How to update apps on iPhone or iPad

6 min read

Apps have been a staple tool in our lives since 2008, when the iOS App Store first launched with just 500 apps. Today, there are over 7 million apps available across iOS and Android platforms, covering any type of niche you can imagine.

Statistics show 218 billion app downloads in 2020 and people having an average of 40 apps installed on their phone. It's safe to say apps have become a basic necessity for any smartphone user. And just like they are a great tool, apps are another thing that needs maintenance to ensure the best performance: they need to be updated.

Whether you’d like to figure out how to make apps update automatically on iPhone or prefer to update them manually, there are a few easy ways to do that. So let’s get right into the details!

How to make apps update automatically on iPhone

Developers release app updates to fix any existing bugs, improve the app’s compatibility with your iPhone’s operating system, or simply to introduce new features. This means having the latest version of any app guarantees the best user experience.

There are two main ways for how to update all apps on iPhone or iPad: manual and automatic. Check for updates and download them manually to have more control over which apps get updated. If you prefer to let technology do the work for you and would rather find out how to automatically update apps on iPhone, the answer is simple: change your settings!

How to check for app updates on iPhone

While the frequency of big fixes, patches, and other small app improvements depends on customer feedback, most top apps release up to four updates each month. Oftentimes, if your apps misbehave or crash, it could indicate they just haven’t been updated in a while.

Before getting into the details of how to update all apps on iPhone, you’ll need to know whether these apps have updates available for download. To check your iPhone apps for updates, go to your profile in the App Store and scroll down to the Available Updates section. If there are any app updates available, you’ll see them there.

How to quickly update all apps on iPhone

Veteran iOS users will remember that up to iOS 12, the App Store had an updates tab right at the bottom. But starting with iOS 13, it was replaced with the Arcade — Apple’s gaming subscription service. This change made many users wonder how to manually update apps on iPhone now. This process remains simple, it just became somewhat hidden.

Here’s how to manually update apps on iPhone and iPad for iOS 13 and higher:

  1. Open the App Store
  2. Tap on your Profile icon in the top-right corner
  3. Scroll down to the Available Updates section
  4. Update apps individually or tap on Update All

If you’d like to remove one of the apps from the update list, simply swipe left across that app to take it out. The Updated Recently tab will show you a list of apps with the latest versions already installed.

With the number of apps on our phones regularly increasing due to the changing needs and wants, it can be a challenge to keep track of new versions available and manage those timely updates. Meet your new favorite iOS device manager! 

AnyTrans is a sophisticated file transferring tool that offers seamless data migration between iOS and macOS. Its App Downloader feature lets you easily keep up with different app versions, as well as update, install and delete apps, move them to your iOS device, and more —  all in one well-designed place. And if you’re switching from an old phone to a new one, AnyTrans will help you migrate app data flawlessly!

App Downloader

Where is the update option in the App Store?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation when you’re sure a new version of an app exists, but the App Store is not showing any available updates? Well, you’ve run into a peculiar bug within iOS. If quitting the app didn’t solve the issue and the Updates section in the App Store remains empty, there are a couple of solutions you can try to fix this.

  1. Change the Date & Time. This doesn’t always work, but more often than not sending the date into the future and then setting it back causes the App Store Updates section to refresh. Go to Settings ➙ General, find Date & Time, and turn Set Automatically off. Toggle the date to sometime in the distant future, exit Settings, and wait for a moment. Now go through the same steps and change the date to Set Automatically. Try checking the Updates section of the App Store again and you should see a list of app updates available.
  2. Delete the app and re-download. If the date-toggle trick didn’t work, try this solution. Open the App Store and search for the app you want to update. Confirm that a new version is available by checking the Version number. Delete the app that’s stuck on the old version from Home Screen. Go back to the App Store and download the updated version.

Why are there no app updates on iPhone?

Users often report the issue of apps not updating despite having the auto-update settings turned on. This problem could rise due to a variety of reasons, but some of the most common ones are lack of storage space, WiFi connection problems, restrictions, and software glitches. Whatever the case may be, let’s look at how to update apps on iPhone despite these issues.

  1. Check and free up storage space. An iPhone needs at least 1 GB available to handle app updates. If you know or suspect your iPhone to be running low on space, try clearing the cache to free some up. To do this, go to Settings, choose an app to clear data from, and turn on Clear App Cache On Next Launch.
  2. Check your WiFi connection. Although there are ways for how to update apps on iPhone without WiFi, some apps won’t update using cellular data. If that’s the case, make sure you’re connected to WiFi by opening Settings and looking for a checkmark next to one of the available networks.
  3. Disable restrictions. Your iPhone won’t be able to install app updates if there’s a restriction on installation of apps on your device. To remove it, open Settings and go to Screen Time ➙ Content & Privacy Restrictions ➙ iTunes & App Store Purchases. From there, tap on Installing Apps and select Allow.
  4. Restart your iPhone. It’s often the easiest and most effective solution to all tech problems: the good old “restart.” Simply power your iPhone off and on again, or choose the Reset option.

How to turn on app updates on my iPhone

It’s a good practice to keep all apps up to date on your iOS devices, but how to update apps on iPhone when you don’t have the time to check for new available versions on a regular basis? Good news, Apple has come up with a way to simplify this process and offers the ability to turn on automatic downloads for app updates.

Here’s how to make apps update automatically on iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings ➙ App Store
  2. Enable the App Updates switch under Automatic Downloads

Oftentimes, iPhones have the automatic app updates feature turned on by default, so if you’re wondering how to turn off auto update apps on iPhone, you can simply toggle the same switch to the Off position.

Tip: Want to know how to update apps on iPhone without WiFi? You can do so if you have unlimited mobile data. Open Settings ➙ Cellular Data, and turn on Automatic Downloads.

How to automatically update apps on iPhone

No more apps will be left un updated on your iPhone with all these tips and tricks now at your fingertips, literally! To improve your device’s performance even further, use AnyTrans and enjoy instant files transfers, while CleanMyMac X will speed up any setup you’ve got by scanning your Mac and removing junk and malware.

Good news! Both apps — AnyTrans and CleanMyMac X are available to you immediately and absolutely free through a seven-day trial of Setapp, a platform with more than 240 best-in-class macOS and iOS apps that can elevate your user experience with your device. Try any Setapp app today and you’ll never look back!

250+ apps for $9.99
per month

Sign up to Setapp and try them for free.