How to stop the constant update prompt in the iOS 12 beta

in iOS edited October 2020
It's a workaround, not a fix, but it will get rid of the incessant upgrade notification in iOS 12 until Apple issues a solution. AppleInsider sorts it out -- and finds unexpected consequences too.

If you've got this problem then you've got it a lot. As of August 30, the iOS 12 beta has a bug that means it keeps telling you to update to the latest version. The thing is, you already have the latest version so there's nothing to update to.

And when we say it keeps telling you to, it really keeps telling you. Every time you unlock your iPhone or iPad, you get this notification and you have to tap Close to continue.

While there is no great solution until Apple fixes the problem, you can work around it. Go to Settings, General, Date & Time. Switch off Set Automatically.

Then tap on the date that appears in blue and roll it back a month. The come out of Settings and you won't see the error ever again.

Why it works

The bug is not that your phone thinks there's a new update, it's that it believes the old one has expired. Every beta, whether iOS or an individual app, comes with an expiry date after which it will stop working. It's so that you get full functionality for the testing period but then once the final software is released, there aren't copies of the beta floating around.

Somehow this iOS 12 beta release has the wrong expiration date and by changing your system back a month or a couple of weeks, the beta believes it's still valid.

Why it's only a workaround

You need your iPhone and iPad to have the right date. It is ridiculous to have such an expensive device telling you the wrong one and it's going to throw out your exercise rings, too.

Yet, it's not as bad as the incessant update bug.

Watch for unexpected consequences, though. You know your calendar is going to show the wrong date for today and you know you're going to forget you've done this. That's why we recommend going back a month instead of a couple of weeks: we rolled back from August 31 to July 31 so that at least the day digit is right.

However, the date and time goes much deeper into the system than you might think. Any documents you create, for instance, will have the wrong date stamp. Some websites won't load.

And then there's this. Imagine you've set a timer on your Apple Watch and it's counting down something like an hour. While it's doing that, you change the date on your iPhone -- and see if you can spot a difference on your Apple Watch. Here's Before and After.

So it's hardly an ideal fix, it isn't a solution and we'll ditch it the instant Apple addresses the problem. However, it is the only workaround that gets you a break from this exasperating bug.

You've got the beta on a dedicate testing device, and not your main one, right?

Keep up with AppleInsider by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos.


  • Reply 1 of 18
    What an idiotic way to bugger up everything else to avoid a much smaller problem than you'll wind up with. I wonder what it does to your backups. Good luck finding your holiday phots in 3 years time when you've forgotten you did this.

    If you can't handle this most innocuous of beta issues then why are you running it?

    SpamSandwichvahancouverStrangeDaysMisterKit[Deleted User]netmagemaltzaylklolliver
  • Reply 2 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    The average person has no business whatsoever running a software beta on their iOS devices.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,259member
    Kids , this is the reason you should not use Beta software on primary devices.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    This is a last-resort fix, you would not be able to connect to our corporate WiFi if your time&date is off by more than a few hours/a day.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    thrangthrang Posts: 962member
    Sorry, this is dumb. Live with a beta bug until the fix comes.
    [Deleted User]SpamSandwichaylklolliver
  • Reply 6 of 18
    A cure worse than the disease.
    [Deleted User]maltzaaronsullivanSpamSandwichaylklolliver
  • Reply 7 of 18
    netmagenetmage Posts: 314member
    What would happen if you remove the beta profile?
  • Reply 8 of 18
    2old4fun2old4fun Posts: 238member
    netmage said:
    What would happen if you remove the beta profile?
    I tried it. Does not change anything.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,586administrator
    netmage said:
    What would happen if you remove the beta profile?
    You probably don't get any more beta updates.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    Changing date back 1 month can only lead to problems.  Best idea just live with this bug until the fix or next "public" IOS comes out-soon.  Signed up for beta, live with it for a bit.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    soar1024soar1024 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Not just iOS 12. I have iOS 11.4.1 and same thing.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    loiloi Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    i signed up for the beta to see if it fixed the GPS & bluetooth issues on my 6, and two 6s after the 11.x update. GPS still can not locate the phones, hundreds of other people with same issue. Bluetooth does not work more than a foot away from devices, really pathetic. and ios 12 does not fix any of the issues. Would make a great article before the wwdc.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    Now new beta is available...
  • Reply 14 of 18
    dr. xdr. x Posts: 279member
    Since a new beta is available I assume we can remove this thread so it doesn’t confuse people. 
  • Reply 15 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    dr. x said:
    Since a new beta is available I assume we can remove this thread so it doesn’t confuse people. 
    That’ll never happen. LOL. There are threads on this site people still respond to from years ago. Years!
  • Reply 16 of 18
    "AppleInsider sorts it out —and finds unexpected consequences too". Unexpected consequences are to the fix. A very bad fix.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    I found a better solution, but it takes time. I’ve tried it with my iPhone 8+, but not the iPad Pro yet. It works!  Here are the steps:

    1) Backup the iPhone to iCloud.
    2) Erase and reset the phone of all content.
    3) Restore from backup. You will still receive the iOS12 update message at this point. 
    4) once iPhone restores from backup, update to the latest iOS11. Once the update is completed and the phone reboots, the messages to update iOS12 no longer appear.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    Posting my experiences to reinforce the notion that no good can come from this hack. Backed up my date/time by a month last week and IOS Beta update errors are gone. Promptly forgot about it. Attempted to access the App Store today. It was a no-go. No error msg just that it couldn't complete..try again later. Hmm..seems that all the Apple services are not liking me. Long story short..9 hours of tedious trouble shooting later I finally managed to to get my iPhone to perform a backup to iCloud. Hey..WTF..the date is off by a month. Dawn hits Marble Head :s I saw not a hint that it was the date/time that was at fact there were no real error msgs. mostly blank screens.
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