How to turn off automatic app updates in iOS 7

How to turn off automatic app updates in iOS 7

If you're running iOS 7 on your iPhone or iPad, you no longer have to manually check for app updates and trigger the installs. iOS can take care of it for you with absolutely no effort on your part. Some of us, however, prefer controlling our updates and may not care for automatic app updates.

Fortunately there's a way to turn them off, here's how:

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on iTunes & App Store.
  3. Under the Automatic Downloads section, turn the option for Updates to Off.

That's it. App updates will no longer download and install on their own and will instead wait for you to tap update just like you've always done under previous versions of iOS 6.

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 43 comments. Add yours.

JPiLLa says:

Thanks, I used this to actually turn them on. Hadn't gotten far enough in my exploration of iOS7 yet to figure out how to turn them on!

stephen007 says:

When I updated to iOS7 and (I think) ran the App Store for the first time it gave me a message asking if I wanted to turn on automatic updates or "not now". I just chose not now.

Nuttz565 says:

Has anyone figured out how to delete a app? Now when you hold down on a app it still wiggles but the red x is now missing.

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Allyson Kazmucha says:

Delete is still the same. Sure you're not trying to delete a default app that come with iOS? can't do that. never been able to...

Nuttz565 says:

Thanks for responding. This issue seems to only be happening on my wife's 4s, it working correctly on my 5. When I hold down a app on the 4s they just wiggle with no x anywhere, when I do it on my 5 the little x's show up. Do you have a 4s you can confirm this on?

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Trista Druckenmiller says:

Just to let you know I do have a 4s and deleting apps works fine for me.

Katia Dieudonne says:

your wife probably disabled the deleting function, to reactivate it go to settings--->general---> restrictions----->she'll have to type in a password and then you'll be able to turn off/on the deleting apps function when ever you feel like it

jacsify says:

Hi. Did you get a reply or find a fix to this? I just realised I have the same exact problem. Icons wiggle - but no little x...

schuckys.keith says:

I've noticed that once the automatic updates are turned off, the Update section of the App Store indicates all my apps are up to date, but they're not. Twitter and Facebook apps have updates but they don't show up on my available Updates list in the App Store. Is it just me?

Even after turning on the automatic updates, the App Store does NOT show any updates are available. I'm restarting my iPhone 5 to see if that will get things going.

Doug the Grinder says:

Ha! The same thing happened to me today on four devices; only my iPhone 5 is seeing app updates now. The funny thing is that this is also affecting my old iPad 1 and a 4th gen Touch. I saw that there were about 30 updates waiting for the old iPad, but when I clicked on the app store icon--poof, they're gone and I'm being told all my apps are up to date.

Overloaded servers at Apple's end, I assume.

dsignori says:

Yes. Happening on 2 iPads still for me. Just now 1 of them it showed up again. The other still shows no updates even after several updates.

Doug the Grinder says:

I got my iPad 1 to see updates by rebooting, logging out of the apple store and then launching the app store app. Once I did that, all the updates showed up and I was prompted to reenter my password. Alas, this didn't work on my other 3 devices. Maybe I just got lucky and my iPad 1 started talking to the servers again. Anyway, 1 down, 3 to go. We shall see what tomorrow brings...

dsignori says:

Thanks. No luck for me trying that. I'll waiting it out I guess ...

Cybersco says:

Allyson, What is the little blue dot that shows up next to some(not all) icons on homescreen?

Joel Whittington says:

The little blue dot marks apps that you've never opened. It replaces the 'new' blue strip on the top left of apps that we saw in iOS 6.

dkampmann says:

Is there a way to know what apps have automatically updated?

Jenna Jameson says:

Yes. Go into App Store and click on updates. It will show you which ones were updated and when.

jmw1480 says:

How do you clear the list of what's been (automatically) updated?

MarkShadid says:

That's a great question, wish I knew the answer because I can't figure it out.

Evil Monkey III says:

Yes, please. Does anyone know the answer to this? It's driving me crazy.

eklenken says:

Is auto update only over wifi? Or over cellular too?

Khalid al Dakheel says:

That's a good question! anybody?!

