Prevent automatic download of large iOS updates (like iOS 7)

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by Warbitrary, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Warbitrary, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013

    Warbitrary macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #1
    When an iOS device is connected to WiFi and charging, it sometimes downloads iOS system updates in the background. These downloaded updates take gigabytes of space that cannot be reclaimed! This is how to prevent/fix this problem (Apple probably considers this a feature, bullying users into upgrading to reclaim lost storage space).


    To prevent updates from automatically downloading:

    1. Fill up you iDevice with as much data as you can. I think getting the free space under 600 MB is sufficient, since system updates are at least 700 MB. It can be any kind of data, but I find music and self-shot videos are easy to delete quickly if you need space (to download an app or shoot video for example).


    To delete an update that has already been downloaded:

    1. See step 1 above.

    2. Wait for an update from Apple (7.0.3 is rumored to be released in the coming weeks). When the update becomes available, disconnect from WiFi when charging.

    3. Within a week, the iOS device will check for updates and delete the previously downloaded update. As soon as this happens, fill up the cleared space with your own music, movies, data, etc.

    4. When you need more space, delete the extra data you added, making sure to keep under 600 MB free when you charge your device.


    Don't forget to tell Apple to STOP the automatic background downloads of updates. It's your device, you should have complete control of what's on it!

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/

    Edit Oct 24: Here is the feedback I sent Apple. Feel free to copy/paste!

    The iOS 7 update downloaded automatically to my iPhone, using my limited internet bandwidth, and more importantly using up space I could have better used for music, movies and apps.

    This is unacceptable. I paid lots of money for my iPhone, I own it, so Apple shouldn't download a permanent, undeletable waste of disk space without my consent.

    A simple toggle in the update panel "Download updates automatically - On/Off" is all that is needed.
     
  2. Sonicmojo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    #2
    While I am sure this works - it's way too much overhead to have to remember to fill/unload my device all the time. Plus isn't the point to actually get the space back? The whole reason people are ticked off is due to this 2.9GB file taking the space. Taking the space with my crap is still "taking the space" so whats the point?

    I want my device my way - with ample space available at all times - so it's way easier to ban Apple at the router level and just carry on.

    This method is instant, foolproof and I never have to remember anything - especially clearing space and turning off WIFI every time I charge.

    I especially get a kick out of watching the iPad error out every time it tries to download the update.

    Sonic.
     
  3. Warbitrary thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #3
    You have valid points, but I'm sometimes away from home, and I can't modify my friends' routers to block updates.

    The point of filing the free space with data is that you have control over the data, compared to the update which you have no control over (you can't delete it at will).

    Personnaly I don't have to remember to fill/unload that often, I leave about 500 MB free and almost everything I add are small 10-30 MB files. Only rarely do I have to manually delete stuff.
     
  4. LastOneToKnow, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013

    LastOneToKnow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    #4
    No ISP's offer Internet service where I live. My only option at home is Verizon 4G mobile broadband. I have a small mobile broadband router which I've set up as a gateway which in turn feeds my Netgear router for the house. Thanks to Apple it's going to cost me $60 in overage fees this month (10gb/$80mo plus 1gb/$10 overage) due to this stupid iOS 7 setup file having downloaded without my consent to all of my family's iPhone/iPad's, none of which I'm going to install the update on anyway. My iPhone 4 has downloaded the damn thing twice now since iOS 7 was first released.

    I had already blocked the URL and confirmed it shouldn't be able to be accessed. Guess I must have done something wrong, because I just spent an hour wiping the settings/data from my iPhone 4 running iOS 6.13 and getting it set up all over again as a means to regain the space the iOS 7 setup file was taking up. Stupid me forgot as a fail-safe to fill up all the available space left with music before putting the phone back up on my wireless network. Within minutes of getting the phone up on my wireless network it downloaded the damn iOS 7 update yet again! Received a message on the screen of the phone stating that the latest iOS 7 update was available for my iPhone. It hit the "Close" option. That's it. Not 15 minutes later I perform a sync back to iTunes after having downloaded a very small app update and notice that my "Other" space had increased dramatically. Sure enough when accessing the software update option of my iPhone it states, "Install" and not "Download and Install" indicating that the iOS 7 setup file had been downloaded. A few minutes later I receive an automated email from Verizon, a data usage overage alert. Another $10 down the drain. Thank goodness my billing cycle ends tonight.

