You Should Be Scheduling Your iPhone Updates for Later

Photo:  nikkimeel (Shutterstock)
Photo: nikkimeel (Shutterstock)

Updating your iPhone is annoying. Yes, the updates are often full of new features and changes that make upgrading worthwhile, but it can be hard to find the time to install a brand new update on your iPhone. Taking your phone out of commission during the day isn’t always an option. Wouldn’t it be nice if Apple let you schedule these updates for when you actually had time? Well, ask and ye shall receive.

As it turns out, Apple includes an option to schedule software updates on each and every iPhone. It’s just that for some reason, the company hides it from us. I’m not sure why—it’s certainly not due to a lack of screen space: Half of the Software Updates settings page is blank. The option also isn’t featured in the Automatic Updates settings menu either, so don’t go looking for it there.

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Speaking of which, when I refer to scheduling updates for later, I’m not talking about iOS’ Automatic Updates feature. Sure, this option will theoretically download and install updates overnight, but it doesn’t really work as advertised. Apple designs it to roll out updates automatically in the weeks after an update is released. If you rely on this feature to install updates on your iPhone, you might be way behind other iPhone users at any given moment.

The hidden scheduling option only appears when a new update is available. Once an update drops, head to Settings > General > Software Update, and you’ll see a singular “Download and Install” button. Rather than simply tapping on the button, tap and hold on it. When you do, you’ll see a menu appear out of nowhere, with two new options:

  • Download Only: Tap this option to download the update to your iPhone, but not install it.

  • Download and Install Tonight: Your scheduling option! Tap this button to tell your iPhone to install the update later tonight.

Screenshot:  Jake Peterson
Screenshot: Jake Peterson

Why Apple doesn’t just have these three options available on the main Software Updates page is beyond me. Maybe they want most users downloading and installing the update as soon as it’s available, but I think it would benefit us to have the scheduling option out in the open. I certainly never feel comfortable installing an update in the middle of my day, since that’s when I’m awake, which means I’m probably using my phone.

[Reddit]


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