How to Allow Apps to Automatically Refresh on an iPhone: A Guide

Allowing apps to automatically refresh on an iPhone is a quick process that can be done in the Settings. By toggling the Background App Refresh feature, your apps will update content in the background, ensuring that they are always up-to-date when you open them.

After completing this action, your apps will refresh content in the background when on Wi-Fi or cellular, as long as you have sufficient battery and data plan.


Have you ever opened an app on your iPhone and had to wait for it to update with the latest content? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Well, there’s a feature on your iPhone that can help avoid that: Background App Refresh. This feature allows your apps to check for updates and new content even when you’re not using them. It means that the next time you open your favorite news app, for instance, the latest articles will be ready and waiting for you.

But why is this important? In today’s fast-paced world, we expect information to be at our fingertips instantly. We don’t have time to sit around and wait for apps to refresh. Plus, for those of us who rely on apps to run a business or keep in touch with clients, having the most recent information is vital. It’s also a matter of convenience for everyone else.

Background App Refresh is relevant to anyone with an iPhone who uses apps regularly. Whether you’re a social media fanatic, a news junkie, or you just like to have your email up-to-date, this feature can make your life easier.

The Step by Step Tutorial to Allow Apps to Automatically Refresh on an iPhone

The following steps will guide you through enabling Background App Refresh on your iPhone, which will allow your apps to automatically update their content.

Step 1: Open Settings

Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Opening Settings is the gateway to customizing your iPhone experience. You can tweak everything from your wallpaper to privacy settings here.

Step 2: Tap General

Scroll down and tap on the General option.

The General settings are where you can adjust your iPhone’s most basic functionalities, including software updates and device information.

Step 3: Tap Background App Refresh

In the General settings, find and tap on Background App Refresh.

This is where you can control which apps are allowed to refresh in the background and when.

Step 4: Select Refresh Setting

Choose how you want the apps to refresh: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi & Cellular Data, or Off.

If you’re concerned about data usage, select ‘Wi-Fi’ to prevent apps from refreshing over cellular data.

Step 5: Toggle Individual Apps

Toggle the switch next to each app you want to allow to refresh automatically.

You may not want all apps to refresh in the background, so this step allows you to pick and choose.


Updated ContentWith Background App Refresh enabled, your apps will always have the latest content ready for you. No more waiting for updates when you open an app.
ConvenienceThis feature saves you time and the hassle of manually refreshing your apps.
EfficiencyFor business professionals and power users, having up-to-date information without having to check each app saves time and increases productivity.


Battery DrainBackground App Refresh can lead to faster battery drain as apps are updating even when not in use.
Data UsageIf not set to Wi-Fi only, this feature can consume a significant amount of cellular data.
Potential OverloadHaving too many apps refreshing in the background could potentially slow down your device.

Additional Information

When using Background App Refresh, it’s important to consider the impact on your iPhone’s performance and your data plan. If you have a limited data plan, you might want to be selective with the apps you allow to refresh automatically, or set them to refresh over Wi-Fi only. Additionally, if you notice a decrease in battery life after enabling this feature, you might want to disable Background App Refresh for some apps.

It’s also good practice to regularly review which apps have permission to refresh in the background. Apps that you rarely use can be turned off to save resources. Remember that some apps need to refresh regularly to function properly, like email or messaging apps, so think carefully before turning off Background App Refresh for these.

Finally, if you’re worried about privacy, keep in mind that Background App Refresh could mean that apps are transmitting data in the background. You can control this by toggling off the feature for specific apps.


  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Background App Refresh.
  4. Choose your preferred refresh setting.
  5. Toggle the switch for individual apps you want to refresh automatically.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Background App Refresh use a lot of data?

If set to refresh over Wi-Fi & Cellular Data, it could use a significant amount of data. It’s best to monitor your data usage if you’re on a limited plan.

Can I select which apps to refresh rather than all of them?

Yes, you can toggle the switch next to each app to control which ones refresh automatically.

Does Background App Refresh affect battery life?

It can affect battery life as apps are working in the background. If you notice a decrease in battery life, consider disabling the feature for some apps.

What happens if I turn off Background App Refresh?

Apps will not update in the background. You will need to open the app to refresh the content.

Should I enable Background App Refresh for all apps?

Not necessarily. Consider enabling it for the apps you use most frequently and that benefit from having up-to-date content.


Enabling apps to automatically refresh on your iPhone can streamline your digital life by ensuring that your apps are always current without any intervention from you. It’s a feature that brings the convenience of having the latest information at your fingertips. However, it’s essential to balance the benefits with the potential downsides, such as increased data usage and battery drain.

By carefully selecting which apps to allow for Background App Refresh, you can enjoy the perks of this feature without overburdening your iPhone’s resources. Remember, the goal is to enhance your user experience, not hinder it. So, give it a try and see how it transforms your app interactions.