My iPad Air 2 keeps downloading iOS 11 in the background and then tries to push me into upgrading. I don't want that. I have declined it numerous times, and recovered the storage space it takes up from the download, but every time it keeps doing it over and over.

Is there a way for my iPad (currently running iOS 10) to stop downloading or bothering me about iOS 11 at all?

  • Have you turned off autoupdate? – Solar Mike Aug 20 '18 at 8:49
  • 1
    @SolarMike Yes, all Automatic Downloads options are disabled. But I think they only refer to auto updates for apps, not for iOS itself. – RocketNuts Aug 20 '18 at 11:29


iOS/iPadOS 13.6 has introduced the ability for users to turn off automatic download of updates. To configure automatic download or installation of iOS/iPadOS updates on your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings app → General → Software Update → Customize Automatic Updates and toggle the switches as desired.

The linked Apple Support document discusses the same:

Customize Automatic Updates


With iOS 13.6, or iPadOS, you can choose not to download software updates automatically. Go to Settings > General > Software Update > Customize Automatic Updates, then turn off Download iOS updates.

Old answer which applies to iOS/iPadOS versions earlier than 13.6 is as follows:

Apple strongly advises to keep your iOS devices up-to-date by installing the latest supported public release of iOS on your devices.

While Apple takes every measure to get the iOS devices to the newly released software, you can choose to opt out of upgrading. There is no straightforward way for you to turn-off iOS software upgrade all together, following are a few tricks you can employ to keep yourself from upgrading:

  1. Delete the update and avoid Wi-Fi connection: First delete the already downloaded iOS update by going to Settings app → General → Storage & iCloud Storage → Manage Storage. Select the Software Update item, tap on Delete Update and confirm that you want to delete the update.

    Now disconnect your device from Wi-Fi. Software update can be downloaded and installed only over a Wi-Fi connection. If you can make do with a regular data/LTE connection, you can avoid Wi-Fi and you will not be nagged by a downloaded update.

  2. Block the Apple software update domain(s) on your router: If you need to connect to a Wi-Fi connection at your home or office and have the admin access to the router, you can blacklist the Apple Software domains. Use it with caution as this will block the domains for others who are connected to the access point as well and they will not be able to check for or install the update. Prevent access to the following domains:

  • Thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately this doesn't help me. I have no data/LTE on my iPad, just WiFi. And I am frequently using the iPad on different locations (including my work office) where I don't have control over the router. – RocketNuts Aug 21 '18 at 12:37
  • @RocketNuts In that case, there is no other way than to dismiss the software update alert by tapping the Later button. – Nimesh Neema Aug 21 '18 at 16:28
  • Yes, however that does not stop it from downloading the 1.2 GB upgrade over and over again, every time after I delete it. Or keep occupying that storage space on my iPad if I leave it there and just keep postponing the upgrade forever. Anyway thanks for your suggestions. I'm just in bad luck with this I guess, very bad policy from Apple :( – RocketNuts Aug 22 '18 at 7:54
  • Unfortunately on iOS 13.6.1 these switches appear to have no effect for me, even with both of them off iOS still autodownloads updates. – jrh Oct 7 '20 at 3:57

I think, in iOS 12, notifications have been settled for updating in midnight only. That too only when it is plugged in. Also, after entering the passcode, the update can be postponed further. But so far, just like macOS, iOS is really adamant on getting itself updated,


Here is your solution.

I too have a limit on my data and their updates aren't exactly small in size but are currently about 2.5 GB in file size which is quite expensive if you are on restricted data.

For years I had to manually keep on deleting these updates so that I didn't accidentally install the update and to get rid of those relentless notifications, but good news I have finally a solution that works for me.

What you need to do essentially is fill up the space on your device enough so that the IOS Update physically cannot download. It will present you with a message stating that "The update cannot be installed because it requires at least #### amount of availiable storage during installation."

This will then solve your problems.

Your choice as to how you fill up the space. You may want to download a lot of Netflix movies to your device.

For me the quickest way may seem obsurd but it's the quickest.

I set my iPad facing a window and simply just hit record and leave it for an hour or so. At least I get some nice wildlife shots as my window sits facing a park. This usually fills up the space and if I ever need space I simply go in to my gallery and delete the video. You can even do incremental videos so you only have to delete one for however much space you need rather than having a single file taking up the entire space on the device hard drive.

This may seem tedious but is the only way to get Apple of your back from forcing their stupid updates on its users.


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