Have you ever needed to stop or cancel an iOS update before it installs on an iPhone or iPad? Installing iOS software updates is easy through the Settings app, but you may have noticed that once an iOS update starts downloading there is no ‘cancel update’ or ‘stop downloading update’ button or option. Nonetheless, despite there being no obvious method to cancel the process, you can stop an iOS update while it is downloading if you act quickly.
Note that this process of stopping an iOS update must happen while the update is actively downloading, not during the install process. Once the iOS update process itself has started installing it can not be canceled. Essentially what we’re doing here is deleting the iOS update from the iPhone or iPad while it’s actively downloading and before it starts installing.
How to Stop iOS Updates That Started Downloading & Before Install on iPhone or iPad
Here’s how you can cancel an iOS update that has already started downloading but before it has started installing:
- Put your iPhone or iPad into AirPlane Mode by accessing Control Center and toggling the Airplane badge, this disconnects the device from the internet (cellular and/or wi-fi)
- While the iOS update is actively downloading, return to the main “General” sedition of the “Settings” app in iOS
- Go to “General” and then choose “iPhone Storage” or “iPad Storage”, depending on which iOS device you have
- Wait a moment for the iOS device storage to populate, then scroll down to locate the ‘iOS’ update you wish to stop the download for and tap on it
- Tap on “Delete Update’ and confirm that you want to delete the iOS update to stop the download and update process
Once the iOS update has been deleted, if you return back to the “Software Update” section of the Settings app you will find it can be downloaded (and installed) again at any time.
If you’re stopping an iOS update to avoid an update for some reason, and you have automatic iOS updates enabled, then you might want to turn that off, otherwise the update will download and install again on it’s own in the middle of the night if the iPhone or iPad is plugged in and on wi-fi. Going further, there are a variety of ways to sort of sort of stop the iOS update notifications from showing up again, but ultimately you’ll either need to avoid the update continuously or install it.
You’ll sometimes see suggestions to turn on Airplane Mode to stop an iOS update while it’s downloading, which in some versions of iOS can work too since it interrupts the actual download process.
Obviously we’re focusing on the iOS update process on the iPhone or iPad itself, but if you install iOS updates through iTunes then you can also stop iTunes from downloading iOS updates and updating iOS but in a much more direct way.
Can you stop an iOS update while it’s installing?
No. Once the iOS update installation process has begun, there is no reliable way to stop it without bricking the device. Attempting to stop an iOS update in the middle of an installation of an iOS update will almost certainly render the iPhone or iPad useless and in need of restore (or even DFU restore), potentially causing data loss. Do not interrupt an iOS update once it has already started installing.
If you know of another method of stopping an iOS update from installing or while downloading, share with us in the comments below!
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