How to Fix iPhone Apps that Won’t Update

I know that happened with the iOS 9 when it came out, but only the iOS updates were on hold, not all the updates of the apps. Your apps won’t update if the app server is down. That’s even less likely than the Apple servers being down. Another reason might be bandwidth. I’d expect all my wireless connection usage to slow down or stop if that was the case, not just app updates. There are iOS updates that kill your wi-fi connection, so you can try connecting to a computer and then running updates.


I didn’t update the iOS recently. Close all the updates and restart the phone, since this might fix the errors with the apps preventing it from updating. Rebooting hardware to fix software problem is what I expect of Microsoft, not Apple. You could also try logging out of the App Store and back in. That’s actually reasonable, if something with the Apple account has been messed up. So go to settings, iTunes and App store, click on your ID, sign out, click on the App Store again, log in, pick an app and see if you can download it or update it.

What else can I try? Go to settings, general, reset, erase all content and settings, restore the phone and see if you can update the apps after it has forgotten whatever setting it was that prevented it from updating in the first place. I’d like something that doesn’t take as long.

So go to settings, iTunes and app store, updates and turn off automatic downloads. Reboot the device, then turn on automatic downloads again and hope it works. That’s a lot of work. So go to the iTunes and app store section and tell it to update manually, in case automatic downloads are what is messed up.

What else could I try? Update iTunes itself, in case the updater needs to update before the apps can update. That’s like a Java updater that’s constantly updating – wait, XKCD joked about that. You can still reset all your settings to see if there’s a setting problem, unless you want to delete the app, reboot the device, and see if you can update it after you re-install it.

Technically, restoring to factory defaults and slowly re-installing everything will update all the apps too. Just don’t forget to reboot the device too, to make sure everything is reset. And all else fails, after you wipe the device, slowly and selectively re-install in case it is one memory leaking app that prevented others from having space to update.