How to fix apps that won’t update on your iPhone 5

Updates are essential to keep apps and operating system optimal. Smartphone manufacturers and software developers are releasing software updates periodically as their way of keeping apps and operating system enhanced, free from bugs and in excellent status. Most updates are auto-installed, which means they’re implemented automatically while others require manual installation. For these updates to be installed, a stable Internet connection and sufficient storage space are needed. Thus ruling out Internet problems and memory-related issues is imperative when dealing with update download and installation errors. Mapped out below are simple yet very effective solutions to a pertinent issue on the iPhone 5 apps that won’t update. If you’ve landed into this post while searching for additional inputs in resolving the same problem, then this post can help you. Read on to find out what to do if apps won’t update on your iPhone 5 smartphone.

Before we proceed, if you’re looking for a solution to a problem with your phone, try to browse through our troubleshooting pages to see if we support your device. If your phone is in the list of our supported devices, then go to the troubleshooting page and look for similar problems. Feel free to use our solutions and workarounds. Don’t worry it’s free. But if you still need our help, then fill up our iOS issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us. 

 

Troubleshooting an iPhone 5 problem on apps that won’t update

If apps on your phone won’t update, it maybe because they aren’t eligible for the new update or something in your phone is preventing them from updating. In order to solve the problem, figuring out the underlying cause is necessary. As mentioned earlier, internet connectivity and memory-related issues are the usual reasons as to why apps would fail to update. Nonetheless, there are also other factors that you should rule out when attempting to resolve the problem with your iPhone apps that won’t update. Among other factors to look into are incorrect or improperly configured settings, unsupported update file, network congestion and server timeouts, to name some. Performing these subsequent solutions will help you eliminate each of these possible culprits. 

First solution: Quit the App Store then launch it again.

In-app glitches may also hinder the updating process. If you were able to update apps before and then suddenly failed, chances are that the App Store is currently glitching or acting up. A simple way to fix random app glitches like this is to quit then restart the app. Thus, if you’ve left the App Store app open and running in the background for long, follow these steps to end it:

  1. Double press the Home key to launch the recent apps screen. On this screen, you will see the previews of the apps you’ve recently used but not closed.
  2. Find the App Store app preview.
  3. Swipe up on the App Store preview to close the app. Do the same to clear all other background apps, to prevent any of them from messing up with the App Store operations.

After clearing all background apps, launch the App Store and then retry updating your apps. 

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 5 that’s stuck on white Apple logo

Second solution: Soft reset or restart your iPhone.

If clearing out background apps failed to resolve the issue, the next things you should rule out are symptoms and app errors attributed to minor firmware crashes. And the simplest way to fix such errors is a soft reset or restart on the phone. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold down the Power (Sleep/Wake) button on the top of the phone for a few seconds.
  2. Release the button when the Power Off slider appears. The iPhone will then shut down.
  3. After a few seconds, press and hold the Power (Sleep/Wake) button until the Apple logo appears and then release the button.

Wait until your iPhone finishes the boot sequence then retry updating apps through the App Store when ready.

Third solution: Check and manage storage.

Compared to the later iPhones, the storage capacity of the iPhone 5 variants isn’t that high as that of the later iPhones. Thus there’s a higher chance of your storage becoming full after a few apps and file downloads. To make sure insufficient memory isn’t the main reason why your iPhone apps won’t update, check and manage your phone’s internal storage. Just follow these steps:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.

View and see how much storage space is available. If the figure shows less than 1 gigabyte, it denotes the need for you to free up some space as your phone’s internal memory is shrinking. If you don’t free up space, your phone would no longer be able to save new files including apps updates. If necessary, delete all unwanted files and unused apps as well as old messages, photos and videos that are no longer useful.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 5 that cannot play YouTube videos 

Fourth solution: Disable restrictions to fix apps that won’t update on your iPhone.

When enabled, restrictions could bar App Store transactions including app updates and downloads. To rule this out, turn off restrictions on your iPhone 5 using the following procedures:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. If prompted, enter the correct four-digit passcode and then confirm.
  5. Tap the switch next to Content & Privacy to turn the feature OFF.

Doing so will lift all restrictions set on your phone including App Store downloads. With restrictions disabled, retry updating apps through the App Store and see if it’s a success.

Fifth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone.

Network connectivity issues from slow internet to intermittent or no internet connection at all can also be the main reason why you cannot download your apps. To clear out network-related issues, try resetting your iPhone’s network settings with these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Scroll to and tap General.
  3. Tap on Reset
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted.
  6. Tap to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your phone.

Performing this reset only deletes saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections, APNs, and other relevant settings. Internal data stored on the phone’s internal memory aren’t affected so there’s no need to back up files. After the reset, you will need to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network like the first time you did so be sure to keep your Wi-Fi password ready. Once you’re connected, open the App Store and retry updating your apps.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 5 that has no Internet connection

Sixth solution: Reset all settings on your phone.

If the problem started after updating your iPhone software (iOS), it’s possible that the recent iOS update has overridden some settings, which eventually resulted in downloading errors. Settings that are not properly configured as well as incorrect customization can also result in facing errors. If that’s the case, then you may have to consider resetting all settings on your phone. Doing so will erase any incorrect settings including auto-update overrides that caused conflicts and halted apps downloads and updating process via App Store. Similar to the previous reset, this reset also doesn’t affect any saved data on the internal memory, so backing up files won’t be necessary. Once you’re ready, simply follow these steps and start resetting all settings on your iPhone 5:

  1. Go to the Home screen then tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode if prompted.
  6. Then tap to confirm that you want to reset all settings on your iPhone.

Recent settings and update overrides are then deleted while the original values and options are restored. To use necessary features particularly the ones that are disabled by default, you will need to re-enable them individually. Once your iPhone gets back online, try launching the App Store then install pending app update individually or simultaneously.

Still cannot update apps on your iPhone 5?

If none of the above solutions is able to resolve the issue and that your iPhone apps still won’t update, you may consider uninstalling and reinstalling the apps individually. Doing so will allow you to download and install the latest version of the app on your iPhone 5. Third-party apps can be deleted straight from your iPhone’s Home screen or through the iPhone storage. 

  • To delete apps through the Home screen, touch and hold on an app icon until all icons are jiggling. Then tap the X button on the top-left side of the app that you want to uninstall. Finally, tap Delete to confirm action.
  • To delete apps from your iPhone storage, simply go to Settings-> General-> iPhone Storage menu. Navigate to the apps list then find and select the app that you want to uninstall. 

After deleting apps, reboot your iPhone then go to the App Store to search for and download the latest version of the apps that you want to use on your phone. If all apps are successfully installed, updating wouldn’t be necessary because the apps you’ve recently installed are already on their latest versions.

Logging out of and back into your App Store account can also help if the problem is attributed to an incorrect Apple credentials. Doing so will ensure that the Apple ID and password you entered for App Store services is valid and correct. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen to get started.
  2. Then tap iTunes & App Store.
  3. To sign out, tap on your Apple ID then tap Sign Out.
  4. To sign in again, tap the Sign In option then enter the correct Apple ID and password for your App Store and iTunes services.

For more advanced solutions and further recommendations in case none of the given solutions is able to fix the problem, you can report your concern to the developers of the app you’re having trouble updating on your iPhone. Otherwise, escalate the problem to Apple Support.

Connect with us

We are committed to helping our readers fix the problems with their phones as well as learn how to properly use their devices. So, if you have other issues, you may visit our troubleshooting page so you can check by yourself the articles we’ve already published that contain solutions to common problems. Also, we do create videos to demonstrate how things are done on your phone. Visit our Youtube Channel and please subscribe to it. Thanks.