How to Enable (or Disable) Automatic Updates on Your iPhone or iPad

Apple’s iOS 12 operating system will bring automatic operating system updates to iPhone and iPad. The App Store can automatically update your installed apps, too. Here’s how to enable these updates, or disable them if you’d rather update manually.

For example, you may want to disable automatic updates of your operating system and apps to save on data.

Operating System Updates

To toggle automatic operating system updates on or off, head to Settings > General > Software Update.

You’ll see whether automatic updates are on or off here. If you don’t see this option, you haven’t installed iOS 12 yet.

To toggle updates on or off, tap “Automatic Updates” and set the slider to “On” or “Off.”

Updates won’t be installed immediately when they’re available. They’ll be installed at night when you’re connected to a power outlet, so they won’t interrupt you while you use your iPhone or iPad.

Even if automatic OS updates are disabled, you can still head to Settings > General > Software Update to install any available update.

App Updates

To toggle automatic app updates on or off, head to Settings > iTunes & App Store. Toggle the “Updates” option under Automatic Downloads to “On” or “Off.”

App updates won’t be installed immediately when they’re available. Your iPhone or iPad will install the updates when it’s plugged into power and isn’t being used—for example, when you’re charging it at night.

Even if automatic app updates are disabled, you can open the App Store app, tap “Updates” on the bar at the bottom of your screen, and install any available app updates from here.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Twitter.