A problem that some people have with the iPhone and iPad is apps not showing, apps not updating or no app updates. It becomes impossible to update the iOS device because there is no longer an update link or update button. What is the solution?

This might seem an odd sort of problem, after all, all you do to update the apps on an iPhone or iPad is to open the App Store, tap the Updates icon at the bottom and then tap either the Update All link or the Update buttons. However, take a look at this:

No app updates on iPhone . No app updates on iPhone

The screenshot on the left clearly shows that there are 24 updates available for this iPhone according to the badge on the App Store icon. After opening the App Store and tapping the Updates button at the bottom, which also has a 24 badge, the screenshot on the right appears.

Notice that the title says Available Updates, but the Update All link in the top right corner is grey and disabled. Also all the Update buttons have been replaced by Open.

This not only occurred on my iPhone, it happened at the same time on my iPad too. They are running the latest version of iOS and they are not jailbroken. No apps can be updated. People have been having this problem for years and with iOS 7 and 8, iPhone 6 and 5. It doesn’t seem to matter which phone or which version of iOS you are running.

It is odd that both my iPad and iPhone were affected at the same time and both had 24 updates. When I fixed the problem on my iPhone, my iPad started working too. Is this an iTunes account problem? Can the update counter only go to 24? Maybe there is a total for the account. It is very strange.

The first solution I tried was clearing all running apps and powering off. Double press the home button and then swipe up to dismiss any apps that are running in the background. When everything has gone, press and hold the power button until the power-off slider control appears and then use it. Wait a few seconds and then hold down the power until it starts up again.

RelatediPhone notification sounds, but no notification 

That did not work for me, but there is a more powerful reset facility if you want to try it. Dismiss all running apps as before and then press and hold the power and home buttons. After about 10 seconds the Apple logo appears and the iPhone or iPad resets. Let go of the buttons and let it boot up.

Some people have found that this worked for them, but I used a different method.

A weird thing about this fault is that when you go to the Updates page in the App Store, for a brief fraction of a second everything is OK. The Update All link is blue as normal and there are Update buttons next to each app. A few tenths of a second later Update All goes grey and inactive, and the Update buttons are replaced by Open.

Here’s how I fixed the problem. Double tap home to show the apps running in the background and swipe them all away. Open the App Store and go to Updates. Now as fast as you can, hit one of those update buttons or Update All at the top. There are lots to choose from and you just need to hit one of them before they switch to Open buttons.

If you manage to hit an Update button, the selected app starts the update the Update buttons stay with the rest of the apps. It is fixed. Oddly, my iPad was fixed too and it seems that solving the problem on one device automatically solves it on the other. This again suggests that it might be something to do with the iTunes account rather than the app or device.

 

Comments   

-1 # Branden 2015-10-13 19:53
Thanks for this! I cannot believe such a dumb problem exists, but thanks for posting the fix.
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