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How to Fix Apps Won't Update Issue on iPhone 13

Apr 27, 2022 • Filed to: Fix iOS Mobile Device Issues • Proven solutions

For all its seamlessness, the Apple ecosystem is known to throw random curveballs that annoy and frustrate users. One such curveball is when apps won’t update on iPhone, and if your new iPhone 13 apps won’t update, it can be annoying, especially when the new update is required for proper functioning, as is the case with banking apps in particular! What to do when apps won’t update on iPhone 13? Here is what it means when apps won’t update on an iPhone and what to do about the issue. 

Part I: Why Apps Won’t Update on iPhone 13 And How to Fix That

In general, the iOS apps ecosystem works great. Apps can be set to update automatically, in which case they are updated automatically whenever the iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi, left alone, and especially on a charger, and they can be set to be updated manually as well, at will. Most users do not need to bother about app updates, they just happen on their own. However, sometimes, the apps won’t update. You try to update an app manually, and it refuses to update. Or, it can even go through its motions and it still does not update. Why won’t apps update on iPhone 13?

Reason 1: Not Enough Free Space

One of the most common reasons why an app or apps won’t update on iPhone/iPhone 13 is that there is no free space or too little free space available. Now, you would wonder that your new iPhone 13 has 128 GB storage and how did you fill that up so soon, but yes, it is possible! People even have trouble with 512 GB! The most common reason is the camera - the new iPhones are capable of shooting incredibly high-definition videos, up to 4K resolution. Apple informs users that 1 minute of 4K video at 60 fps is going to be about 440 MB. Just a minute and it consumes 440 MB. A 10-minute video is nearly 4.5 GB!

approximate file sizes for video recording

Reason 2: App Size

That is not all. If you were thinking that you do not use the camera, it could be apps, especially games. Games are known to consume several hundred MB to several GB!

How do I know the consumption pattern on my iPhone?

Apple provides a way for you to see how much storage your iPhone is consuming at the moment. Here is how to check it:

Step 1: Launch Settings and tap General.

Step 2: Tap iPhone Storage.

iphone storage information

Step 3: As you can see from the graphic, Infuse is consuming about 50 GB. What is Infuse? That is a media player, and there are videos in the library taking up space. Your iPhone would show you which apps are consuming the most space on your device.

How to Free Up Space on iPhone 13

There is only one way to free up space on iPhone 13, and that would be to delete files and apps. But, there are two ways to delete files and apps, one is the Apple way, the other is the smarter way.

Method 1: The Apple Way - Delete Apps One by One

Here is how to free up space on iPhone 13 the Apple way by deleting apps one by one.

Step 1: If you are still in iPhone Storage (Settings > General > iPhone Storage) on your iPhone, you can tap the app you want to delete and click "Delete App":

deleting apps on iphone

Step 2: It will show you another popup and you can tap "Delete App" again to delete the app from the iPhone 13 to free up space.

Repeat the process for all apps you want to delete.

Extra Tip: iPhone 13 Storage Full? The Ultimate Fixes to Free up Space on Your iPhone 13!

Method 2: The Smarter Way - Delete Multiple Apps With Dr.Fone - Data Eraser (iOS)

You might see the problem in deleting apps one by one. It is so time-consuming! But, third-party tools such as Dr.Fone are there to help you with any issues you might face with your smartphone and can help you with freeing up space on your iPhone as well. It comprises modules designed to tackle each and every problem. Here is how to free up space on iPhone 13 to fix the apps won’t update issue on iPhone 13 with the Data Eraser module:

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Step 1: Download Dr.Fone

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Step 2: After connecting your iPhone to the computer, launch Dr.Fone and select the Data Eraser module

data eraser

Step 3: Select Free Up Space

Step 4: Now, you can choose what you want to do with your device – erase junk files, erase specific apps, erase large files, etc. Select Erase Applications. When you do that, you will be presented with a list of apps on your iPhone:

data eraser 2

Step 6: In this list, check the boxes to the left of every app you want to uninstall.

Step 7: When done, click Uninstall at the bottom right.

Apps will be uninstalled from the iPhone in one click instead of having to repeat the deleting process for all the apps you want to delete.

Part II: What to Do If Apps Still Do Not Update?

Now, if your apps are still not updating even after all of that, try the below ways to hopefully resolve your apps not updating on iPhone 13 issue for good.

Method 1: Check for App Store Status Online

Before we try to make changes to the phone trying to resolve an issue, we must first see if the issue is even resolvable right now. In case of apps not updating on iPhone 13, it means we should first check if the App Store is facing any issues. Apple provides a status page for us to do that. This way, if we see that App Store is facing issues, we know that it is not something that we can help, and once that issue resolves at Apple’s end, apps would start updating at our end.

Step 1: Visit Apple System Status page: https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

apple system status page

Step 2: Anything other than the green dot means there is an issue.

Method 2: Restart iPhone 13

Step 1: Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Side Button together until the power slider appears.

Step 2: Drag the slider to shut the iPhone down.

Step 3: After a few seconds, switch the iPhone on using the Side Button.

Sometimes a seemingly intractable issue can be solved with a simple reboot.

