How to Manage Automatic Downloads on Your iPad

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Have you ever been surprised by an app that mysteriously appeared on your iPad? Or perhaps you discovered your spouse's music making its way onto your device? One nice "feature" of iOS is the ability to automatically download music, books, and apps onto every device logged into the same account.

At times, this can be a great feature. This is especially true if you want to sync digital magazines or music across your devices.


But at other times, it just fills up your iPad with music you don't listen to and apps you don't use. This is why turning off automatic downloads on your iPad can be a great way to save on precious storage space.

How to Turn On/Off Automatic Downloads on Your iPad

  1. Go into your iPad's settings. (Find out how...)
  2. Scroll down the left-side menu and tap on "iTunes & App Store"
  3. Tap the switch next to "Apps." This will ensure your iPad won't download apps bought on your iPhone or on your spouse's iPad. You can also tap Music and Books & Audiobooks to turn off those items. You can always download that book, song or app manually, and once it is purchased on your account, you are free to download it to any device hooked into that account.

Should You Leave "Updates" Turn On?

While it can be a good idea to turn off automatic downloads to keep your iPad from filling up with apps and music you may not ever use, the ability to automatically download and install app updates from the App Store is an incredibly useful feature.

It certainly beats going through and updating apps manually, and having them update automatically means you will run into bugs and crashes less frequently.