Here’s why your iPad won’t update apps

There’s no denying that in recent years, Apple has released some of their best iPads to date. Between the Air, Pro and the Mini, they seem to have every corner of the tablet market sewn up.

Much of this is down to the iPadOS that they use, which definitely makes their tablets interactive and responsive. However, even on iPads you can face issues, and one of the most common ones is that your iPad won’t update apps.

This can be frustrating, and it can seemingly happen at pretty much any time. Here’s what to do if you’re met with the message that you can’t update some of the apps on your tablet.

Here’s why your iPad won’t update apps

When we’re talking about updating the apps on your iPad, we’re generally talking about a complete lack of the possibility to update. This means that even if you go into your App Store and try to update them, it doesn’t work – usually you’ll be met with an error message at this point.

It’s just worth clarifying this because your iPad should update all of your apps accordingly anyway. If you go into your settings and then into iTunes and App Store, you’ll find that you can actually turn automatic updates on and off if you need to. Make sure that this is on before we get started.

After you’ve done this, you’ll need to run through the troubleshooting steps below to try and get your apps to update.

Make sure that you’re fully signed in

If you’re not signed in to your App Store, then you won’t be able to update your apps. You can usually tell whether you’re signed in or not by looking for the notice at the top of your App Store.

You should go ahead and sign in to get access to updates on your device. If you’re already signed in, then try to sign out and then sign back in quickly after. This will ensure that there’s not been an issue with verifying your email address.

This includes actually making sure that there’s a payment method set up in your account too. If you don’t have a payment method set up properly, then this may be what’s stopping your apps from updating. This won’t cost you anything to set up the payment method, only if you use it.

Try a fresh install

If you’ve tried to manually update the app with no success, then the next step you’ll want to take is to download the app again.

Go ahead and uninstall the app that you’ve downloaded off of your device. This should only take a few seconds to do. And when it’s done, go ahead and re-download the app again.

The likelihood is that the app you’re using doesn’t have any valuable information, or it may actually save all of the valuable data to the cloud.

This means that when you log back into the app, all of your information should be there when you sign in. This may not be the case for some iOS apps, so double check first (especially with some games!).

Re-downloading the app is the first thing to try if your iPad apps won’t update, as it’ll probably download a new version of the app anyway. If you still can’t get it to update, then move onto the next step.

Use iTunes

Sometimes, it could just be a bit of a problem with the software you’re using on your iPad.

One way that we can get around this is by utilizing iTunes on your laptop or computer. When you connect your iPad up to your computer, you’re allowing the software on it to be controlled externally. This means that if the issue is with your iPad’s software, then it shouldn’t be a problem on your computer.

You can then go ahead and update your apps whilst you’re connected to your computer. Make sure that you clear downloads before you try updating your apps. If you don’t have iTunes or this doesn’t work, then there’s still a few other things to try.

Restart your device

Next on the list of things to try is simply restarting your iPad by turning it off and on again.

This works for a lot of different devices for a whole host of different problems. This is because your device may have had an issue processing or loading your data properly. When you reset your iPad, it gets completely wiped of everything that it was previously doing.

This means that when you turn your iPad back on again, the memory will have been cleared. And, if something was stopping your app updates, it should be working as normal again after this.

As well as simply turning your iPad off and on again, you could think about doing a soft reset. There’s no need to worry about it clearing out your saved apps and settings, as it’ll have no effect on them.

This is where you hold down the home button whilst pressing the power button too. On newer models without a Home button, you may do this by simply pressing the volume up button, then the volume down button, followed by the top button on your iPad.

You could also try factory resetting your iPad, but bear in mind that this will delete everything that you have saved on it. So, it’s only really going to be a plausible option if you don’t have anything saved on there that you need.

Make sure you’ve got internet access

Although it sounds simple, you should make sure that you’ve got internet access for your iPad to be able to perform any updates.

This means that you’ll want to check the internet connection in your home. You can consider restarting your home wifi router if you think that this may be causing the issue. If your iPad can’t connect to it properly, it won’t be able to download.

If you can, go ahead and perform an internet speed test within your Google browser. This will let you know your internet speed and if there’s any issues with it.

If you haven’t got access to wifi, then you may need to ensure that your iPad allows you to download updates whilst connected to cellular data. You can do this within your iPad settings, and it should ensure that you can get updates.

Free up some space

The amount of storage space you’ve got available on your iPad can have an effect on whether you can download a new update or not. If you have very limited storage left, then you may not even have enough room for you to do this.

Of course, there’s a pretty simple solution to this issue – free up some space! This can be from your files, photos or anywhere else. As long as you’ve got enough space to perform the update, that’s all that matters.


After going through all of the steps above, you should have found a method to update your iPad apps. There are a few iPad fixing softwares out there that may work too, but I’d stick to the above to try and get things fixed if you can.

For the most part, this should be the solution to your issue, and they will likely get your updates working again. Clearing out your storage space, running a software update and restarting the device can be all you need to get your apps downloading.

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About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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