How to Stop iOS Update Notifications

Apple’s daily reminder to update to iOS is super annoying. Especially, when you’ve an older device and you know any updates to the next version is going to slow your device down. I had enough of “Remind me later”!

Whenever your iPhone or iPad checks for a system update, it checks an XML file from mesu.apple.com to get the latest details and downloads the file from applednld.apple.com.

You can use your router to block out mesu.apple.com and applednld.apple.com but that would prevent any devices connected to that network from updating their software.1 In my case, I only want stop the reminder on my old iPad. So this method wouldn’t work for me.

Stop iOS update Notifications by blocking Apple servers

AdGuard Pro

I use Adguard Pro for this purpose. It uses a fake VPN connection to block off unwanted traffic. They also offer the ad blockers for Mac and internet browsers too.

Block iOS updates with Adguard Pro:

  1. Launch Adguard Pro
  2. Tap on Privacy Settings
  3. Tap Blacklist
  4. Enter mesu.apple.com and applednld.apple.com
  5. Tap on Done button

AdGuard Pro is available on the App Store for USD 0.99.

Weblock

weblock stop ios updates reminders
Stop iOS reminders with Weblock app

Weblock is an iOS app that block ads and tracking scripts via proxy auto-config file. Currently, Weblock’s filters ONLY ON WIFI NETWORK. It isn’t perfect but it works for my non-cellular iPad.

Follow the steps below to stop iOS updates:

  1. Launch Weblock app
  2. Tap Blacklist > Add button
  3. In New Rule screen, select URL tab
  4. Enter http://mesu.apple.com/* and tap Save button
  5. Repeat the same steps from 2 to 3
  6. Enter http://applednld.apple.com/* and tap Save button
  7. Turn off and turn on your wifi to update the filter

You can go to Settings > General > Software Update to check if the filters worked. You should see an alert, Unable to Check for Update.

Weblock is available on the App Store for USD 1.99.

Adblock

In Reddit, some folks suggests using Adblock by Future Minds. The app routes requests of blacklisted domains via their dummy VPN to block them.

Adblock is available on the App Store for USD 1.99.

1Blocker and other apps

I’ve seen some redditors suggesting apps like 1Blocker would help. Note that 1Blocker, Purify or any apps that block apps via WebKit’s content blocking API will not stop these update reminders. These apps only filter content loaded via Safari or apps that are using Safari view controller.

Are there any other ways or apps out there that can help to stop these iOS update reminders from Apple?

Update: Apple do not accept apps that blocks advertisements outside of Safari. It seems like the all three apps listed below is affected by this change, as Apple does not accept updates to the apps if it has VPN-based ad blocking techniques. This method does not work anymore!

Update 2: In AdGuard iOS version 1.3.3, this method is STILL working.

Update 3: Updated instructions for AdGuard Pro version 2.1.1


  1. This is based on an article from OS X Daily
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