Dionte says:

At&t had their way with me when I had them on, can't wait to switch to t-mobile friday, peace of mind.

alexsmi85 says:

Not to change the subject, but...
In the AppStore, in the new iOS 7, I see all my old apps which need to be updated (the notification service tells me I got 11 of them), but the problem is I don't know how to update an app at all, can you imagine? I mean, yeah, you may be laughing, however, when iOS 7 asked me if I wanted the auto-update, I said 'Yes, OK'.
Looked at my home-screen two hours later after the update, it turned out I got bunch of apps still old, so where's the auto-update I've been told about?
Tried to update them manually, but it's still pretty much nothing: all I can get in there is just a small circle next the app's name, and this is it (of course, who knows what the circle means).
So, totally confused about that.
Could you help me out, please?
Thank you.

Holly_Hall says:

How do I turn off or close out an app

Jenna Jameson says:

Double tap the home button and swipe up the apps you want to closeout. This is one of the updates I like most.

muscleman10 says:

I have a question about the app store on the iphone with new do you get rid of the apps after you update them? they show up and say open under updates. in ios6 after you updated the apps and closed out of the app store all the updated apps disappeared. they are not disappearingin ios7 anyone else have the same problem? I have an iphone 5 verizon

jmw1480 says:

I'm looking for this answer as well: I like the idea of apps automatically updating, as well as a reference lists of what's been updated (without my action). However, I'd like to be able to clear that list once I've reviewed it.

zdn1042 says:

I've always kept this option off. I prefer to update my apps using iTunes.

Jack3310 says:

I have everything turned on to have automatic update activated, and nothing happened.
I can see the red dot on the app store app and even if i go in , it shows me that 2 apps are ready to update nut i still have to do it manually.
Do you have any ideas on how to fix this issue ? i tried everything , i reboot, disable and enable the feature.....

Tony Scharf says:

I turned it off immediately as well. I never trust auto updates as I've been burned by them before.

One question I have is how I can clear the update history. I really don't give a flying rat's ass that I updated app xyz a week ago...or even a day ago. I manage them manually, so this info is completely unwanted/unnecessary.

jmw1480 says:

Looking for this answer as well.

brian leith says:

How do you turn off apps running in the background? They don't wiggle and shut off like on the earlier iOS and they run down my battery.

codehut says:

Geat info, thanks!

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Lorrie Bungay says:

Im having whats seems to be a problem.... Here's how it went....I had automatic updates turned off *So I thought* I Seen that there were 2 new updates in App Store...I go into App Store, click on the 2 on updates tab, It for a brief second shows *Snapchat & Vine* has an update...then poof...soon as I looked they were gone....Either it did an automatic update *while being turned off* or there is a bad glitch....How can I tell if these apps were actually updated or need to be?! And if automatically updated while turned off, how to fix this?!

Sogol Shahheydari says:

After updating an app, do you guys know how to remove them from app store update page? I have a list of apps newly updated and before it used to automatically refresh but now the apps are sitting there, updated and with the option to open.. I tried opening them all after updating but they still sit there in the app store update...thanks!

BigPinkBalls says:

Nobody knows how to fix this "feature". You are like the tenth person to ask, but no one is answering.

Bigeric23 says:

My iPhone 5 is not updating apps automatically, any ideas? I've rebooted, double checked the settings, and cycled the settings off/on. Nothing. My iPad is working properly, but not my AT&T iPhone 5.

tobis81 says:

How do you clear your updated apps from the updated folder on the App Store? They used to disappear after you updated them on IOS6, now they just sit there, and give you an open option. I don't like the clutter. Also, does anyone know how to delete their app history? You used to be able to double click the home button, and the apps you visited would appear on the bottom, and you would be able to delete them. On IOS7 you can still double click, and they will appear, but there is no delete option anymore that I can find. Is there a way?

Ashton Moore says:

You just swipe up on the app you're trying to close. So double click home like normal and swipe up on the apps you'd like to close.

Jeff Clausen says:

Here's a new one- the Update option sends me the option to update apps that I don't have. Huh? Why update an app you don't have?

James Hopper1 says:

NO. How do you STOP them? Just having it notify you of updates leaves the little red number in the setting icon. Still have to update. This is not notification, it's what used to be called nagware. I've got it turned off in Settings, but you really still have no friggin' option but to update. And seriously, Apple is getting as bad as Microsoft with their DAILY updates. UPDATES ARE THE BANE OF OUR EXISTENCE!