    Apple really needs to offer an option to disable iOS software updates from downloading automatically in addition to an option to not receive iOS software update notifications. I swear I don't remember iOS 5/6 updates downloading to my devices automatically like this. Perhaps this is how Apple is able to claim so many have adopted iOS 7 already. The fact that the iOS update doesn't install automatically also once downloaded is besides the point. Apple should not assume that I'm not paying for data usage just because I'm on Wi-Fi. Had I wanted to download iOS 7 I would have waited until my next Verizon billing cycle or gone to a relatives house that had Comcast or Verizon Fios as I'll often do per large downloads that would kill my data plan for the month. And as others have pointed out, it's quite annoying to lose precious space on my devices as a result per an update I don't even plan to install anyway.
     
  5. Sonicmojo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    #5
    Not sure what you think you are seeing - but the ONLY way for any iDevice to "autodownload" this thing is when the device is on WIFI AND has a hard power source connected.

    On my iPad - I can have NO url blocking and have WIFI on all day and the update will never attempt to download - but as soon as I have WIFI AND I plug the device in to a power source (charger/PC) - that's when the trouble starts.

    I do not believe it's possible for you to have downloaded this huge file just by putting your phone back in the network. I have not heard of a single person having the update auto download WITHOUT hard power connected.

    I will bet money - as soon as you connected the phone to iTunes - that's when the download commenced.

    Sonic.
     
  6. LastOneToKnow, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013

    LastOneToKnow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    #6
    Sorry Sonic. My earlier reply wasn't clear on that point. I had my iPhone connected to the computer the whole time. It was on power when the iOS 7 setup file auto-downloaded. I had foolishly enabled Wi-Fi while it was still connected to the computer without first filling up all the remaining space on the phone. The phone remained connected to the computer while on Wi-Fi, the iOS 7 setup file coming back down again. :-(
     
  7. LastOneToKnow, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013

    LastOneToKnow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    #7
    Well practice makes perfect I guess. Cleared all the settings and data from my iPhone 4 yet again, then connecting it to the computer setting it up as a new phone using iTunes which is the only way I found to then be able to bypass the Wi-Fi setup screen on the phone. After completing the initial setup I then synced everything back to the phone that was on it before filling any remaining space with music. Took screenshots of all the pages and folder contents prior to clearing the settings and data again which made getting things back just like I had them before a breeze. Once completing the sync with iTunes I then updated all of the phone settings and so forth including enabling Wi-Fi. Done deal. As a stop gap I plan to start disabling Wi-Fi prior to connecting the phone to a power source if possible. If not, I'll just check first to ensure the phone doesn't have enough space to allow for the iOS 7 setup file to download. So at this point I have 2 more devices to clear and set back up. One more iPhone and an iPad Mini. Just finished getting the iOS 7 setup file off my iPad 3, the "Other" category in iTunes going from 3.7gb to a measly .53gb now. Gotta love it!
     
  8. Sonicmojo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    #8
    Gotcha. You were not very clear in the first post...all I saw was "Within minutes of getting the phone up on my wireless network it downloaded the damn iOS 7 update yet again!"

    Having said that - I wish I could find a way to DISABLE WIFI on the iPad when doing any kind of reset - outside of a full blown re-do. Which I really do not want to do...

    For the couple of times I have wiped the device while dealing with this unwanted file - when the iPad walks you through the initial reset - there is no way to complete the setup without connecting to WIFI.

    Even with the URL blocked - I had to resort to shutting off WIFI manually immediately AFTER connecting the cable to use iTunes. Even with the URL blocked and just a 3-5 sec lag while fumbling around to turn of the wifi - I still have a 350MB file in "other".

