Home Apple How to Turn Off Automatic App Updates in iOS 9

How to Turn Off Automatic App Updates in iOS 9

If your iPhone or iPad is automatically updating apps without your permission, there’s a way you can disable that from happening again, and here’s how to do it.

A feature that was introduced in iOS 7 allows your iPhone or iPad to automatically download and install app updates, meaning that you don’t have to go into the App Store app and manually download any updates you get, which can be an everyday occurrence depending on how many apps you have.

However, this is a feature that not every user will enjoy, since many users like to be in control of what exactly they’re downloading. In that case, automatic app updates isn’t exactly a terrific feature and it can eat away at your monthly data allowance if you’re not careful.

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By default, automatic app updates are enabled, so you’ll have to go adventuring into the settings to turn it off, but it’s not difficult to do at all. Here’s how to disable automatic app updates on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 9.

Disabling Automatic App Updates

Turning off automatic app updates can be a bit tricky to find in the settings, but follow these quick steps and you’ll be done in no time.

  1. Open up the Settings app.
  2. Tap on App and iTunes Stores.
  3. Under the section titled Automatic Downloads, you’ll see an item called Updates.
  4. Tap on the toggle switch to turn it off so that it goes from green to gray. If it’s already gray, then the setting is already changed and there’s nothing you need to do further.

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From now on, app updates won’t automatically download and install on your iPhone or iPad, but you will have to open up the App Store every time and check for app updates. However, this is far more preferable for a lot of users, including myself, who like to be in control of what app updates you download and when you download them.

Read: 57 iOS 9 Tips, Tricks & Hidden Features

If you do want automatic app updates enabled, you can at least set whether or not you want automatic app updates to be enabled when using a data connection. Right below the Automatic Downloads section, there’s an item called Use Cellular Data.

Flicking this toggle on will allow the App Store (as well as other iOS services) to download updates and other content over a data connection when your iPhone isn’t connected to WiFi. Turning the feature off will limit the App Store to download updates only when on a WiFi connection.

Should You Use This Feature?

Automatic app updates can be useful for some, and not useful for others, but it depends on your situation.

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Sadly, you can’t select specific apps to receive automatic updates while other apps remain manual. This is one of the biggest criticisms with this feature. You either have to disable automatic app updates for all of your apps, or you have to install updates manually for all of them. If you’re looking for such control, you won’t find it in iOS 9.

Secondly, if you’re the type that always waits to install an update just to make sure it’s not a broken update that contains a critical bug, then you probably want to disable automatic app updates.

While most updates fix bugs and improve performance over the previous versions, some app updates get hiccups at times, and it can wreak havoc on your iPhone or iPad, which has more and more users cautious about installing updates until they know it’s okay to install.

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19 Comments

  1. Jordan

    04/09/2015 at 11:56 am

    it helped me stop this disgusting updates i never asked for.Tnx

    Reply

    • Steve

      04/14/2015 at 5:42 pm

      From a security perspective you want to auto-update your apps or at least train yourself to check for updates regularly. Many app developers will release updates to address security issues that may impact your device.

      Reply

  2. john smith

    09/04/2015 at 2:29 am

    steve: true, but mostly apps update because companies found new ways of making money from you, serving more adds, changing things that you just got used to, disabling your favourite feature, etc etc… updates=grief

    Reply

  3. Shivang

    09/06/2015 at 11:36 pm

    Thanks for the tip..looking for this solution from long time.

    Reply

  4. Tony

    09/14/2015 at 10:00 am

    I think this may explain why my mac has many updates yet they do not seem to sync to iPhone. May also explain why I run out of data quickly. Thank you.

    Reply

  5. Pete

    09/17/2015 at 2:10 am

    I downloaded Smart Memory Lite (3.3.3) and purchased the upgrade to Pro. Everything was fine until the last update (3.3.4). It reverted me back to Lite and disabled everything. The pro version price was then increased from £0.99 to £1.99.

