How to Pause an iPad / iPhone App Install (to Let Another One Finish First)

At some point between my two hour Angry Birds marathon today, I happened to be installing some updates when I noticed something interesting—you can pause an application update or install. Here’s how it works.

Note: Since this is something I’ve never noticed before, it might have worked this way all along and I’m the last to know about it, but I’m guessing there’s at least one reader that isn’t aware of this.

Pausing an Application Install

This works most effectively when you’re trying to update a bunch of applications at once, but you don’t really feel like waiting forever for one of them to finish. For example, there’s a huge update for the racing game that I wanted to play, but I’d also triggered an install of some cooking app…

Just hit either of the icons to pause the installation—since I want the racing game to install first, I pushed the cooking icon, and it paused, which let the racing one install.

And naturally, you can reverse it by simply hitting each of the icons until the one that you want is installing.

So was I really the last person to know about this? Let me know how many geek points I’ve lost in the comments.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.