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In earlier versions of iOS, the system would notify users of available App Store updates with a badge on the icon (seen above).

You had to open up the App Store, press the Update button, then press Update All. It was rather annoying to keep up with all the apps that needed updating. Sometimes by the time you finished updating, more apps would need updating.

Now with iOS 7, the apps will now automatically update. To make sure that the apps are set to automatically update, go into Settings and scroll until you see iTunes and App Store.

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Tap on iTunes & App Store. Then scroll all the way down towards the bottom until see Automatic Downloads.

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To turn on automatic app updates, tap in the white oval next to Updates. The apps will now update automatically. Apple even asks you how often you want the apps to automatically update, whether to occur only when you’re on Wi-fi or if it can occur when you’re on a Cellular network. This is great because not everyone might have a data plan that can support automatically updating the apps on a Cellular connection.

If you have automatic app updates turned on, and happen to be curious as to which apps updated, you have two places to find the same information. If you go to the App Store and press on Updates, it will show you when apps last updated. Also, Notification Center can even show you (in the “All” tab) which apps were automatically updated.

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11 Responses to “iOS 7 How-to: Set up Automatic App Updates”

  1. Great feature but I have a question thou. I have my account on which I buy my apps – so everything’s cool. But what if I download an app from my friends’ account and log-in back to mine acc. Won’t it still try to update the app – battery life getting worse (I know it’s not possible to update that app until I give it my friends’ login info)?

  2. dhodnett0623 says:

    My settings are all correct, but how often do they actually update? I’m on a wifi network, and my app store badge count has been sitting at 2 for a few hours. Resisting the urge to just push “update all” is nearly impossible.

  3. I’m curious to see how this works because as far as I can tell… It doesn’t work.
    I’ve got 16 Updates listed in the icon and it’s not updating and the auto update is switched on.
    Also struggling to resist the urge to update.

  4. I find that it only finds new updates when I open the App Store, then magically it sees there are new updates and starts to auto download them.

  5. Wow, autoUpdate. A feature android has had for many years. But Android also let’s you choose which apps to autoUpdate and which to manually update on a per-app basis.

    What really pissed me off was that I had a handful of apps I DID NOT WANT TO UPDATE when I was still on ios6. When I upgraded to ios7, the stupid thing auto updated all my apps before the first boot of ios7. So I turn on my phone (and iPad) after the ups rage only to find my carefully controlled versioning of certain apps totally mowed over with the latest versions. NOT COOL!!! Was so angry I nearly threw the things against the wall and was wondering if my lawyer was interested in perusing a law suit.

    SHAME ON YOU, APPLE!!!

  6. Loosestrife under Automatic Updates What is the difference between Apps and Updates?

  7. Apps Addict says:

    I am happy the option still exists on iOS 7 to disable it. You can expect after a couple of new iOS releases, such like feature be permanent and then we will be at the mercy of cellular companies.

  8. fofer says:

    Most folks think Automatic App Updates will happen over cellular if “Use Cellular Data” is enabled (as that’s what the UI and wording in Settings seems to imply) and then they decide to leave Automatic App Updates off (or block the iTunes Store app from using cellular data entirely.)

    I’ve done some testing with WiFi off, and have corroborated the same findings with friends who have done the same. I am confident now to share the conclusion: Automatic App Updates do *not* happen over cellular data, even with “Use Cellular Data” turned on. Automatic App Updates only occur over WiFi. This is good news, and I’m surprised it hasn’t been shared more widely.