Can’t update your iOS and apps automatically on your iPhone?
You are used to having your gadgets take care of themselves so you won’t have to worry about it. And of course, your iPhone is not an exception. You can activate the automatic software or app update feature on your iPhone anytime to make your life easier.
But what if the automatic update feature does not work? What if you need the application and it won’t work because of a fail update?
That would be troublesome especially if you need the app for work or use it for an important task.
Today we will help you resolve this problem by providing different methods. By the end of this post, you should be able to fix your automatic software or app updates not working on your iPhone issue, and get your device to perform the updates automatically.
Let’s jump right in!
- 1. Restart the Device
- 2. Check Connectivity and Power Source
- 3. Check Device Storage
- 4. Check the iOS Update Settings
- 5. Check Apple Service Status
- 6. Check the iTunes & App Store Settings
- 7. Check Apple ID
- 8. Pause and Resume App Download
- 9. Check for Download Restrictions
- 10. Reinstall App Using Correct Apple ID
- 11. Reset Your iPhone
1. Restart the Device.
Your iPhone may be running for days and could be overloaded with applications. When that happens, your iPhone might not work correctly because it is overloaded with tasks.
To fix this, you need to offload your iPhone by restarting it.
To restart your iPhone, go to your iPhone Settings, tap on General, and then tap the Shut Down option. Now drag the Slide to Power Off button to the right to turn off your iPhone.
After a minute, turn back on your iPhone. If your iPhone is unresponsive and won’t allow you to do this, you can force restart it instead.
The process of restarting your iPhone can help you offload the unwanted tasks and subsequently help with fixing the issue with the automatic software or app updates not working on your iPhone.
2. Check Connectivity and Power Source.
You will need internet access to connect to Apple Server for the update process. This may be basic but oftentimes it’s a crucial factor that is neglected by most users.
Open the Settings app and then click on Wi-Fi. After that, toggle the Wi-Fi button and connect to your wireless network (as shown below).
If you want to proceed with the iOS update, the first thing you have to do is to connect your iPhone to a power source.
To do that, go ahead and connect your iPhone to a charger or place it on a wireless charging pad (only applicable for iPhone X and newer models) that is connected to a working power source.
Once the iPhone begins to charge, you can try to check if the automatic software/app updates work.
3. Check Device Storage.
An update file can sometimes take a lot of space on your iPhone. If you don’t enough free space on your phone, that could cause problems with the process.
To check, go to your iPhone Settings, then tap on General, and then tap on iPhone Storage. Be sure you have 3 to 4 Gigabit of free space.
If you have a lot of pictures or videos on your iPhone, keep a backup of those files and delete them to free some space. You can back up your files using a computer or using an external hard drive.
However, if you don’t have access to your computer or an external hard drive, you can back up using iCloud Storage or any other cloud storage services such as OneDrive, DropBox, or Google Drive.
To enable iCloud Backup, go into your iPhone’s Settings app and then tap on your Apple ID profile (top). Next, from the Apple ID page, tap on iCloud.
After that, from the list below Apps Using iCloud, tap on iCloud Backup, and make sure that the switch next to iCloud Backup is enabled (as shown below).
4. Check the iOS Update Settings.
Before anything else, make sure that your iPhone has the correct date and time settings.
It has been reported before by users who have experienced automatic software and app updates not working on iPad devices that incorrect date/time settings can cause the issue.
This is because the updates won’t work if the Apple server detects that you have the wrong time on your device.
Hence, to make sure that you have set the correct settings, open your Settings app, tap General, and then select the Date & Time option.
Next, tap on the Set Automatically button so that the system automatically chooses the most accurate date/time for you based on your locality.
To avoid problems with your application updates, make sure that your iOS is at the latest version.
You can do this by going to your iPhone Settings, then tap General, and select Software Update.
Once your iOS version is up-to-date, tap on the Automatic Updates button to enable the ‘Auto-update’ feature. If you have encountered errors during the process, feel free to check out Apple’s support page on this topic about what to do.
5. Check Apple Service Status.
Sometimes, the problem with the update process is not correlated with your iPhone. There could be times that your iPhone could not download the update because one of Apple’s many servers may be down.
More often than not, Apple does perform system maintenance that can cause disruption with certain services running on your iPhone. You can identify if this is the case, by checking out the Apple System Status page to ensure that services such as App Store and Apple ID are available (indicated by green 🟢). If you see a service that is indicated by a yellow 🟡 or red indicator 🔴 then it means that the service is currently down and undergoing maintenance.
6. Check the iTunes & App Store Settings.
The next thing you will need to check is the iTunes and App Store settings itself.
Changes in the iTunes and App Store settings can occur after a recent update that you had installed. Such changes may have also by default disabled the automatic downloads setting for your apps which causes the automatic software or app updates to not working on your iPhone.
