Sometimes I have a very large backlog of app updates (20+) and other times I do not. Sometimes app updates happen when I'm not using my phone. Sometimes apps start updating immediately after I unlock.

What are the exact, technical criteria that govern when an automatic app update happens?

I think there might even be some sort of concurrency limit, like three at a time.

1 Answer 1


When the device checks for updates, it builds a list of all apps that need updating. All of those updates will be installed assuming these criteria are met:

  • The iOS device must be on and/or asleep.
  • The iOS device must be connected to power and/or battery is almost full.
  • The iOS device must be connected to a cellular data network and/or Wi-Fi.
  • Updates larger than 100MB will only be downloaded over Wi-Fi, never cellular. You can also disallow updating over cellular.
  • If device is in Low Power Mode it will not update
  • 4
    Where can I find a source for this information? Or is this a summary from user trials and tests?
    – jackxujh
    Commented Dec 22, 2018 at 7:21

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