How to Cancel an Over-the-Air iOS Update in Progress

by

When an over-the-air iOS update starts downloading on your iPhone or iPad, you can monitor its progress in the Settings app via General -> Software Update.


The lack of a cancel option on this screen seems to imply that there's no way to prevent a software update from downloading once it's started, but don't be fooled. You can stop the update process in its tracks at any time and even delete the downloaded data from your device to free up space. Here's how.

First, you'll want to pause the download by temporarily disconnecting your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌ from your Wi-Fi network. The easiest way to do this is by enabling Airplane mode: swipe down from the upper right of your device's screen (on ‌iPhone‌ 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen) and tap the Airplane button in the top left of the Control Center grid.

Now that's done, follow these steps.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.

  4. Locate and tap the iOS software update in the app list.
  5. Tap Delete Update and confirm the action by tapping it again in the pop-up pane.

How to Turn off Automatic Updates

As some of our readers have pointed out, there's currently no option in Settings to prevent iOS software updates from re-downloading the next time your device is connected to Wi-Fi. What you can do though is prevent an update from automatically installing once it has downloaded: To so, simply launch the Settings app, tap Software Update, and toggle off the switch next to Automatic Updates.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
23 months ago
About the last part, I believe that’s not how it works. Disabling the option in the iTunes & App Store settings only works for applications updates not iOS system updates.

To prevent iOS from automatically downloading system updates, you need to go to General, Software Update and then disable Automatic Software Update here. This option is only available on iOS 12 though so if you are on a lower version your only option is to install a tvOS profile (or watchOS) to prevent the device from searching for updates.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago


How to Turn off Automatic Updates

If the OTA software update started downloading automatically without your consent and you'd like to prevent this behavior in future, you need to disable the default automatic downloads setting on your device. To do so, simply launch the Settings app, tap Software Update, and toggle off the switch next to Automatic Updates.

Article Link: How to Cancel an Over-the-Air iOS Update in Progress ('https://www.macrumors.com/how-to/cancel-a-downloading-ios-update/')

You cannot disable iOS update downloads. The Automatic Updates only applies to iTunes and App Store purchases.

Apple dictates when and how they try to push an iOS update to your device. I have complained to them many times regarding this matter. This is EXACTLY why they love to brag about their adoption rate.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
On older iOS version you can't clear the badge number on the settings icon.:mad:

And another nuisance is it downloads iOS updates when I'm using my cellular hotspot device wasting data and costing me money. No way to disable wifi internet for apps like you can do with cellular settings.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
I love these how-to articles sprinkled into MR’s feed. Also like how it inspires conversation around said topic and related questions.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
Automatic updates is different than automatic downloads. iOS 12 now has the feature (if you want to call it that) of actually updating the OS automatically without any user intervention. Older versions can't do this.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
Definitely wanna turn off auto updates for everything these days.

I lose functionality more often than I gain it, in apps, as well as OSes.

I'm not sure why this is happening, but it is.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

Images of Supposed AirPods Diagnosis Tool Shared Online

Thursday October 22, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly rolling out a new tool to Apple service providers for testing AirPods, according to leaker known as "Fudge," who shared images of the tool on Twitter. Apple appears to be seeking to reduce unnecessary AirPods services by more accurately diagnosing the cause of a fault. Instances of a dirt-blockage, which may be difficult to ascertain visually, can apparently be...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...