From time to time, apps on your iPhone or iPad will need to be updated. Updating apps will fix problems, add new features, or make the app compatible with newer versions of Apple's operating system, such as iOS 12.

Updating your iOS apps is an easy thing to do, requiring only a few taps, and we'll show you how in this article.

Checking if you need any updates

The simplest way to check if any of your apps have updates available is to check the App Store icon on your device. This looks like a blue tile bearing a white capital A made out of three lines. Obviously, it also has App Store written underneath.

How to update an app on iPhone or iPad: Checking for updates

If the icon has a red circle with a number inside displayed in the upper-right corner, this means updates are ready to be installed. The number inside the circle denotes how many are available.

Installing updates

Tap the App Store icon to open the store itself. Here you'll see the normal selection of promoted apps in the main pane, but we need to focus on the row of options at the bottom of the screen.

How to update an app on iPhone or iPad: App Store

Here you'll find Today, Games, Apps, Updates and Search. The Updates option should show the same red circle we found on the App Store icon. Tap Updates and you'll be presented with a list of all apps currently awaiting their fixes.

How to update an app on iPhone or iPad: Install available updates

You now have the choice of applying all updates at the same time (just tap the Update All option in the top right corner to do so) or going through them one by one. To achieve the latter, just tap the Update button to the right of each app's name and it will automatically download and install.

Remember, before you start down either route, make sure you have a Wi-Fi connection as updates can be quite large and therefore hazardous to your data plan.

Depending on the size of the update, the process might take seconds or a few minutes. You can track the progress by either watching the circle that replaces the Update button as it fills up with a deep blue colour, or by returning to the Home screen where you'll see that the app icon is now greyed out and also displays a slowly filling circle.

How to update an app on iPhone or iPad: Available updates

Should you, for any reason, want to stop an update from downloading, just tap the square in the centre of the circle that replaces the Update button, or back on the Home screen you can tap on the app's icon itself which will then pause the download.

Fixing a frozen update

If the update seems to have frozen, then you can either try rebooting your iPhone or iPad to see if that clears the problem or tapping and holding the app's icon until it begins to wobble. Tap the little X that appears in the upper-left corner to uninstall it, then return to the App Store and reinstall the app. That should clear the problem.

For ideas on the what we think are the best currently offerings found on the App Store read our Best free iPhone apps and Best free iPad apps charts.