    I manage to reinstall 3.3.3 from iTunes but when I went into App Store, the v3.3.4 appeared. I didn’t click on update, but it still updated. Will disabling auto updates fix this problem?

    Reply

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    09/28/2015 at 8:26 am

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    01/27/2016 at 6:19 am

    0=1116my friend’s aunt makes $72 /hour on the laptop . She has been without a job for 10 months but last month her pay check was $15585 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
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  8. Harvey Datster

    03/24/2016 at 9:50 am

    A word to the wise: I use Verizon and have been stung with app updates hitting my data plan. If you start app updates when connected to wifi, but then leave wifi (leave the wifi area), the app updates continue using your cell data.

    To stop from using cell data in that situation, you must disable your iTunes app from using cell data under the Cellular setting (in the Settings app).

    The “Use Cellular Data” switch in the screen shot above is apparently only in the event you allow “automatic updates” – not manual updates. I’ve eaten half my data allotment by not disabling the iTunes app from using Cellular data.

    Be warned…

    Reply

  9. Bose

    04/13/2016 at 3:44 pm

    This is not a solution, the update still downloads and pesters the user to update even with the dammed thing switched off as you showed.

    Reply

  10. SSS

    04/14/2016 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks Bose. I’m having the same issue.

    Reply

  11. Nikola

    05/08/2016 at 4:58 pm

    Yeah doesn’t fix anything . Are there supposed to be apps that secretly just drink off the WiFi data . Its my class’s WiFi so I cant risk any occult excessive data . Please talk to me

    Reply

  12. Mikhail

    05/25/2016 at 4:49 am

    It worked for me, thanks !

    Reply

  13. Brian Jor

    06/10/2016 at 6:38 am

    My IPhone 6 is stealing data DAILY!!! At the SAME TIME each day. We have reset everything…even reset the phone as a new user and did not install any apps other than the default apps that install with IOS 9. I believe we have shut off everything we can in settings……half of our data plan is STOLEN every month for the last 3 months. I JUST DONT GET IT……APPLE PLEASE FIX THIS!

    Reply

  14. David

    07/06/2016 at 7:00 pm

    It may not be clear to some of the above responders, but this only disables App updates, not the core iOS updates. Apple still wants to force those on you. The only way to prevent those is to set a firewall rule on your router to block the Apple servers, and delete any iOS update already downloaded to your device by going to General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Storage > Manage Storage, then clicking on the update on the list of apps and choosing to delete it (this is how you can temporarily get rid of the nag screen telling you to update, until the next time it downloads).

    Unfortunately blocking Apple via your router will also prevent any other kind of update, either automatic or manual. Also any time you get on the internet anywhere else that hasn’t done this (like the local Starbucks), it will start downloading the iOS update again.

    Sorry, Apple, but enough people have been burned/had their devices bricked by updates that you shouldn’t be trying to force them on people this way. You’re just pissing them off even worse. But then, that’s just Business as Usual for Apple.

    Reply

  15. Matt

    08/25/2016 at 2:56 pm

    When I click the updates switch, it bounces back about 5 secs later. Also, every time I go into my phone, I get a pop up asking if I want to enable automatic updates. Any ideas on how to sort these please?

    Reply

  16. Honzik

    08/27/2016 at 2:41 am

    thank you so much now i can update my apps only when i want to

    Reply

  17. Karolyn Smalls

    08/31/2016 at 5:52 am

    What a pain in the ass – when it automatically updates – my phone vibrates in the middle of the night constantly and wakes me up… SOOO ANNOYING. I had to get up and plug in my phone in another room just so I could sleep – but of course missed the alarm on my phone to wake me for work… Hating this new update!!

    Reply

  18. Gk

    03/29/2017 at 5:19 pm

    This is not working. I have all app auto updates turned off, yet they update all by themselves. How do I get this fixed?

    Reply

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