App developers frequently release updates to add new features and fix bugs on iPhone. Manually installing app updates on your iPhone can become tiring and time-consuming. Apple offers a neat solution to automatically refresh apps in the background. However, it does not work as advertised all the time. If iOS is not automatically updating apps on your iPhone, here are the best troubleshooting tips to fix the problem.
Apps that don’t update automatically may leave you an outdated and buggy build on your iPhone. Before you start experiencing performance glitches in your favorite apps, follow the solutions below to fix apps not updating automatically on your iPhone.
1. Enable automatic app updates
If you disable automatic downloads of app updates, the iPhone will not start the download process in the background. Follow the steps below to make a settings adjustment.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
Step 2: Scroll down to the App Store.
Step 3: Enable the app updates toggle from the Automatic downloads section.
The auto-update apps process may not start immediately. Your iPhone will start automatically updating apps when connected to a fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection.
2. Connect to Wi-Fi
Do you use your iPhone on mobile data a lot? While iOS allows you to download free and paid apps purchased on other devices automatically over cellular data, you can’t do the same for new app updates. You will need to be connected to a strong Wi-Fi network.
Step 1: Swipe down from the top-right corner to open Control Center. iPhone users who have a home button need to swipe up from the bottom to access it.
Step 2: Long press on the Wi-Fi icon and connect to a fast network.
For seamless automatic updates in the background, connect to the faster 5GHz Wi-Fi frequency band.
3. Check the storage on your iPhone
When your iPhone’s internal storage is low, the system may stop updating apps automatically in the background. Here’s how to check the storage status on your iPhone.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on the iPhone.
Step 2: Scroll down to General.
Step 3: Select iPhone Storage.
The fourth step: Check the detailed storage details from the following list.
You can check which apps are taking up a lot of storage space on your iPhone. If you notice unnecessary apps in the list, tap on them and select Delete app. Confirm your decision to free up some space. Repeat the same for all unrelated apps in the list.
Read our guide dedicated to freeing up space on your iPhone without deleting apps. After restoring enough storage space on your iPhone, iOS will automatically start updating apps.
4. Disable Low Power Mode
Using the iPhone in active low power mode will stop background activities like downloads and mail fetching until the phone is fully charged. These activities also include automatic app updates. Follow the steps below to disable Low Power Mode on your iPhone.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
Step 2: Go to the battery.
Step 3: Disable the low power mode switch.
5. Disable Low Data Mode for your favorite Wi-Fi network
Have you enabled Low Data Mode for your Wi-Fi connection in your home or office? When Low Data Mode is enabled, the system turns off automatic updates and background tasks, such as syncing photos.
Step 1: Open Settings on your iPhone.
Step 2: Select Wi-Fi.
Step 3: Press the blue “i” button inside the circle. Next, disable the Low Data Mode switch from the following menu.
6. Reset all settings
Modifying the wrong setting can cause the apps to not update automatically on the iPhone. And it’s normal to forget the setting you made that breaks things. As a last resort, you can reset all settings on your iPhone and set it from scratch. Don’t worry because it won’t delete your data, but you may lose photos, videos, and other data that aren’t synced with iCloud or another cloud storage service.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone and scroll down to the General section (see steps above).
Step 2: Scroll to Transfer or Reset iPhone.
Step 3: Select Reset and tap Reset All Settings.
7. Check Apple servers
If the App Store encounters server-side issues, iOS will not be able to automatically update apps on iPhones. You can head to Apple System Status website and make sure there is a green indicator next to the App Store. If it shows a yellow or red indicator, you will need to wait for Apple to fix the problem.
8. Update iOS software
iOS build can cause apps to not update automatically on iPhones. Apple is usually quick to fix such issues. If you have a pending iOS update, it’s time to install the version.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on the iPhone and go to the General section.
Step 2: Select Software Update.
Download and install iOS update from the following list. If you are having problems installing the update, read our troubleshooting guide to fix it.
Keep your installed apps updated
Automatically updating apps is a double-edged sword. Sometimes you may end up downloading a buggy new app and spoiling the perfect user experience on iPhone. What trick worked for you? Share your results with us in the comments below.
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