What to do if iPhone XS Max won’t install updates for apps

One of the common problems for iPhones is being unable to install app updates. In today’s troubleshooting episode, we’ll show you how to fix this problem on an iPhone XS Max.

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Problem: iPhone XS Max won’t install updates for apps

I have a iPhone XS Max just got it yesterday and it will not let me update apps. It acts like it’s going to then stops.

Solution: There’s a number of things to check to identify the reason for your problem. Learn how to troubleshoot the issue below.

Force restart

Before you do any of the troubleshooting steps below, it’s always a good idea to refresh the system with a restart. Try to forced reboot your iPhone XS Max with the steps below and see what happens:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Side (Power) button until you see the Apple logo.

Check the Apple ID

If you have more than one Apple ID, it’s possible that the current installed apps are associated with a different Apple ID. An iOS app can only be downloaded by a particular Apple ID. This also means that these apps will not be able to install updates if the Apple ID used to install them is not currently in use.

To check what Apple ID was used to get an app:

  1. Open the App Store app.
  2. Tap Updates.
  3. Tap your picture or icon in the top right corner.
  4. Tap Purchased.
  5. Check to see if the app is listed here. If not, it was likely downloaded with another Apple ID.

Sign out and back in to your Apple account

If the apps you’re trying to update were downloaded using the correct Apple ID currently signed in, the next good thing to do is to temporarily remove the Apple ID by signing out. Then, after a phone restart, sign back in and see what happens.

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap iTunes & App Store.
  3. Tap the Apple ID menu.
  4. In the pop-up menu, tap Sign Out.
  5. Restart your iPhone XS Max.
  6. Repeat steps 1-3.
  7. Tap the Apple ID menu and sign in with your Apple ID.

Turn off restrictions

Apple’s Restrictions feature on its devices can prevent installing app updates. While this feature is often not very useful for many end users, IT admininistrators may find it helpful in controlling certain aspects of company-provided iPhones. If you have such an iPhone, you should consider checking if your device is restricted from installing updates. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Restrictions.
  4. If prompted, enter your passcode
  5. Check the Installing Apps menu. If the slider is set to off/white then updating apps is blocked. Move the slider to on/green to restore the updating feature.

Ensure there’s enough storage space

While this may seem obvious, many iPhone users, especially those who are fond of installing hundreds of apps or taking thousands of photos and videos, may not realize that their phone’s storage space is running out. Be sure to double check the available storage space on your iPhone with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap About.
  4. Look for the Available line to know the remaining space you have.

Install iOS update

Some bugs in iPhones can only be fixed by updates. Make sure not to skip any available iOS update if they become available.

Incorrect system date and time

Some iPhone users may change the date and time on their device for some reason. Make sure to double check the system date and time as that might prevent the App Store from allowing the device to download updates.

To check:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Date & Time.
  4. Move the Set Automatically slider to on/green.

Reinstall the apps

If the apps are still not updating at this point, try deleting them from the device so you can reinstall them afterwards.

To delete an app from your iPhone XS Max:

  1. In your Home screen, tap and hold the app icon until all the apps begin to wiggle
  2. When the apps begin to wiggle, you’ll notice an X appears on the top left of the icon. Tap that.
  3. A window pops up asking if you really want to delete the app. If you’ve changed your mind, tap Cancel. If you want to proceed, tap Delete.
  4. If the app stores some of its data in iCloud, you’ll also be asked whether you want to remove your data from Game Center/iCloud or leave it. If you expect to ever use the app again, leave the data there.

Once you’ve deleted all the apps in question, restart your iPhone and reinstall them from the App Store.

Delete App Store cache

Sometimes, an outdated or corrupted App Store cache may block updates. To clear the current App Store cache, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the App Store app.
  2. Tap any of the icons at the bottom of the app 10 times.
  3. When you do this, the app appears to restart and takes you to the first tab. This signals that your cache is clear.

Reset all settings

Deleting all settings on your iPhone XS Max may be needed if the problem still remains at this juncture. This troubleshooting step will return some settings to their defaults but will not clear any of your personal data.

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset All Settings.
  5. You may be asked to enter your passcode. If you are, do so.
  6. In the pop-up window, tap Reset All Settings.

Factory reset

A more drastic solution may be necessary if nothing has changed after resetting all settings. Factory reset will delete all personal data and return all software settings to their defaults. Be sure to back your files up before doing it.

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode.
  6. Tap Erase iPhone.

Get Apple support

Should not any of the solutions above work, consider bringing up the matter to Apple. Having outdated versions of apps can pose a security risk and is not encouraged. Being unable to install updates for apps is also not normal so it may be a sign of something deeper, probably a malware infection or a unique firmware bug. Apple should be able to help you with this problem by either reinstalling the operating system or replacing the unit.

Engage with us

If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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