How to Cancel an iPhone Update

Stopping an iOS update in progress

What to Know

  • Stop an iOS update in progress: Turn on Airplane Mode to stop the download (Control Center > Airplane Mode)
  • Delete the update file: Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage > update file > Delete Update > Delete Update.
  • Stop automatic updates: Go to Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates > move both sliders to off/white.

You can stop iOS updates from installing even after the installation process starts. While there's no button to make this easy, you can do it if you know the right tricks. This article shows you how to stop an iOS update in progress.

Can You Stop an iPhone Update in the Middle?

There are two parts of the iOS update process where you can stop the update: during the download and during the installation. That's because the over-the-air iOS updates happen in two steps: the iPhone first downloads the iOS update file to your iPhone before installing it.

There's no button to stop a download in progress, so you must temporarily disconnect your iPhone from the internet. To stop the download of the update file itself, even if the download is partially complete, follow these steps:

  1. Open Control Center (by swiping down from the top right corner on the iPhone X and newer, or swiping up from the bottom of the screen on earlier models).

  2. Tap the Airplane Mode icon in the top left corner so it lights up.

  3. Close Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen or tapping an empty area of the screen.

  4. Confirm the iOS update download has stopped by going to Settings > General > Software Update. If the Download button is lit up, the download has stopped.

    iPhone Control Center with Airplane Mode and Download availability highlighted

You'll probably want to change your settings for automatic downloading and installation of iOS updates before getting out of Airplane Mode. Check out the last section of this article for instructions.

How Do I Stop iOS Update in Progress?

If the iOS update file has been partially or fully downloaded to your iPhone, you can still prevent it from being installed on your phone and changing your version of the iOS. You can even do this if the update has started but hasn't yet finished.

If your iOS update is in progress and you want to stop it, here's what to do:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap General.

    iPhone with Settings app and General highlighted
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.

  4. Find the iOS update file and tap it.

    iPhone Settings with iPhone storage highlighted and iPhone storage screen shown
  5. Tap Delete Update.

  6. In the confirmation pop-up, tap Delete Update again.

If you haven't already turned off Airplane Mode, do it here so you can start using the internet on your phone again.

How to Control Automatic iOS Update Downloads and Installs

You can set your iPhone to download iOS updates and install them automatically. This feature makes it easy to keep your phone up to date, but you may prefer to have more control over when those downloads and installs happen. To choose your iOS update settings, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap General.

  3. Tap Software Update.

    iPhone with Settings app, General, and Software Update highlighted
  4. Tap Automatic Updates.

  5. On this screen, your options are:

    • Download iOS Updates: This controls whether updates are downloaded but not installed (that's the next setting). Move the slider to off/white to prevent automatic downloads. It will hide the second option. However, you can keep this slider set to on/green to download files but still control installation with the next option.
    • Install iOS Updates: This controls whether updates that have already been downloaded are installed automatically or manually. To manually install the updates, move this slider to off/white.
    iPhone Software Update settings with Automatic Updates turned on and update options highlighted
  • How do I update my iPhone?

    To update your iPhone's iOS wirelessly, launch the Settings app and tap General > Software Update. Your phone will check for and display any available iOS updates. If one is available, tap Download and Install, and then tap Install Now.

  • Why won't my iPhone update?

    If your iPhone iOS won't update, it may be because there isn't an available iOS update for you to install. If you see an available update that won't install, or if installation freezes, you may not have enough storage for the update. Try using your computer to update your iPhone. It could also be a problem with your internet connection that hinders your update.

  • How do I update apps on an iPhone?

    To keep iPhone apps up to date, open the App Store app, tap your profile picture, and view any available app updates. Tap Update to install an update, or tap Update All to install all available updates. To have your apps automatically update, go to Settings > App Store and toggle on Automatic Downloads.

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