You can easily prevent your Apple devices from auto-downloading and installing software updates.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to stop iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV from automatically downloading iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. We’ll also help you prevent HomePod from auto-downloading its software updates.
Why stop auto-downloading and installing of software updates?
Software updates typically bring new features, quash bugs, and improve stability and compatibility with apps. Therefore, we recommend keeping your devices updated.
However, you may want to stop your devices from automatically downloading and installing updates for the following reasons:
You have learned from social media or forums that the latest update has introduced some significant problems, causes battery drain, or canned a feature that’s important to you. For example: Apple removes support for using your iPad as a home hub. Therefore, you’re waiting for Apple to fix these in yet another update.
You have a limited internet plan, or you use Personal Hotspot with your Mac and don’t want it to unknowingly download huge macOS update files in the background.
You want the best possible speeds for your web browsing and file downloads.
You rely on an outdated app that may not work with the next version of iOS, and its app developer has no plans to update it.
Your device downloads the update file and then irritates you with an unremovable red badge on the Settings app or repeated popups asking you to install the update. Related: How to remove a software update that’s already downloaded (but not yet installed)
Auto-downloading and installing software updates will make your device unusable for a short time, and you don’t want that for any reason, such as if your Mac is in the middle of downloading a huge, important file.
You want to jailbreak your iPhone and therefore don’t want to update to a new unsupported iOS version.
How to stop auto downloading of software updates
Once you stop your device from automatically downloading the update, it naturally turns off the automatic installation.
iPhone and iPad
Open the Settings app and go to General > Software Update.
Tap Automatic Updates.
Turn off Download iOS or iPadOS Updates.
Note: You can keep the switch for ‘Security Responses & System Files’ enabled.
Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
Go to My Watch > General > Software Update.
Tap Automatic Updates.
Turn off the switch for Automatic Updates.
You can also stop your Apple Watch from updating automatically by going to its Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates.
Click the Apple icon in macOS Ventura or later and choose System Settings.
Go to General > Software Update.
Click the info button ⓘ next to Automatic updates.
Turn off the switch for ‘Download new updates when available.’
Finally, click Done.
Note: You can keep ‘Check for updates’ on. This will just let you know of a new macOS update. It doesn’t auto-download them. Besides that, we recommend keeping ‘Install Security Responses and system files’ enabled for obvious security reasons.
On older versions of macOS like macOS Monterey and earlier, go to System Preferences > Software Update.
Open the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
Tap the three dots icon from the top right of the Home section and select Home Settings.
Tap Software Update.
Turn off the switch for HomePod under the Automatic Updates heading.
Go to Settings > System > Software Updates.
From here, turn off Automatically Update.
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