How To Prevent iOS Apps From Updating Automatically

How To Prevent iOS Apps From Updating Automatically on The Apps Depot Blog

In general, it seems like it’s great when some technical processes are performed without our direct involvement. Though, it’s definitely not about iOS apps' updates, which tend to be automatic and immediately downloaded without your permission as soon as they become available. At first, this sounds normal, because your apps will be always up-to-date, featuring the latest options only. However, not everything is so rosy. 

As a rule, the whole process occurs in the background and it's almost unnoticeable for users - at least, they’ll be notified of the installation afterward. And this is the catch - you don’t have a chance to interrupt or cancel the update downloading unless you notice it somehow. This may mean losing your favorite handy features.

Besides, all those apps leave their trace on the battery and data usage while refreshing. That is why users often prefer to have a controlling function over the iOS software.  Below you’ll find a couple of tips to manage this task. 

Tip 1. Know Your Enemies

iOS Settings Menu Screenshots

In fact, you’ll be definitely surprised by the number of applications which don’t ask for your approval to be refreshed. Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Pocket, Amazon, and a lot of others “never sleep” - for a reason or not. Perhaps, some of them shouldn’t be so active as, for instance, an app for ticket reservation or the movie trailers app. That’s why you can turn off their automatic updates by following the Settings - General - Background App Refresh chain. There you’ll find a list of all the apps on your iPhone. Feel free to disable this option for the ones you don't need.

Tip 2. Save Your Battery Life

iPhone Battery Usage Settings Screenshots

We’ve already mentioned this and it’s not a secret that such background activity drains the device’s battery life. However, to know the real situation, you may go to the iPhone’s Settings and tap Battery, where you’ll find the Battery Usage position with detailed statistics. The icon with a tiny clock shows the phase of apps refreshing themselves and being active in the background. In case, you detect that some of them are too intrusive, you can go back to the Background App Refresh section and block the oxygens supply for them.

Step 3. Tear off All the Contacts

The more radical way of solving the issue is the switching off the independent app completely, upgrading in one swoop. This may be done by tapping Settings - General - Background App Refresh and putting the latter into inactive position. What is important, such a move won’t dismiss your previous settings in this tab. However, it will not prevent some core iOS apps from permanently searching for updates. In this situation, you’ll have to follow the last tip on our list. 

Tip 4. Be Strict To Your Mail

Low Power Mode Economized Battery

The point is that you may even not see this app’s activity in the list of those background-refreshing activists, but it does use both data and battery for its own needs. We’re talking about the Mail app, which checks for the new messages from time to time. Actually, there are two ways to cope with it.

The first one is just a temporary way and it is about switching your device to the Low Power Mode after you battery turns red. This action will deprive your iPhone of certain functions, such as app icons floating above the wallpaper or the long screen backlight. Though this mode will also prevent Mail from its activity while you still will be able to check your messages manually. To activate the mode, go to Settings - General - Battery - Low Power Mode.

Remember that frequent search activation drains the battery.

The second solution is about full control of Mail’s activity, namely setting the time period of its background search for emails. It will be helpful especially if you don’t need the app for work, study, or other personal use. Go to Settings - Mail, Contacts, Calendars - Fetch New Data - Fetch Section and make all the necessary changes. 

Remember that frequent activation of the search drains the battery more. 

Good or Evil?

Nevertheless, the automatic update is not as awful when taken separately from its impact on phone’s battery and data usage. Though, making the upgrade give us a chance to wait for other users’ reviews to make sure that the latest app version is OK for downloading and all the bugs are already fixed. 

By the way, switching it off means that from now you should launch the App Store, at least, sometimes to check for updates. So, everything depends on your choice and needs, and we hope that you’ll share it with us below. 

Antoine DeGrasse

@freepps

Avid rhyme maker, master of ceremonies, lord of the phones. @tequillo

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1 Comment


  • A
    Alissa
    1 year ago
    OMG Finally i found how to save battery of my ipad and stop Apps from automatically updating. I saw people who have yellow battery color with a low power mode, but just cant find it for myself. Thanks for your material!
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