6 Things To Try If Your iPhone App Doesn’t Update

By | January 8, 2017

Whether the highly-anticipated bug fix is finally here or you just like to stay on top of things, it’s nice to get new updates finished and out of the way. Sometimes, however, your phone has other plans. If you find yourself in the sticky situation of being unable to update an app you need, all is not lost. While it can be frustrating, there are some quick and painless solutions that could have you back in action and sending Snaps in no time!

1. Ensure Its The Correct Apple Account

When you download an app onto your iPhone for the first time, it will be associated with your Apple ID. If you purchase the app, the transaction will be tied to that account. If you are having trouble updating an app, a good first step is to make sure you are signed into the correct Apple account so the Apple ID matches the one used to first download the app.

To do this, open up the Apple Store. Head to ‘Updates’, and then hit ‘Purchased’. If the app does not show up here, it was probably downloaded with a different Apple ID.

If you use iTunes on your PC/Mac, you can check which Apple ID was used to download any app on your iPhone. In your list of apps, select the app you want to view. Click ‘Get Info’, go to the ‘File’ tab, and then scan the ‘Purchased by’ section to check which Apple ID is associated.

If you need to sign into a different Apple account, or want to try signing out and back in again to fix the update issue, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open ‘Settings’
  2. Hit ‘iTunes and App Store’
  3. Tap ‘Apple ID’ to open the account menu
  4. Press ‘Sign Out’
  5. Go back to ‘Apple ID’ and sign in with the account you want to try

If this doesn’t resolve the issue for you, another quick setting to check is…

2. Verify App Permissions

The ‘Restrictions’ feature of iOS is an easy way for parents to control what their kids are able to do, or to restrict certain functions for corporate cell phones. If this was as some point turned on in your iPhone, it could be preventing you from updating apps.

To check whether or not ‘Restrictions’ are active on your device, head to your ‘Settings’ and hit ‘General’. Then push ‘Restrictions’. If asked, enter your password. Now under ‘Installing Apps’, you should be able to see whether the slider is turned off (white) or turned on (green). If it is off, hit the slider so it turns on (green) and try updating your app. If this was not the problem for you, there’s still a few more tricks to try!

3. Check for Adequate Storage

Some updates can be bigger than others. If you’re updating a particularly large app and you’re running increasingly low on space, it could be preventing the update. Simply head to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘About’ and check the values for ‘Capacity’ and ‘Available’. If you are very low on space, try deleting some old songs/apps/photos/videos that you no longer need.

4. Updating Date and Time Settings

Updating an app to the latest version very often requires your phone to be set with the current date and time. If you’ve ever manually changed your date and time settings (or the settings are just bugged) you may need to modify them to ensure your update works properly.

To do this, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Date & Time’ and then make sure ‘Set Automatically’ is turned on (green) so that your settings automatically align with Apple’s servers whenever you are connected to the internet.

5. Force an Update

If none of the above solutions have solved your update crisis, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Forcing the app to update using alternative means sounds difficult or scary but it’s pretty easy and risk-free. There are a couple of ways to do this:

Method #1: While in your ‘Updates’ menu, first try tapping ‘Update’. If that doesn’t work try hitting the app’s icon, which should bring up an app menu. Push ‘Update’ and see if that works. If not, we move on.

Method #2: Connect your iPhone to your PC/Mac and open up iTunes. Go to ‘Apps’, and then ‘Updates’. Click on the app you want to update and then click ‘Update’. Now click on the iPhone icon, then ‘Apps’. Select the app you just updated and hit ‘Update’. Now sync your iPhone and see if it worked.

If you are still having a hard time updating your app, fear not; we still have more solutions to try.

6. Reinstall the App

Sometimes a stubborn app just will not update. When this happens, it’s time to reinstall. All you need to do is hold down the button for the app until a small ‘x’ appears above the icon, then tap the ‘x’. When prompted whether or not you want to delete the app, hit ‘Delete’. Now go back into the App Store and redownload/install the app. You may also want to restart your phone.

If after trying all of these solutions you still cannot update your app, you may need to reinstall iOS or contact Apple support. In some cases, the app (or the update) could simply be bugged. If the older version still works, you may at least be able to stick it out until another update comes along.

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