Apple blocks security updates for those who won’t install iOS 15


iOS security update
Apple won't offer security updates on iOS 14 anymore.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is more aggressively encouraging users to update to iOS 15 by stopping security updates for those who don’t.

Cupertino previously made security improvements available as a separate release — and vowed to keep delivering them for those who stick with iOS 14 “until you’re ready to upgrade.” Just a few months later, that’s changed.

Apple steps up push for iOS 15 upgrades

When iOS 15 made its debut last fall, Apple made security updates available separately for the first time. This allowed those who weren’t ready — or didn’t want — to still upgrade their devices to enjoy the latest protections.

“You can update to the latest version of iOS 15 as soon as it’s released for the latest features and most complete set of security updates,” the company said. “Or continue on iOS 14 and still get important security updates until you’re ready to upgrade to the next major version.”

It seems, however, that Apple has already run out of patience for those who chose to stick with iOS 14. With the release of iOS 15.2.1 this week — and iOS 15.3 in beta testing — Cupertino has stopped separate security updates and is more aggressively pushing for users to install iOS 15.

Don’t upgrade, don’t get security updates

For those still running iOS 14, the Software Update screen on iPhone now presents iOS 15 front and center as the only upgrade option. Previously, it was shown at the bottom of the page as an optional install. Apple has also removed the ability to install other versions of iOS 14.

So, if you’re running iOS 14.8, for instance. It was previously possible to update to iOS 14.8.1 and ignore iOS 15. Now, iOS 14.8.1 is not an option. It’s either iOS 15 and the latest security improvements, or stick with what you have.

This change comes after Apple on Thursday confirmed iOS 15’s official adoption figures for the first time. As things stand, only 63% of all devices are currently using iOS 15, which marks a significantly slower adoption rate compared to previous big upgrades.

That could have something to do with its change to security updates.


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