    I think I need to block that other url as well....I currently only have the mesu.apple.com url blocked. I think I need to block appldnld.apple.com as well..and then it will be totally shut down.

    SOnic.

    ----------

    So did this work? You have a clean phone and no "1" badge on your settings icon?

    If so - I gotta go for it..did you restore a backup to the phone AFTER setting it up as new or did you start from scratch?

    Sonic
     
  9. LastOneToKnow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    #9
    Yes it did. Worked like a treat. My iPhone 4 and iPad 3 are completely free of the iOS 7 setup file now and no "1" badge on my "Settings" icon. In both cases I hit up the option, "Settings\General\Erase All Content and Settings". I did the reset without the device being connected to the computer. Once the reset completed I found that it wasn't allowing me to bypass the Wi-Fi setup screen on the device. Connected the device to my computer at that point and launched iTunes which gave me the option to setup the iPhone/iPad as a new device or instead perform a restore. I chose the option to setup the iPhone/iPad as a new device. Once completing the setup via iTunes with the device still connected to the computer I then found that I was able to finally bypass the Wi-Fi setup screen on the device itself. Completed the physical setup on the device itself at that point, then syncing everything back to the device from iTunes filling any remaining space with music prior to then enabling Wi-Fi. Done deal.
     
  10. Sonicmojo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    #10
    Awesome. Does this setup allow one to restore a backup from iTunes? I really was hoping there was a way to:

    1. Backup the iPad
    2. Erase Content and Settings
    3. Set up as a new device via itunes
    4. Then - hopefully restore a backup?
    5. And most definitely not fill the device up with "stuff".

    Also - not sure why I would even need worry about the update showing up if I chose to setup the iPad as a new device (without iTunes). The update can only appear if WIFI and a power source are teamed up together.

    If I set up the iPad as a new device straight away - but never connect a power cable while doing it - the WIFI can be on the whole time and no update should ever show.

    I am just not looking forward to redoing my email accts, downloading all my apps again blah blah blah...

    Sonic.
     
  11. LastOneToKnow, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013

    LastOneToKnow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    #11
    This is true. If you don't have the device connected to a power source when performing the reset and setting it up as a new device you could always connect to your Wi-Fi network when reaching that setup screen, so long as you make sure to turn Wi-Fi off before connecting the device to the computer per getting apps and stuff back on the device and filling up any remaining space as to ensure there is no room for the update to download.

    As far as restoring from a backup after having performed the reset, when selecting the restore option from iTunes it states it will restore only the contacts, calenders, notes, and settings, not the iPad firmware. Is the iOS not installed all over again in this case which in turn would require Apple sign off on it which is something we'd need to avoid per staying on iOS 6? I was cloudy on this point, hence I refrained from performing any type of restore. Perhaps others will chime in.
     
  12. E2EK1EL macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    #12
    In general its really common sense not to have your WiFi connected while charging, you wanna charge as fast as you can and get going. Having your WiFi on during this state will slow down the process.

    Some of my frineds are crazy enough to put it in airplane mode to speed up the process, I couldn't do that.
     
  13. LastOneToKnow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    #13
    I will frequently charge my iPhone/iPad while actively using it and several of the apps that I run require access to my home network, but not the Internet. Though I was strongly considering it, I've decided that Apple is not going to dictate when my devices are connected to my home network and when they're not. I shouldn't have to disable Wi-Fi every time I connect my iPhone/iPad to the computer for whatever reason due to Apple insisting on forcing their iOS 7 setup file down my throat. Short of Apple putting a stop to it I'll just ensure going forward that none of the iPhone's and iPad's here at the house have enough available space to allow for the download to take place.
     
  14. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #14
    Thanks guys, looks like a litte bit of work but at least there is a way.

    Was recently playing with Win7 and the translucent borders, looks like IOS7, and REALLY HATE IT.
     
