How to Enable or Disable Automatic App Updates on iPhone?

In today’s fast-paced digital world, mobile applications play a significant role in our lives. These apps continuously evolve with updates, bringing new features, bug fixes, and security enhancements. Updating your apps is essential to ensure optimal performance and a seamless user experience. However, you may prefer more control over when and how your iPhone updates its apps. This article will explore how to enable or disable automatic app updates on your iPhone.

Understanding iPhone Automatic App Updates

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what automatic app updates are and how they work. It allows your iPhone to automatically download and install the latest version of apps without requiring your explicit permission. This feature simplifies the app update process by eliminating the need for manual updates from the App Store.

Enabling Automatic App Updates

Enabling updates on your iPhone is a straightforward process. Follow these steps to enable this feature:

  • Step 1: Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone.
  • Step 2: Scroll down and tap on “App Store.”
  • Step 3: Under the “Automatic Downloads” section, toggle the switch next to “App Updates” to enable it.

Once enabled, your iPhone will automatically download and install app updates as they become available. This ensures that you always use your installed apps’ latest version.

Disabling Automatic App Updates

You can disable this feature if you prefer more control over app updates. Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Launch the “Settings” app on your iPhone.
  • Step 2: Scroll down and tap on “App Store.”
  • Step 3: In the “Automatic Downloads” section, toggle the switch next to “App Updates” to disable it.

With automatic app updates disabled, your iPhone will no longer download and install app updates automatically. Instead, you’ll be free to choose which updates to install manually.

Managing Automatic App Updates

While automatic app updates are convenient, you may want to manage them according to your preferences. Here are a few options you can consider:

  • Wi-Fi Only: To conserve cellular data, you can limit automatic app updates to Wi-Fi only. This ensures that updates are downloaded and installed when your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Background App Refresh: By enabling background app refresh, your iPhone can update apps in the background while using other apps or when your device is locked.
  • Update Notifications: If you disable app updates but still want to stay informed about available updates, you can enable update notifications. This way, you’ll receive alerts when updates are available, giving you the choice to update manually.

Benefits of Automatic App Updates

Enabling app updates offers several advantages:

  • Time-saving: Automatic updates eliminate the need for manual app updates, saving you time and effort.
  • Enhanced Security: App updates often include security patches, protecting your device from potential vulnerabilities.
  • Bug Fixes: Updates address known issues and bugs, improving the stability and performance of apps.
  • New Features: Automatic updates ensure you have access to the latest features and functionalities app developers offer.

Drawbacks of Automatic App Updates

While automatic app updates can be beneficial, they also have some drawbacks to consider:

  • Data Usage: App updates can consume significant data, especially with limited mobile data. Enabling Wi-Fi-only updates can help mitigate this issue.
  • Incompatibility: Occasionally, app updates may introduce compatibility issues with certain devices or operating system versions. Manual updates allow you to research potential issues before updating.
  • Preference Control: Some users prefer control over the update process, choosing which updates to install and when. Disabling automatic updates provides this level of control.

Best Practices for iPhone App Updates

To ensure a smooth app update experience, consider the following best practices:

  • Regularly Check for Updates: Even if you have automatic updates enabled, it’s a good practice to check for updates manually periodically. This ensures that any critical updates are installed promptly.
  • Read App Release Notes: Before updating an app, take a moment to read the release notes. They provide valuable information about new features, bug fixes, and known issues.
  • Backup Your Device: Before installing any major updates, create a backup of your iPhone. This ensures you can restore your data in case of unforeseen issues during the update process.


Keeping your iPhone apps up to date is crucial for optimal performance, security, and access to new features. While automatic updates provide convenience, it’s essential to consider your preferences and needs. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily enable or disable updates on your iPhone and manage them according to your preferences.

Read More: How To Back up Your iPhone Data to iCloud or iTunes?


Q1. Can I select specific apps for automatic updates while disabling others?

  • Unfortunately, the iOS settings do not offer granular control over individual app updates. It’s an all-or-nothing setting.

Q2. Will automatic app updates affect my device’s battery life?

  • Typically, it has a minimal impact on battery life. However, if you’re concerned about battery usage, you can enable “Background App Refresh” to update apps more efficiently.

Q3. Can I still update apps manually if automatic updates are enabled?

  • With automatic updates enabled, apps will update automatically without requiring manual intervention. However, you can always update apps manually by visiting the App Store and tapping the “Update” button.

Q4. How can I check which apps were recently updated on my iPhone?

  • To check recently updated apps, open the App Store, tap on your profile picture, and scroll down to the “Updated Recently” section.

Q5. Are app updates free?

  • Yes, app updates are typically free. However, certain apps may offer optional in-app purchases or subscriptions for additional features or content.

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