Here’s how you can check your iTunes and App Store settings to make sure you have the right configuration:
- Go ahead and open the Settings on your iPhone.
- Then, tap your Apple ID profile at the top of the screen and tap iTunes & App Store.
- Now, under the Automatic Downloads section, the App button and App Updates should be enabled. If not, toggle the button to enable it.
- Finally, if you wanted these apps to update even if you are on cellular data, toggle the Automatic Downloads under the Cellular Data section.
When you decide to enable the Automatic Downloads over cellular data feature, you can help limit the download size which will ensure app updates that are less than 200MB get installed automatically. This also helps to avoid additional data charges if you have a limited bandwidth plan from your provider.
7. Check Apple ID.
Having multiple Apple ID accounts signed into on your iPhone can cause the device to get confused. This is because the applications that are trying to update may not be associated with the Apple ID that is logged in.
Hence, you will need to check if the app is correctly associated with the Apple ID currently logged in.
Here’s what you do:
- Go ahead and launch the App Store app on your iPhone.
- Then, tap on your Apple ID Profile icon.
- Now, on the Account page, tap on the Purchased option.
- Next, scroll through the list to check if the app that you wanted to update is listed there. If not, log out of your Apple ID account by going into the Settings app, then your Apple ID profile (top), and then click on Sign-out.
- Finally, sign back in the correct Apple ID associated with the app you want to update.
If you are sure that you are using the correct Apple ID, you can still do Steps 4 and 5. This is because your Apple ID profile may have gotten corrupted and is causing this problem.
By logging out and logging back into your Apple ID account, it helps to rebuild the profile as well as fix the automatic software or app updates that are not working on your iPhone.
8. Pause and Resume App Download.
Sometimes when you are in the middle of an update process for your app, it can get interrupted. When this happens, it could cause problems and may even end up being stuck in the middle of the process.
To fix it, you will need to pause the download and restart the process.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Go ahead and find the icon of the app on your iPhone Home screen.
- Then, tap and hold the icon, and a Pause Download option will display on the pop-up menu.
- If you have an older iPhone version, just tap on it and tap on the pause icon.
- Finally, tap on the icon again to resume the download.
Doing this process will help your stuck app to kick start the download again. Do this on each and every app that you want to update first.
If you have multiple apps, try to choose the Prioritize Download option on important applications.
9. Check for Download Restrictions.
It’s also worth checking if you’ve accidentally set any app download restrictions on your device. This may be the reason why the apps are not downloaded automatically.
To check if such restrictions are in place, go into your Settings app, and then click on Screen Time.
Then, tap on Turn Off Screen Time to disable the restrictions on your iPhone. Finally provide the Screen Time passcode to finalize the process. If you forgot your Screen Time passcode, learn more about what to do.
Don’t have Screen Time on your iPhone? On older iOS versions, go to the Settings, then General, and then tap on Restrictions.
Disable this feature to remove restrictions on your iPhone. With this, you have full access to your iPhone to download and update your applications.
10. Reinstall App Using Correct Apple ID.
As aforementioned, if you’ve used a different Apple ID to install the application but currently you’re not using that Apple ID anymore, then it helps to reinstall the application using the current Apple ID.
So after you’ve done Method 7, follow the below steps to delete and reinstall the app using the Apple ID you’re using right now.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Go ahead and search for the app icon that you want to delete on your iPhone Home screen.
- Then, tap and hold the app icon on your screen until it jiggles.
- Now, tap the small ( x ) icon to delete the app.
- After the removal process, restart your iPhone.
- Finally, go back to the App Store and find the app to re-install it.
Make sure to enable the automatic updates for applications on your iTunes and App Store settings. To do that, you can refer to Method 6 of this article.
11. Reset Your iPhone.
If most of your applications are not updating, there may be undetected settings that are messing up with it. The usual fix for this is to reset your iPhone settings.
To proceed, go to your iPhone Settings, then General, and tap on Reset. Then tap on the Reset All Settings option.
Resetting the settings will not erase all of your data but it does reset all of the settings that you’ve customized.
If the issue remains the same, you may need to reset your iPhone to default factory state. We do advise that before you go through with the factory resetting your iPhone, that you complete a backup of your iPhone so that you can restore all of your data.
To factory reset your iPhone, open the Settings app, tap General, and then tap the Reset option. This time, select the Erase All Content and Settings.
After the reset process, try to download all the applications that are having update issues and see if it will work this time. When all is working correctly, you can try to restore all your important data from the backup that you had made earlier.
That’s pretty much it! We hope that you were able to fix the automatic software or app updates that are not working on your iPhone. If you have questions related to this topic, please feel free to leave a comment below and we will try our best to help out.
P.S. If you found a better solution, comment down below and we will credit you with the solution the next time we update this post. 😀
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