Apple’s annual iOS update can bring great new features to your iPhone, but if you have an older iPhone that might not be able to take advantage of all those features, or would rather wait a few weeks to give Apple a chance to fix the inevitable bugs and problems, you may not be happy to find out that your iPhone has downloaded the update without asking.
iPhones are set up to automatically download and install the latest version of iOS as soon as you plug in your iPhone and connect to a Wi-Fi network. This can be a useful feature from a security perspective: by making it easy to update their iPhones, Apple can ensure users have the most up-to-date software, including security patches to protect against malware and hacks.
Shortly after Apple releases an iOS update, iPhones will automatically download the installer from Apple’s servers. Users will then see a pop-up warning on their iPhone telling them that software is available to install. While Apple won’t install the iOS update on your iPhone without permission, some people prefer Apple not to download the installer on their iPhone, especially if they don’t want to update to the next version of iOS.
Also, people don’t have to be happy that the software update installers take up valuable space on their device. And there are few things more annoying than your iPhone constantly displaying “Install Now” and “Remind Me Later” messages while nagging you to install an iOS update you don’t want.
You can take back control of your updates by simply turning off “Automatic Updates” and never letting your iPhone download an iOS update again unless you tell it to.
If you want to update your iPhone and are looking for advice on how to install it, read: How to update iOS on your iPhone. If you want to know if you should update to iOS 16, read: iOS 16: Should you update now or wait?
Turn off automatic updates
Automatic updates are enabled by default, but you can disable them.
This won’t help if your iPhone has already downloaded the current update, but it will prevent you from receiving these messages in the future. So the first thing to do is dive into the settings and turn off Automatic Updates:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Software update.
- Tap Automatic updates.
- Deselect Download iOS updates.
This prevents iOS from downloading iOS updates in the future.
After you disable Download iOS updates, the option to Install iOS updates goes out too. Alternatively, you can choose to download iOS updates but not install the update. The update will only install when you are charging and connected to Wi-Fi. However, you will see those annoying nagging notifications that you need to update your iPhone.
How to remove the downloaded update that you don’t want to install
If your iPhone has already downloaded an update that you don’t want to install, read on to learn how to uninstall it.
After you uninstall the installer, your iPhone will no longer remind you to update iPhone.
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap iPhone storage.
- Scroll down to see a list of apps and the amount of storage they each take up. Search for the latest iOS update or tap the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner and search for “iOS”.
- Tap the update to see more details, then select Uninstall update.
- Tap Uninstall update again to confirm.
Disabling Automatic Updates and removing the latest update from your storage will prevent you from getting the warning windows in the future. If the “Install Now/Remember Later” warning reappears, check your storage and iCloud usage and uninstall the update again. You will still get notifications from the App Store when Apple releases a new version. But these only come around every few months; not daily.
How to block Apple updates from your Wi-Fi router
A nuclear option for those who never want to see an update again is to block the Apple Software Update Domains on your router.
The process depends on the router. Usually you need to open your router’s web-based interface, find a service called “Domain Blocking” or “Domain Block” and enter the following domains:
Every router is different. Here are the instructions for a Virgin Broadband router.
- Open the Safari web browser and enter the MAC address of the administrator site. (Ours is http://192.168.0.1.) You can often find this 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 Block (under Parental Controls).
- Add appldnld.apple.com to Domain to block and click Add domain.
- Add mesu.apple.com and click Add domain.
- Click Apply and Yes.
You can no longer download updates. Note that this will prevent the software update from working completely. When you click Software Update on your iPad or iPhone, you will see “Unable to check for updates.”
It’s a somewhat extreme way to avoid software updates, but some users may be determined to keep the latest version. We think it would be wiser to tap Update Later and accept the update to the latest version of the software.