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Natalie Tips & Tricks by

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Prioritize App Downloads and Updates

Blurry iPhone screen with caption "Prioritize App Downloads"After restoring your iPhone via iTunes or iCloud backup, it might take a while that your apps load and install automatically. The same goes for updating multiple apps at the same time. You may not want to wait and like to use one app right away. There is a trick that changes the queue of app updates or downloads. In other words: You can prioritize a specific app.

Prioritize apps & change the queue

If you restore your iPhone from a backup, the installed apps are not included in the backup. Considering the free and only 5GB big iCloud storage space, it is actually not too bad.

However, the backup contains information about all the apps, which were installed at the time of the backup. Referencing to this information, your apps will be downloaded after restoration. It also has the benefit that the apps are up-to-date. If multiple apps are downloading at the same time, it would make sense to prioritize downloads. Below we will show you how you can do this by using 3D Touch. Afterwards we will explain how you can do this without 3D Touch.

iOS 10 & 3D Touch

Are you in hold of an iPhone 6s or later and is iOS 10 installed on it? Then you can use the 3D Touch to prioritize downloads.

You have a queue of apps that are downloading or being updated. Some show “Loading” and some “Waiting”. To change the position of a waiting app in the queue, you have to press firmly the app icon (using 3D Touch).

iOS opens the Quick Action menu with the options: Pause Download, Cancel Download and Prioritize Download. You can utilize the last option to change the position of the app in the download queue.

Quick Action menu to prioritize app download

This will not cancel downloads of other apps instantly, but you will see that this app will start loading after a few seconds. Of course it also depends on the size of the app, but this app will be installed before the others are loaded completely.

Without 3D Touch

If you own an iPhone 6 or earlier that does not have 3D Touch yet, you can use the following method to prioritize app downloads.

If you are downloading or updating multiple apps at the same time, there will be some apps in “waiting“ mode. You can pause a download by tapping the app icon. If you tap it again, it will continue the download.

If you tap a “waiting” app twice though, you can prioritize this app, so that this app will be downloaded first.

App icons that are loading and waiting on iPhone without 3D Touch

This way you can determine that one app is downloading or updating instantly. The updates or installation of the other apps will continue as soon as the prioritized app loaded completely.

Pause or cancel the download of bigger apps

If you want to pause the download of a gigabyte-large app for a certain time, tap the app icon while it is loading. To cancel the download, tap and hold the app and click the X to delete it.