What is the Rapid Security Response on iPhone?

Rapid Security Response iPhone
Pictured: Rapid Security Response settings on iPhone
// SHOULD YOU BE ALARMED?
Brodie Fogg
Jul 19, 2023
Icon Time To Read1 min read

Published on July 18, 2023

Seeing an unexpected message on your iPhone about a “Rapid Security Response” might ring some alarm bells but rest assured that it’s not a cause for concern. In fact, Apple’s new type of software release was introduced to deliver more consistent security improvements in between major software releases so the more regular cadence of security updates should offer a little more peace of mind.

What is Rapid Security Response?

Apple uses Rapid Security Response to deliver critical security updates in-between major software releases. Comprehensive security improvements are already included in every major software update, Rapid Security Response simply allows Apple to deliver small, but important security patches when a major update isn’t scheduled any time soon. Apple may also use the feature to quickly address other potential issues like system exploits introduced by other software changes and updates.

Rapid Security Response updates are small by their nature. Typically as small as 3MB, these updates are designed to be as lightweight as possible, allowing Apple to respond to security threats as quickly as possible.

Beginning with iOS and iPadOS 16.4.1 and macOS 13.3.1, the Rapid Security Response feature is available on all iPhones, iPads and Mac devices running the latest software update.

Can I turn off Rapid Security Responses on my iPhone?

You can turn off automatic Rapid Security Response updates, but you probably shouldn’t. Even if Rapid Security Responses are turned off, these improvements will still be applied the next time you perform a full software update anyway.

With that said, there are some reasons you might want to switch automatic downloads off. For example, a recent Rapid Security Response update actually caused some issues for select Safari users, creating some friction on websites like Facebook and Instagram. It’s an edge case, and a follow-up Rapid Security Response fixed the issue soon after.

If you do wish to turn off Rapid Security Responses, simply navigate to ‘Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates.’ There you will see three options: Download iOS Updates, Install iOS Updates and Security Responses & System Files. Toggle that last option off if you wish to deactivate automatic Rapid Security Response updates.

As mentioned above, Rapid Security Updates are available on any iPhone running the latest software update. That’s iPhone 8 or later. If it’s time to upgrade your iPhone, check out some of the most popular iPhone 14 plans below.

Brodie Fogg
Written by
Brodie Fogg
Brodie Fogg is the Australian editorial lead at Reviews.org. He has covered consumer tech, telecommunications, video games, streaming and entertainment for over five years at websites like WhistleOut and Finder and can be found sharing streaming recommendations at 7NEWS every month.

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