You won’t get automatic iOS updates until weeks later: here’s why

You can set your iPhone to install iOS updates automatically. However, after an iOS release, it often takes weeks for this to happen. But what is the reason for that?

Why automatic iOS updates are installed so late

Many iPhone users complain about it: the automatic update function works very slowly. If there is a new update, it can sometimes take up to a month before you receive a notification and the new software is installed.

Why that is so Apple had never specifically explained – until now. iPhone user Mateus Buda emailed Craig Federighi (the senior vice president of software at Apple) asking why the auto-update feature is so slow. To his surprise, he got reply

Hi Mateusz

We are rolling out new iOS updates incrementally by first making them available to those who explicitly search for them in Settings, then 1-4 weeks later (after we receive feedback about the update) rolling out the software to devices with automatic updates enabled.

Hope that helps!

– Craig

iOS update does not appear

With this, Apple confirms for the first time that it is consciously opting for a phased rollout. By building in a one to four week delay in the automatic updates, the company prevents the servers from becoming overloaded when a new version of iOS is released.

In addition, the delay has another advantage. After major iOS updates, it sometimes happens that bugs (flaws in the software) cause problems. By not triggering automatic iOS updates until a later date, Apple still has time to fix these teething problems.

What Apple hasn’t explained yet is why some automatic app updates don’t install until later, too. Possibly the reason is the same: less chance of loaded servers and the possibility to fix errors.

Enable automatic iOS updates

Don’t care about the delay and want your iPhone to install the iOS updates automatically too? Then do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app;

  2. Tap ‘General’ and go to ‘Software Update’;

  3. Choose “Automatic Updates” and toggle the switch to green.

Automatic updates are never just installed: you always receive a notification in advance. Also, such an update is only initiated at night if you are not using the iPhone. Your device must then be connected to the charger and connected to a WiFi network.

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