It’s always wise to update your iPhone apps to their latest versions, after all, how else are you going to get all the exclusive features and updates developers have to offer? But, what do you do when you can’t update your iPhone apps? To help you figure out the best solution to this difficult this situation, this guide will help troubleshoot your apps that simply refuse to update.
Lack of Storage for New Apps or Updates
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that downloading apps take up space on your iPhone. However, if you download too many apps, you could use up your internal storage and have trouble downloading new apps or updates.
Keep in mind, the amount of storage you have to download apps or updates depends entirely on what kind of iPhone you have. Since there are multiple storage options you can buy, whether or not you can download a new app or updates is based on whether you have a 16 GB, 32 GB, 128 GB, or 256 GB capable iPhone.
Note that the term GB means gigabyte. In technical terms, it is a form of measurement for digital data. In your case, it is used to determine how much storage you have in your iPhone based on how much messages, apps, pictures, and other additional information you have. You can easily check how much storage you have left on your iPhone by hopping over to your Settings, touching the General button, then touching the Storage button, and finally the iCloud Usage button. There, you will be able to see how much you have in total, as well as how much you have currently used. The best way to determine what apps to delete based on their storage consumption is to touch the Manage Storage button. In this section of your iPhone settings, you can see all your apps and how much memory they use.
How To Free Up Space For Updates
When you’re nearly out of space, you will not be able to download new iPhone apps or update any ones you currently have on your phone. However, it’s incredibly easy to fix this, by uninstalling apps to make room in your storage. Simple, all you have to do is press down on an icon until it starts shaking, and has a small X in the top left corner. Just touch the X and you will be allowed to uninstall it.
The biggest consumption of storage that prevents new app downloads or updates are text or iMessages, videos, and pictures. Make sure you regularly delete long conversations and move your images/videos to an external hard drive. Once you make more room in your phone’s storage, you can go back to downloading apps and updating as you please.
My Apps Still Refuse To Update
If you find that you have plenty of storage on your iPhone, but you still cannot update your current apps, here are some tips on finding a solution for your situation.
Reinstalling Your App
If the app in question tends to pause while downloading or has a form of a software problem, these may be the reasons your app is refusing to update. Start with uninstalling and reinstalling the app so you can get a fresh start on the process. Here’s how to do this:
Press on your icon and wait for it to start shaking
Press the X in the top left corner to uninstall it
Reboot your iPhone
Head over to the App Store and reinstall the app
Poor Internet Could Be the Issue
When downloading a new app, or updating it, you will need to be connected to a cellular network of Wi-Fi. Usually, when an app cannot be updated, an internet connection disruption is to blame.
Check Your Internet Connection
The best connection to be on when downloading new app updates is Wi-Fi since it doesn't burn into your data plan. Especially, since updates may be forced to be downloaded on Wi-Fi only. However, this can be easily changed in your settings.
To find out if your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi is by heading over to Settings and pressing the Wi-Fi button. The area next to Wi-Fi should be green and list the name of the network you are connected to.
However, if you do not see any green light, you are not connected to Wi-Fi. To connect, just press the box next to where it says Wi-Fi, and press any of the network options you are presented. Once you are connected, try downloading your app’s update again.
Use Your Network to Process App Updates
If a Wi-Fi connection is inaccessible, you can always use your cellular network to be used to download app updates. All you have to do is press Cellular in Settings. When looking at your Cellular Data, the area next to it should be lit green.
While in your cellular settings, also be sure to set your Voice & Data to Roaming. This way, you can easily connect to a network outside out of your home’s area.
Turn on Your Cellular Data
Keep in mind that apps soak up a lot of data. If you don’t keep an eye on them, you can easily go over your data plan and accrue a variety of fees. When downloading an app update, to turn on your cellular network, head over to your Settings, and press on Cellular, making sure it is switched on.
However, even after that, you will need to make sure your iPhone’s app store will let you download apps over your cellular network. To do this, head back over to your Settings and press the iTunes & App Store button. From there, make sure that the “Use Cellular Data” box is switched on.
Use Airplane Mode
Most people who have trouble with their Wi-Fi or cellular networks often find that they have an easier time downloading an app by turning their Airplane Mode on and off.
To switch these settings on and off, head over to your Settings and press on Airplane Mode. Once turned on, wait roughly one minute before turning it back off, and trying to update your app again.
Try Resetting Your Network Settings
To be totally sure that your internet connection is not the problem, try wiping all of your network settings. Essentially, this will cause your iPhone to forget any saved Wi-Fi networks. It will also reset any connection settings back to how it was when your iPhone was new. If your phone has any connection issues that are causing your apps to not update, this will solve the problem.
To reset your network settings, go into Settings. Select General, then Reset, then Reset Network Settings. After you do this, you will need to log back into your Wi-Fi network. Make sure you know your password!
App Store Issues
It is possible that your apps are not updating because there is an issue with the App Store. Though it does not happen often, the App Store server can go down. You can check the system status website to determine if this is, in fact, the issue and Apple’s App Store server is down.
Restart the App Store
If the App Store on your phone is running, there could be a software or setting problem that is preventing your phone from downloading apps. To do this, close the App Store and open it again. Press the home button twice. Close any apps open on your phone by moving your finger on the screen in an upward flicking motion. This will close any open apps, including the App Store. Then, open the App Store again and try updating your apps.
Double Check Your Apple ID
Check to make sure the right Apple ID is logged onto your phone and in the App Store. If the Apple ID is correct, try logging out and logging back in again. Follow these simple steps to do so.
Open the App Store.
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.
Tap on your Apple ID.
Select the Sign Out option.
Close the App Store using the instructions in the section above.
Reopen the store and log in with your correct information.
Clear the Cache in Your App Store
Similar to all the other apps on your phone, the App Store collects cache. It stores information that the app uses often so that it can function faster. However, if there is an issue with the information in the cache, you can experience issues in the App Store. This may be preventing your apps from updating.
Clearing your App Store cache is very easy. First, open the app. Then, tap any of the tabs on the bottom of your screen ten times in a row. It does not matter where you tap, as long as you do it in the same spot. Your screen will flash blank and then the app will automatically reload.
Use iTunes to Update Apps
If you are still unable to update your apps on your phone, try updating them via iTunes. Before you do so, make sure you have the most recent version of iTunes downloaded on your computer. Follow these steps to update your apps with iTunes.
With your USB cord, connect your iPhone to your computer.
On the upper left side of iTunes, there will be an option for Apps. Click this.
In the middle of your screen near the top, you will see an option for Updates. When you click on this, a screen will open that will show you all the app updates available on your phone.
Select Update All Apps. This can be found in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. You will only be able to select this option if there are updates available.
Let iTunes do its work.
If you have tried everything else and still cannot update your apps, your best option is to wipe your iPhone and restore it. This option should only be used as a last resort. Doing this will remove all your apps and settings from the phone. After you wipe it, you will need to set it up just like you would with a new phone. From here, you can select which apps to reinstall one at a time. There may have been an app on your phone that prevented your iPhone from updating apps.
It can be incredibly frustrating when your apps won’t update. However, with the helpful guide, you will have the tools to solve this issue. Is there another way to update your apps that we missed?
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