I noticed some weird traffic pattern on my internet connection, tracked it back to my iPad, after some tinkering I finally realized that my iPad is downloading iOS 6.1 on it's own!!! I didn't ask for it, and there's no button or obvious means to stop it. For now, I've disabled the WiFi; but seriously, this is terrible, how do I stop it?

The device: iPad 2 - running iOS 5.1 - No intention to upgrade anytime soon

  • 3
    You cannot. This is the way it is now. And even if you did delete the IPSW, iOS will just download it again. Apple really wants you to update.
    – user10355
    Jan 29, 2013 at 16:53
  • Damn, it's consuming bandwidth.
    – Parsa
    Jan 29, 2013 at 20:39
  • Just to emphasize, iOS does not automatically update itself. On an iPad 2 and 5.1.x, you should only be seeing an alert badge in Settings/General and then on the Software Update pane? bar? itself.
    – Zo219
    Jan 31, 2013 at 7:31
  • 1
    No. It will only download the update, taking up space on your iPad. It will never automatically update you.
    – user10355
    Feb 1, 2013 at 23:29
  • 1
    FYI there are valid reasons to NOT upgrade. With the rapid updates, some vendors of industry specific apps cannot keep up. When a software vendor says they DO NOT support a new IOS version, that is a valid reason to not upgrade. Please stop advising everyone to do something when you may not have all of the information!
    – user105187
    Dec 17, 2014 at 21:57

2 Answers 2


In short, you can't stop the download once the OS has been told to download it.

First of all, I highly suggest you update to the latest iOS version because developers are constantly dropping support for older iOS. As for how to stop auto updates, after 45 minutes of searching, I think I found a solution. Doing this will also disable automatic downloads.

Here is what you (or others in your situation) can do: Navigate to General > Store on your iPad. Next, turn on the switch that is labeled "Use cellular data". That will help most, but in your case, you mentioned turning off WiFi - so if you are concerned about that bandwidth, you'll have to keep networking off until you get to a network where bandwidth or cost for traffic isn't an issue.

This doesn't actually stop the download permanently, but will tell the OS to not burn your data plan and wait to complete the download over WiFi. Now, your phone will retain that downloaded OS image until such time as you erase the device and restore from a backup (where the download is not backed up and will be lost) or apply the update.


I just discover on how to cancel updates for iOS 7.0.3.

First, you have to switch on Airplane mode. While airplane mode is turned on you may reset your device. After resetting you will be prompted to restore your device from a recent backup, but the catch is you really don't have to restore it - all you need to do is to set up as new iPad.

This effectively cancelled the software update by starting over by having the device erase all content and settings.

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