What to do if apps won’t update on your Apple iPhone XS

Among the common factors that may prevent your apps from updating would include network problems, app server unavailability (downtimes), misconfigured settings and low internal memory on the phone. For a similar issue affecting iOS devices, an invalid Apple ID might be to blame. Note that your Apple ID is the primary key that connects you to various Apple services, thus you will definitely be in trouble if you entered incorrect account credentials upon signing in.

To give you some inputs whenever you will encounter a similar problem while attempting to update apps on your iPhone XS device, I’ve lined up some potential solutions and workarounds as troubleshooting reference. Feel free to refer to this context whenever you need help in dealing with the said problem on the same Apple device.

If you found this post while trying to find a solution to a different problem, then visit our iPhone XS Help Guides for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may already published articles that could help you with your problem.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS that won’t update its apps?

The first thing you need to check before you go on and troubleshoot software problems on your iPhone is your Internet connection. As mentioned earlier, network connectivity issues may hinder your iPhone from connecting the App Store server and therefore results to a problem on updating apps. A quick and effective solution to this is a power cycle on the wireless router or modem, which is the main source of your Internet connection. If it’s possible, get to your router/modem, then turn it off by pressing its Power button/switch. While it’s turned on, unplug its AC adapter from the power source for about 30 seconds then plug it back in and turn on again. This helps clear out minor firmware issues on the router/modem that may have caused problems on your phone’s internet connection. If you still cannot update apps after power-cycling the router/modem, then you can move on to the following troubleshooting procedures. Don’t forget to try updating apps after performing each method to determine whether or not the problem is solved.

First solution: Restart/force restart your iPhone XS.

A soft reset or device restart is usually the first workaround applied when dealing with minor software glitches including network problems inflicted by some random bugs. It’s also an effective solution to random app problems on the phone. To soft reset your iPhone XS, simply follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume Up or Down buttons simultaneously and then release both buttons when the Slide to Power Off menu appears.
  2. Then drag the power off slider to turn off your device.
  3. After 30 seconds, press the Side/Power button again to turn your iPhone back on.

This process does not affect any saved data on the phone, hence won’t result to data loss. Creating backups is therefore not necessary.

Second solution: Sign out of your current Apple ID account then sign back in using a different account (for multiple Apple IDs).

Account-related issues particularly login errors are also among the possible reasons as to why you won’t be able to use Apple services on your device. To clear this out, you can sign out of your current Apple ID and then sign back in. If you have multiple Apple IDs, sign out from your current Apple ID and then sign in again using a different Apple ID. This will ensure that you’re entering the correct account credentials this time. Here’s what you should try doing then:

  1. Open the Settings app from Home.
  2. Tap on your Apple ID banner at the top of the screen.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and then tap Sign Out. If you’ve got multiple Apple IDs or accounts for iCloud, iTunes and App Store, tap the option to Sign out of iCloud.
  4. Enter the correct password for your Apple ID account.
  5. If prompted, tap Turn Off to continue.
  6. Then enable the category for any data you would want to save on your iPhone. Switching between accounts results to the merging of the data on your iPhone with the new Apple ID data.
  7. Tap Sign Out twice to confirm.
  8. Restart your iPhone to clear and refresh its memory and iOS.
  9. Then go back to Settings.
  10. From the Settings menu, tap the option to Sign in to your iPhone.
  11. Tap Email to enter the email address associated with your other Apple ID account.
  12. Enter the password that is associated with the Apple ID you entered.

When signing in using a different Apple ID account, you would be asked to merge data on your iPhone with the iCloud account associated with the other Apple ID. Tap Merge if you agree, otherwise tap Don’t Merge when asked.

Third solution: Sign out from your App Store account then sign in again.

If you only have a single Apple ID, follow these steps to rule out iTunes & App Store login issues.

  1. Go to the Settings app
  2. Scroll to the bottom and tap on ‘iTunes & App Store’
  3. Tap on the Apple ID menu.
  4. Then tap on Sign Out when the menu pops up.
  5. After signing out, restart your iPhone XS.

Wait for your iPhone to finish rebooting and then tap on the Apple ID menu to sign back in with the same Apple ID.

Fourth solution: Clear App Store Cache.

Like other apps, the App Store also stores cache every time you load the app and use it. While cached files are essential for faster reloading of similar data for the application, they can also cause troubles when they become corrupted. This is when clearing the app cache and data is recommended. In Android devices, you can use a tangible command to clear app cache and data but in iOS, there’s none. The only way to clear apps cache and data is through restarting or performing a soft reset on your iPhone. But some iOS owners have discovered an unorthodox way to clear cache from the App Store. You won’t find this trick from the given troubleshooting guides from Apple Support, so if you’re willing to give it a shot, then here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open the App Store from your home screen
  2. Navigate to different tabs at the bottom of the App Store screen.
  3. Then, tap on one of the tabs 10 times. (Any tab will do.)

This will clear the temporary files and data stored as App Store cache. Restart your iPhone and then reattempt to load the App Store and see if you can now update your apps.

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XS.

Invalid settings on the iPhone like some customized restrictions may also hinder your apps from updating. If you happen to customized some settings before you attempted to update apps and then bump into an error, then you can try reverting the settings back their previous configuration. But if you aren’t sure of which options or settings to revert back, then you can just reset all settings on your iPhone XS. Doing so will erase all customized settings and then restore the default values. Unlike a factory reset or master reset, this reset won’t affect any data you saved on the internal memory of your phone so you won’t lose critical data from doing so. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open the Settings app from Home.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset all settings from the given options.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

Your device should reboot by itself when the reset is finished. After it restarts, you may have to set up your Wi-Fi network to reconnect to the Internet and use online services. Once connected, retry updating apps and see if it’s already working as intended.

If you still cannot updates apps on your iPhone XS after exhausting all prior solutions and workarounds and you opt to further troubleshoot more complex software errors inflicting such problem with the App Store, then you can proceed and resort to a factory reset. Doing so will wipe everything from the phone, hence creating backups is recommended beforehand. A factory reset can be carried out through the settings menu or using iTunes on a computer. After the factory reset, all settings are reverted back to factory defaults or original values. That denotes the need for you to set up your device as new or restore from a previous backup before you can use it again.

For further assistance and other options, you can also reach out to your carrier’s technical team. Otherwise, contact Apple Support to escalate the problem so they can scrutinize their App Store system and server check the server status. This will rule out the possibility of temporary outage that’s preventing your iPhone XS apps from updating.

I hope that this how-to post has helped you one way or another. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post to your friends or people who may also have similar problems. Thanks for reading!