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How to Fix iPad Apps That Won’t Update

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by | Filed Under: iOS

Shakun from Buffalo, New York writes:

I bought the 4th generation Apple iPad a few months ago. I don’t know much about the iPad. My update button is not working in App Store. Now I can’t update my apps. I had switched off then open it but in vain. What should I do? Can you help me please? Thanks a lot.

 It’s important to keep your apps up-to-date. They run better, crash less, and will always give you the most up-to-date features. However, as reliable as the iPad is, every once in a while it will stall and you may not be able to update your apps to the latest versions. Here’s what to try when that happens.

Close and Re-open the App Store

You might think you have closed and re-opened the App Store before, but simply pressing the home button and re-opening it will only get you so far. To kill the app and make it start from fresh, you need to follow the instructions below:

1. Double press the home button, (or swipe upwards with four fingers), to reveal the multitasking menu (see below).

iPad Multitasking Menu

2. Swipe horizontally through the icons until you find the App Store thumbnail and icon.

3. When you see the App Store, put a finger on the large thumbnail and swipe upwards to remove it from view.

Swipe to Close App

4. Now, press the home button to exit the multitasking menu/

5. Launch the App Store again, and try to perform the updates for your apps.

 Restart the iPad

Still having problems? Time to restart your iPad. A restart is often enough to fix minor issues like this.

1. Press and hold the power button on the corner of your iPad until you see the red “Slide to Power Off” prompt.
2. Slide your finger in the direction of the arrow to power off your iPad.
3. Once the iPad has turned off, press and hold the power button to turn it back on.
4. Now, open the App Store and try to update your apps again.

 Perform a Hard Reset

You’re still here? Okay. Time to bring out the big guns. A hard reset fixes 95% of problems that people have with their iPads, but it is not as invasive as it sounds. All your apps and data will still be there once you have done this. To perform a hard reset, follow these steps:

1. Press and hold the home button and the power button and keep them held down for about 20 seconds, or until you see the Apple logo. Ignore the “Slide to Power Off” prompt. Just keep those buttons held down until the screen goes black and the iPad restarts.
2. Once you see the Apple logo, let go of the buttons.
3. When your iPad has restarted, open the App Store and see if those stubborn apps will finally update. The chances are high they will.

 Bonus Tip: Turn on Automatic App Updates

By now, the chances are high that your apps have finally got in line and updated just as you wanted them to. However, wouldn’t it be nice if your apps just updated all by themselves…automatically? Well, they can if your iPad software is up-to-date and running iOS 7 or later. Here’s how to set that up:

1. Check your iPad Software is up to date by going to Settings > General > Software Update

Software Update

2. Click Download and Install to download any available updates.
3. Once your iPad is up to date, go to Settings > iTunes and App Store > and toggle the switch next to the word Updates.

Turn On Automatic Updates

4. Now your apps will automatically update whenever an update is found in the App Store!

~ Jonathan

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53 Responses to “How to Fix iPad Apps That Won’t Update”

  1. MaiOsborn says:

    Thank you this helped. My problem was easily fixed by restarting my iPad!

  2. Bonnie says:

    I tried everything everywed had said! None of this is helping

    • Chris says:

      I am having the same problem. Even the general software update won’t work. Says I need 3.0 GB storage for it to update – I have 199!

  3. Jim says:

    Hard reset worked, thanks.

  4. Val says:

    This was extremely helpful. Thank you.

  5. Holly says:

    I have tried all of the above, multiple times, and nothing works. When I click the update button in the App Store, it asks me for my password. I enter my password, and it starts to look like it is going to update (it has that square in the middle of the circle). But then it stops and it goes back to saying “update” Super frustrated. Anyone have a suggestion??

  6. Holly says:

    Yes. I checked, and I have lots of free space. Anyone have any suggestions?

  7. Michael says:

    I tried everything but it still wouldn’t update the one app. It updated all the others but it still won’t update. It goes about a quarter of the way and then an alert pops up saying the update is unavailable. What do I do?!

  8. Eric says:

    Hard reset didn’t work on my iPad mini I tried everything but it doesn’t work at all can you please help me please?

  9. Jack says:

    Tried all of those still not working

  10. Keith says:

    Many times this is an issue with the date or time on the ipad. Check to make sure it is correct. Updates can not be done without the correct date/time

  11. nate says:

    that’s a soft reboot not hard reset. Hard reset is deleting everything and starting like a new phone. That confuses people that don’t know much about phones.

  12. Melody says:

    Go to the nearest Apple Store (if you have one) NOT the place you purchased it if you went someplace like BestBuy, but an Apple Store and bring your Apple devices with you. If you’re having problems syncing with a non-Apple laptop, drag that in as well. I was appalled the first time I found my iTunes on my non-Apple laptop required me to update the apps as well- even though I backup via the Cloud and it takes forever. I need to haul my laptop in with me unless anyone has a solution to that. Is there an auto-update in iTunes so I don’t have to manually “update all apps”? I have both an iPhone & iPad and a stupid amount of apps. I know you can right click>delete apps if you don’t want them as they don’t just go away if you remove them from your device… My son has never been able to set up iTunes properly on his desktop but can’t very well drag that one into Apple and calling has been futile. Our third world problems…..

  13. michael says:

    tried everything but UPDATE ALL still remains blurred and when I click on a single app to update instead of doing so it opens . quite fed up. have any othe clou? thks alot

  14. Sami says:

    Thx it worked

  15. Aksjcudisksm says:

    I have tried everything and it doesn’t work anyone have any other suggestions.
    Thanks Guys

  16. Aksjcudisksm says:

    This is rlly bugging me now. I think next time I’ll buy an Amazon kindle instead as i spend the extra money on an iPad to avoid these kinds of problems.

  17. TheIpadUser says:


  18. Regina says:

    I had the same problem and understand the frustration. Don’t know if this will help you, but make sure:
    1. Your date and time is set correct.
    2. You don’t have restrictions enabled.
    3. You do a hard restart and re-open APP store
    Fixing these worked for me.

  19. kelly says:

    Oh my gosh, it worked! Thanks!

  20. Lynn says:

    Turning off the restrictions worked immediately!

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