Method 3: Delete and Reinstall Apps

Often, one of the ways to fix the "apps won’t update" issue is to delete the app, restart the phone, and install the app again. Firstly, this will give you the latest updated copy, and secondly, this will likely fix any updating issues going forward.

Step 1: Long-press the app icon of the app you want to delete and lift your finger when the apps start to jiggle.

deleting apps on iphone

Step 2: Tap the (-) symbol on the app and tap Delete.

deleting apps on iphone 2

Step 3: Confirm once again to delete the app from the iPhone.

Do this for all the apps you want to delete, or, use the smarter way (Dr.Fone - Data Eraser (iOS)) to delete several apps together in one click. The method is elaborated in the previous part of the article.

To download the deleted app(s) from App Store and download the app again:

Step 1: Visit the App Store and tap your profile picture (top right corner).

downloading previously downloaded apps

Step 2: Select Purchased and then My Purchases.

downloading previously downloaded apps 2

Step 3: Search here for the app name you just deleted and tap the symbol that depicts a cloud with a downward pointing arrow to download the app again.

Method 4: Set The Time and Date Manually

Oddly, on occasion, setting the date and time on your iPhone manually seems to help when apps won’t update on iPhone. To set the time and date on your iPhone manually:

Step 1: Launch Settings and tap General.

Step 2: Tap Date & Time.

Step 3: Toggle Set Automatically Off and tap the time and date to set them manually.

setting date and time manually

Method 5: Sign In To App Store Again

It is possible that something is stuck in the mechanism, because if you were not signed in, the App Store would have prompted you about it. To that effect, you can try signing out and back in.

Step 1: Launch the App Store and tap your profile picture (top right corner).

Step 2: Scroll down and tap Sign Out. You will be immediately signed out with no further notification.

Step 3: Scroll up, and sign in again.

sign in to the app store

Step 4: Try updating the app(s) again.

Method 6: Prioritize The Download

Apple recommends a way to get a stuck download working, and that is to prioritize it. Here is how to prioritize a download:

Step 1: On the Home Screen, tap and hold the app that’s not updating.

pause app download

Step 2: When the context menu appears, tap Prioritize Download.

Method 7: Internet Connectivity

Internet connectivity is a fickle thing. A seemingly stable internet connection can develop hiccups the next moment, and even though you might think your internet is working since you are able to view websites, it is possible that something is up with the DNS servers somewhere, disallowing you from updating apps on the iPhone. Recommendation? Try after a while.

Method 8: Disable/ Enable Wi-Fi

If apps are not updating even on your Wi-Fi connection, it is possible that toggling it can help. Here is how to toggle Wi-Fi Off and back On.

Step 1: From the top right corner of the iPhone, make a swipe downwards to launch Control Centre.

blue wifi toggle means wifi is on

Step 2: Tap the Wi-Fi symbol to toggle it Off, wait a few seconds and tap it again to toggle it back On.

Method 9: Check App Download Preferences

It is possible that your apps are set to download only on Wi-Fi. You can change that in Settings.

Step 1: Launch Settings and tap App Store.

setting app download preferences

Step 2: Under Cellular Data, toggle "Automatic Downloads" On.

Method 10: Pause and Restart Downloads

You may also pause and restart a download if it seems stuck. Here is how:

Step 1: On the Home Screen, tap and hold the app that’s stuck and not updating.

Step 2: When the context menu appears, tap Pause Download.

resume app download

Step 3: Repeat Step 1 and step 2, but choose Resume Download.

Method 11: Reset Network Settings

Since this problem is related to the network connectivity, both cellular and Wi-Fi, and Apple’s own settings, you can first try resetting network settings.

Step 1: Launch Settings and tap General.

Step 2: Scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

Step 3: Tap Reset and choose Reset Network Settings.

reset network settings on iphone

This method:

  1. Remove your iPhone’s name in Settings > General > About
  2. Resets Wi-Fi, so you will have to key in your password again
  3. Resets Cellular, so you will have to check settings in Settings > Cellular Data to see they are up to how you like them. Roaming would be disabled, for example, and you might want to enable it.

Method 12: Reset All Settings On iPhone

If network settings reset did not help, maybe resetting all settings on iPhone would. Note that this will un-customize your iPhone, so anything you would have changed in the Settings app would be restored to factory settings and you would have to go at it again.

Step 1: Launch Settings and tap General.

Step 2: Scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

Step 3: Tap Reset and choose Reset All Settings.

reset all settings on iphone

This method resets the iPhone settings to factory default.

Conclusion

Apps not updating on iPhone 13 is not a commonly occurring issue but is prevalent enough owing to factors such as network issues, free space on the device, etc. Users do not normally face such issues, but sometimes they do, and the ways listed in the article should help them through if they are facing an issue where apps won’t update on iPhone 13, leaving them frustrated. If for some reason this does not work too well for you, you can try the Dr.Fone - System Repair (iOS) and fix apps not updating issues on iPhone 13 comprehensively. Standard Mode in Dr.Fone - System Repair (iOS) is designed to fix any issues with iPhone 13 without deleting user data and even so, if that does not work, there is the Advanced Mode that fully restores iOS onto your iPhone to comprehensively fix apps not updating issue on iPhone 13.

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