Have you noticed that some of your apps will show a partially filled circle over the app icon, and that you cannot open the app until that circle has been completed? This indicates that the app is being updated. There is a setting on the iPhone that enables the device to install app updates automatically, without any intervention from you. This is convenient if you always install available updates anyway, but can be frustrating if you would like to maintain control over the current app versions on your device.
The tutorial below will show you where to find the iPhone’s automatic app updating setting so that you can choose whether the device should wait for you to manually install an update, or if it should take care of the updates itself.
How to Change the Automatic App Updates Setting in iOS 9
These steps were performed on an iPhone 5, in iOS 9.3. These steps also work for other iPhone models that are running iOS 9.3, such as the iPhone 4, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6S models.
Step 1: Open the Settings menu.
Step 2: Open the iTunes & App Store menu.
Step 3: Tap the button to the right of Updates to turn it off. It is turned off in the picture below. If there is green shading around the button, and it is in the right position, then automatic app updates are turned on.
Now that you have adjusted the automatic update setting for your iPhone apps, it is important to be aware of a couple of things.
- If you turned on automatic app updates, then you should also check the Use Cellular Data option directly underneath it. If that setting is turned on, your iPhone will download app updates over cellular networks, which could use your monthly cellular data.
- If you turned off automatic app updates, then you will need to install updates manually. You can do this from the Updates tab in the App Store app.
- Your iPhone will never install iOS updates without manual intervention, regardless of the setting for automatic app updates. Any updates for your iPhone’s operating system can be downloaded and installed by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
Gary Thompson has been in IT consulting since the mid 2000s, and enjoys writing about mobile devices and computers. His primary topics of interest include iPhones and Windows, but he has written about many other devices and applications.