  15. RobbyIdol macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    #15
    This sounds great! One question: Did you lose all of your phone contacts? If so, how did you get them back on the phone? iTunes backup restore or just manually re-enter them yourself?
     
  16. LastOneToKnow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    #16
    All of my contacts are stored in Apple's cloud. :p Just logged in to my iCloud account on the phone after getting it set back up without skipping a beat.
     
  17. Sonicmojo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    #17
    So did you back up to iCloud before doing the reset? I want to completely reset my iPad but want to know if there's a way to:

    1. bypass my WIFI completely during a re-setup as "new" (presumably using iTunes?).
    2. Restore my stuff so I do to take a hour re-entering email parameters, downloading/resetting app passwords etc etc.

    Possible?

    Sonic.
     
  18. zBoost macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #18
    Dude just block the damn thing in the router - mesu.apple.com then erase content and you don't need to worry about bypassing anything on wifi. Contacts are synced with icloud when you are logged in.
     
  19. Sonicmojo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    #19
    Well - not quite. With mesu.apple.com TOTALLY blocked - I did the following:

    1. Backup up my iPad to iTunes
    2. Erase Content and Settings
    3. iPad then walks me through new setup - AND insists on having WIFI on.
    4. As soon as I connect the iPad to iTunes on the PC to do my "restore" - the download begins again.

    In my second attempt at the above - I managed to shut off the WIFI as soon as I connected the device for a restore - resulting in a "half downloaded" version of the update - my "other" category in iTunes reports about a 350MB download.

    After the ipad setup was complete - I still get a "1" badge on my Settings icon and the device does report an error when trying to "complete" the half downloaded update it managed to snag.

    If I take my iPad to the office - where mesu.apple.com is of course not blocked - I get a Resume Download option within the Software Update area.

    So - outside of a total permanent wipe - I cannot see a way to backup the iPad data - strip it down and restore - without triggering some amount of "update download".

    I guess I may have to consider a complete rebuild.

    Sonic.
     
  20. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #20
    I haven't done this myself yet, but the inconsistent "just do this" and the "no, you have to do this also" maybe due that...

    Am almost sure mesu.apple.com is just the top level entry. Apple and lots of large corporations have virtual servers all over to handle heavy loads, and this happens automatically behind your back. You start to point at menu.apple.com and it may re-direct you to another virtual server with another IP address. So it depends how your router handles the filtering.

    Just saying.
     
  21. zBoost macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #21
    Prevent automatic download of large iOS updates (like iOS 7)

    If you block mesu properly for all your devices including the pc/laptop it will work. No updates so far has reached my phone.
     
  22. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #22
    Apple uses the Akamai CDN to handle the heavy load. The only URL that needs to be blocked is mesu.apple.com.
     
  23. Chris1W macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    #23
    When will the data deletion will occur, when the device check for update, found the update, but is not connected to power source?

    say when I read on the internet that 7.0.3 is released, can I manually check the update (while disconnected from power source) without making the download automaticaly started?
     
  24. IronWaffle macrumors 6502

    IronWaffle

    #24
    I just bought a refurb iPad since I need more storage but (for work reasons) can't go to iOS 7 yet. I can probably live losing 3gb but space always becomes a premium. Plus, if I accidentally install the iOS then this device can't be used for work; I'm being hyperbolic, but it feels like a ticking time bomb. I won't be able to afford replacing this device.

    Try as I might I couldn't prevent the download from starting during the setup process. As it is, I was able to shut it down before it finished but I'm guessing there's no way to prevent the download/install from completing?

    Even when I disconnected it from my computer and shut off the WiFi the blue progress bar continued to creep towards completion. And that's after starting it again, hustling to shut off WiFi and then
    Makes me think the download is done and its doing some unpacking or somesuch.

    Ideas? I'm lucky that at this time there's nothing crucial and I can wipe or do anything that won't brick it or make it impossible for me to return/exchange.
     
  25. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #25
    Unless you are jailbroken there is really no need to prevent updating, so why bother?

    Current jailbreaks disable OTA updates completely so they solve the problem anyway.
     

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