How to enable automatic updates on an iPhone

With iOS updates appearing every other day, it can be hard to keep up. Sometimes you may not even realize your phone is lagging multiple updates until you’re in a group chat full of question marks instead of new emojis. You may be especially confused since the debut of iOS 16 – which allows people to delete and edit iMessages. Even if you see update reminders on your phone, it can be easy to delay installing an update if you need to be away from your phone for at least a few minutes. If you often find yourself in iOS purgatory, you may be wondering how to enable automatic updates on an iPhone.

Enabling automatic updates allows your phone to receive the latest updates when they are available while it charges overnight. This is very useful if you are someone who needs your phone for work or don’t have time to install an update during the day. And who doesn’t love waking up to the surprise of a new operating system on their phone?

If you’re ready to be up to date on all things iOS, it’s pretty easy to turn on automatic updates. Here’s everything you need to know.

All iPhones have automatic updates turned on by default. However, there is a chance that you accidentally disabled them along the way. To enable automatic iOS updates for your iPhone, first go to Settings by clicking the gear icon on your home screen. Scroll down to General next to a gear icon, then tap “Software Update” second from the top.

At the top of your screen, next to ‘Automatic updates’, you should see On or Off. Since automatic updates are the default for iPhones, it should already be enabled. But if it is disabled for any reason, tap the Automatic Updates button.

Two toggle buttons are displayed: Download iOS Updates and Install iOS Updates. You’ll need to automatically download iOS updates to install them, so make sure both switches are turned on.

Once you turn on both switches, your phone can receive automatic updates.

Why is my iPhone not updating automatically?

If you’ve turned on automatic updates, but you’re still not getting them, you may be running into a different issue.

While updates are downloaded automatically, an update can only be installed automatically when your iPhone is charging and connected to Wi-Fi overnight. So if you find that your automatic updates aren’t working, make sure to keep your phone plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi every night so you can wake up to your phone running on an up-to-date iOS.

How to disable automatic updates on iPhone?

If you prefer to manually update your iPhone with every new iOS, follow the same steps to get to your phone’s Automatic Updates section. First open your settings and scroll down to General and then Software Update, and you will see Automatic Updates at the top of your screen. Uncheck the Download iOS Updates and Install iOS Updates sections to prevent automatic updates from your phone.