How to Update iPhone Apps Via iTunes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Updating iPhone apps via iTunes is a process that involves connecting your iPhone to your computer, opening iTunes, selecting your device, clicking on the ‘Apps’ tab, and then clicking the ‘Update’ button next to each app that you want to update. After the updates are downloaded and installed, they will be transferred to your iPhone the next time you sync your device.

After completing the update process, the updated apps will be available on your iPhone with the latest features, bug fixes, and improvements provided by the app developers.


Remember the days when updating iPhone apps required connecting to iTunes on your computer? Although it’s no longer the primary method with the ease of direct downloads from the App Store, some folks still prefer or need to update their apps through iTunes. This method is especially useful for those with limited internet on their iPhone or those managing multiple devices.

Updating apps ensures you have the latest features and security updates, keeping your digital life running smoothly. For parents, educators, or individuals with a plethora of iOS devices, updating through iTunes can be a time-saver. Plus, it’s a good backup method if you’re experiencing issues with app updates through your phone. This article is perfect for anyone looking to streamline their app management or troubleshoot update issues.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Update iPhone Apps Via iTunes

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what this process accomplishes. When you update iPhone apps via iTunes, you’re ensuring that the latest versions of your apps are downloaded to your computer first. Then, these updates are synchronized with your iPhone, allowing you to enjoy the latest app features and performance improvements.

Step 1: Open iTunes and Connect Your iPhone

Open iTunes on your computer and connect your iPhone using its USB cable.

Connecting your iPhone to your computer and opening iTunes is the prelude to any syncing or updating process you’ll be performing.

Step 2: Select Your Device

Click on the device icon that appears in the upper left corner of iTunes.

Selecting your device tells iTunes which particular iPhone (or iPad or iPod) you’ll be updating the apps on.

Step 3: Click on the ‘Apps’ Tab

In the sidebar on the left side of iTunes, click on the ‘Apps’ tab to see your app library.

This brings up a list of all the apps you’ve downloaded or purchased, and it’s from here that you’ll be able to manage updates.

Step 4: Update Apps Individually or All at Once

Click the ‘Update’ button next to each app you want to update, or click ‘Update All’ to update all apps at once.

Updating apps individually gives you control over which apps you’re updating, which is helpful if you’re short on time or just want to update certain apps. ‘Update All’ is a convenient one-click option for getting all your updates started at once.


Saves DataUpdating apps via iTunes can save on mobile data usage, as it uses your computer’s internet connection.
Bulk ManagementIt’s possible to update multiple apps at once, making it a time-saver for those with many apps.
StabilitySometimes, updating apps directly on the iPhone can lead to issues. iTunes provides a stable alternative.

Updating via iTunes can be a data-saving strategy for those with limited mobile data plans. Rather than using up precious data to download updates over the air, you can depend on your computer’s internet connection.

When you’ve got a ton of apps, updating them one by one on your iPhone can be a chore. Through iTunes, you can click ‘Update All’ and take care of everything in one fell swoop.

Sometimes technology likes to throw a curveball, and app updates don’t always go smoothly on the iPhone. iTunes can act as a steady hand in those times, providing a reliable way to get those updates.


Requires ComputerYou need access to a computer with iTunes installed, which isn’t always convenient.
Longer ProcessThe process is longer than updating directly on the iPhone since it involves syncing.
Less CommonIt’s not the standard way to update apps anymore, which could be confusing for some users.

Not everyone has a computer handy, and not everyone has iTunes installed. This method necessitates both, which could be a hurdle for some.

Compared to a quick tap on the App Store app on your iPhone, updating via iTunes is a bit of a production. It requires connecting your phone, waiting for iTunes to open, navigating to the correct area, and then syncing.

Most folks update their apps directly on their iPhone these days, so using iTunes could seem a bit archaic or confusing, especially to new iPhone users.

Additional Information

When updating apps via iTunes, it’s crucial to ensure you’re running the latest version of iTunes to avoid compatibility issues. Also, keep in mind that while updates are downloading, you might experience slower internet speeds, so it might be best to update apps during off-peak hours. Additionally, if you encounter any issues while updating, always check for software updates for both your iPhone and iTunes, as they can resolve many common problems.

Remember, updating apps is not just about getting the latest cool features; it’s also about security. App updates often include patches for vulnerabilities that could compromise your personal information. So, it’s essential to keep your apps up to date, whether you’re doing it through iTunes or directly on your iPhone.


  1. Open iTunes and connect your iPhone.
  2. Select your device in iTunes.
  3. Click on the ‘Apps’ tab.
  4. Update apps individually or all at once.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need the latest version of iTunes to update apps?

Yes, it’s best to have the latest version of iTunes to ensure compatibility and a smooth updating process.

Can I update my apps over Wi-Fi instead of using iTunes?

Definitely! If you prefer, you can update your apps directly on your iPhone using a Wi-Fi connection.

What should I do if an app won’t update via iTunes?

First, check for software updates for both iTunes and your iPhone. If the issue persists, try updating directly on your iPhone or contact Apple Support.

Will updating apps via iTunes use my iPhone data?

No, it uses your computer’s internet connection, which can save you mobile data if you’re on a limited plan.

Can I still use my iPhone while my apps are updating via iTunes?

Yes, you can still use your iPhone. The apps will update the next time you sync your device with iTunes.


Updating iPhone apps via iTunes may seem like a blast from the past, but it’s a process that still holds value today. Whether you’re conserving mobile data, managing numerous devices, or troubleshooting update issues, knowing how to update your apps via iTunes is a handy skill.

Remember, keeping your apps updated is not just about gaining access to the latest features; it’s also a critical step in safeguarding your digital security. So, grab your USB cable, fire up iTunes, and give those apps the refresh they need. Happy updating!

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