twice I have become a little more circumspect about this.
Fortunately, users can turn off automatic updates on all three platforms. Here’s how to turn off auto app updates on each platform:
On your iOS 7 device go to Settings. Scroll down to iTunes and App Store and make that selection.
Scroll down to you see the heading Automatic Downloads. The last toggle should be Updates. Turn it off and you’re done.
Open up the Google Play Store App from your App Drawer or where you have it located.
Choose Apps and then go to Settings by using the capacitive button to the left of the Home Button.
Once you reach the Settings Window select Auto-Update Apps.
On the menu pop-up that appears choose Do not auto-update apps. You’re done.
In Windows 8.1 using the Metro or Modern UI, first open the Windows Store, then swipe in from the right to access the Charms Bar.
Then choose Settings. You will see a selection for App Updates. Select it.
On the next screen you will see a toggle switch to turn automatic updates on or off. Flip the switch and you’ve turned them off.
If you’ve turned automatic updating off, you can check for updates in the Windows Store by following the same steps above and hitting the button to Check for updates.