Is your iPhone constantly asking you to update iOS? If you’re sick of the nagging and want to stop iOS trying to bully you into an update, you’ve come to the right place.
This article is for those frustrated souls who just wish their iPhone or iPad would stop throwing up an alert saying “Software Update” with the only options being “Install Now” or “Remind Me Later”.
Why does Apple nag about software updates?
Put simply, it’s because Apple wants as many users as possible to be on the latest version of iOS (its operating system for iPhone and iPad).
For many people, this is a good thing: an up-to-date iOS is more likely to have patches for recent malware and hacks. And it’s good for Apple too because a user base that’s mostly confined to one or two recent versions of the software is easier to manage (and keep safe from security threats) than a more fragmented and disparate one – like the Android user base.
To encourage people to get on the latest version of iOS, Apple implemented a feature called Automatic Downloads. This downloads updates in the background; once one is downloaded, you’re pushed to install it. Apple typically installs the software update at night when the iPhone or iPad is plugged in and charging.
The reason you’re getting these alerts is because Automatic Updates has downloaded the latest update to iOS, and the update is currently sitting on your iPhone (or iPad) and waiting to be activated.
How to turn off Automatic Updates
Automatic Updates are enabled by default, so you’ll need to turn them off. This won’t help with the current update, but it will stop you from getting these messages in future. So the first thing you should do is dive into settings and turn Automatic Updates off:
- Tap Settings.
- Tap iTunes & App Store.
- In the section headed Automatic Downloads, set the slider next to Updates to Off (white).
This will prevent iOS from downloading updates in future, although you’ll still need to deal with the update you’ve downloaded.
How to delete the downloaded update
Now it’s time to get rid of the update on your iDevice. This will prevent iOS from throwing up the update alert at you every day.
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap iPhone Storage (or iPad Storage, depending on which device you’re using).
- If you scroll down a little you’ll see a list of apps and the amount of storage they each take up. Somewhere in there you’ll find the iOS update: it could be ‘iOS 11.3.2’, for instance, or ‘iOS 12 Public beta 5’.
- Tap the update to see more details, and then select Delete Update.
- Tap Delete Update to confirm.
Turning off Automatic Updates and deleting the latest update from your Storage will prevent you from getting the alert windows in the future, although some users have reported that iOS re-downloads the update when the iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi.
If the ‘Install Now/Remind Later’ alert re-appears, check in your Storage & iCloud Usage and delete the update again.
You’ll still get alerts from the App Store when Apple releases a new version. But these only come along every few months; not daily.
How block Apple updates from your Wi-Fi router
A nuclear option for those who never want to see another update again, noted by our friends over on OSXDaily, is to block the Apple Software Update Domains on your router.
The process varies depending on the router. Typically you’ll have to open your router’s web-based interface, find a service called “Domain Blocking” or “Domain Block” and enter these two domains:
Each router is different. Here are the instructions for a Virgin Broadband router.
- Open the Safari web browser and enter the MAC address from the admin site. (Ours is http://192.168.0.1.) You’ll often find this listed on the back of the router.
- Enter the password for the router. Again, you’ll often find the default password on the back.
- Click Advanced Settings.
- Click Domain Blocking (underneath Parental Controls).
- Add appldnld.apple.com into Domain To Block and click Add Domain.
- Add mesu.apple.com and click Add Domain.
- Click Apply and Yes.
You’ll no longer be able to download updates. Note that this prevents software update from working completely. When you click Software Update on your iPad or iPhone, you’ll see “Unable to Check For Update.”
It’s a slightly extreme way to prevent software updates, but some users may be determined to keep the latest version. We think it’s wiser to tap Update Later and accept the update to the latest version of the software.
Blocking iOS updates using tvOS
A clever method to stop iOS updates being flagged and automatically installed is, counterintuitively, to install an up-to-date version of tvOS, a bizarre but apparently reliable method devised by Joaquim Barbosa. That way the software update feature will be fooled into thinking you’re up to date and won’t notice that iOS is still on an older version.
Read the full method on iDownloadblog.