Troubleshooting for iPhone Stuck on Preparing Update (Reasons Mentioned)

Brandon Wood
May 11, 2023
"Hi, I received a replacement 11 Pro and am in the process of transferring info from the old 11 Pro to the new 11 Pro. As I began, the new phone prompted an update to iOS 14, taking forever. I am currently stuck on preparing updates. All of the advice I've seen seemed to be referring to updating your existing usable device rather than what I'm doing, which is attempting to start up a new phone and transfer info. Please help!"

- Posted by LilGeorgeJung in Apple Support Communities

Encountered new iPhone stuck on preparing update screen for a long time? Luckily, the solutions listed below can quickly help you out. Take several minutes to go through this article and find out how to fix the iPhone updates frozen issue expeditiously.

 iphone stuck on preparing update

Part 1. What Does "iPhone/iPad Stuck on Preparing Update" Mean?
Part 2. Why Is My New iPhone Stuck on Preparing Update?
Part 3. What Do I Do If My iPhone Is Stuck while Updating?

Part 1. What Does "iPhone/iPad Stuck on Preparing Update" Mean?

Generally, you can go to Settings > General > Software Update and tap the Download and Install button to install the new software update. Preparing an update is one phase going before actual installation. Normally, the preparation for an update lasts only a few minutes. However, sometimes it takes a longer time to finish due to some reasons.

Unfortunately, if you find the preparing update stage takes hours than it should, there may be either hardware or software issues on your iPhone.

The software side is usually owing to the partial download file or internet connection. Also, glitches on your current iOS version may cause iOS updates to be stuck on the preparing screen, too.

On the hardware side, iPhone preparing updates for too long may be due to the physical damage on your device, which makes your iPhone function badly and affects the iPhone downloads, prepares, and installation. What's worse, the hardware problems are often hard to recognize and repair. Thus, if this is the case, you are highly recommended to take your device to the nearby repair store to get it repaired.

Check it out: Want to transfer music from an iPhone to a computer? Here are 4 practical methods that are worth a try.

Part 2. Why Is My New iPhone Stuck on Preparing Update?

Whether your iPhone is stuck on preparing update iOS 14 or iPhone stuck after updates has something to do with the software or hardware issues. Below are the possible factors for iPhone frozen during update:

  • There is an error with the Apple servers, especially when too many Apple users worldwide request the iOS 15/14 updates at the same time.
  • Weak and unstable Wi-Fi network.
  • Interruption during the downloading process.
  • Insufficient storage space on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Bugs in the current iOS version, software crash, or update corruption.
  • Power shortage pauses the updates.
  • Other software or hardware issues, like broken or water-damaged iPhone, etc.

Part 3. What Do I Do If My iPhone Is Stuck while Updating?

Now that you understand why my iPhone is stuck on the software update, you can troubleshoot the iPhone upgrade stuck problem accordingly.

Tip 1. Force Quit Settings App

Certainly, the Settings app is not working well. So, when the new iPhone stuck on software update occurs, you can first try to force quit the Settings app.

  1. For iPhone with a Home button: Double click the Home button to bring up apps running in the background. Next, find the Settings app from the list and swipe it up the screen to force quit it.
  2. For iPhone with Face ID: Swipe up the Home screen from the bottom and pause in the middle of the screen to display apps running in the background. Then, swipe up the Settings app to stop it.

 force quit to fix the new iphone stuck on software update

You might also need: Recover Deleted Videos from iPhone without Hassle

Tip 2. Check Network Conditions

When there are network issues, you may also experience iPhone stuck while installing an update. So, to get yourself out of the Apple iOS update stuck issue, fix or reconnect your router first. Also, you can reset the network settings to fix the problem on your iPhone.

Note that this will reset all the network settings to the factory status. If you don't mind, follow the steps below to get it to reset.

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone and find General.
  • Click the Reset option > Reset Network Settings to reset all the network settings.
  • Reconnect your iPhone to a strong and stable Wi-Fi network to see if it has fixed the new iPhone software update stuck issue.

reset iphone network when it gets stuck in update

Tip 3. Delete the Update in iPhone Storage

As we mentioned above, the corrupted downloaded update file is one reason that caused the iOS 15 stuck on preparing updates problem. Hence, you need to delete the corrupted updating file from your iPhone storage and then try upgrading your iPhone again to fix the error.

To remove the updating file from your device:

  • Go to iPhone's Settings > General > iPhone Storage and choose the existing iOS updating file.
  • Tap the Delete Update button to delete it from your device.

Once deleted, open Settings > General > Software Update to re-download the update and install it on your device.

delete iphone update to fix the update frozen

Tip 4. Hard Restart iPhone

Hard resetting your iPhone is a panacea for resolving a series of system problems, including the software crash which has frozen your iPhone. As the operation varies slightly with iPhone models, refer to the following instructions if needed.

iPhone 8/X/XS or later versions:

  • Quickly press the Volume Up button.
  • Quickly press the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the Side button together until the Apple logo displays on the screen.

iPhone 7/7 Plus:

  • Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons simultaneously.
  • Keep holding the two buttons until the Apple logo turns up on the screen.

hard reset iphone 7 to get it out of the update stuck state

iPhone 6s and earlier versions:

  • Press and hold the Home + Power buttons together for a while.
  • Continue holding both buttons until the Apple logo shows up on the screen.

fix iphone stuck on software update via hard reset

Tip 5. Enter Your iPhone in DFU Mode

If you are constantly bothered by the iPhone stuck on preparing update problem, it's time to restore your iPhone with iTunes to erase and reload the codes that control your iPhone. For that, you need to boot your iPhone into DFU mode first. Then, you will successfully restore your iPhone with the help of iTunes.

  • Connect your iPhone to the computer after booting it into the DFU mode.
  • Open iTunes and click the Restore option on the popup when it alerts the computer has detected your iPhone in recovery mode.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to finish restoring your iPhone.

enter dfu mode on iphone to restore the stuck update

Tip 6. Check Available Storage Space

To check the storage space on your iPhone, open Settings > General > iPhone Storage, and you will see the specific storage usage there. If the storage space is inadequate, delete the unwanted files to release more storage.

check storage on iphone

Tip 7. Disable VPN in Settings

Although no evidence reveals the connection between the two things, much feedback from users reports that the iPhone gets stuck on preparing updates when using a VPN. Thus, halting VPN may be helpful to fix the issue.

  • Head over to the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Navigate to the VPN option.
  • Turn off the VPN option.

 turn off vpn for ios update stuck on preparing

Tip 8. Install iOS 15 in iTunes

Instead of updating the iOS version from your iPhone directly, you can also update it via iTunes on a computer. Here's how.

  • Run iTunes on your computer and plug your iPhone into the computer using a USB cable.
  • When the iPhone icon shows up in the iTunes window, tap it and select Summary on the left side.
  • Click the Check for Update option.
  • Tap the Update button if there is an up-to-date version available.

install latest ios with itunes to fix the stuck iphone

Tip 9. Fix iPhone Update Stuck Issue with iOS System Repair (Recommended)

Suppose all the common tricks above cannot fix the iPhone stuck on preparing update problem successfully. In that case, you still have the last straw - iOS System Repair. It is an easier and more efficient way to fix the iPhone stuck on preparing mode. Besides, it also repairs various other iOS system issues without data loss, including:

Most importantly, the easy-to-use iOS System Repair works well with all iPhone and iPad models (iOS 15 supported), such as iPhone 14/13 Pro Max/13 Pro/13/13 mini/12 Pro Max/12 Pro/12/12 mini, iPad Pro 5/4/3/2/1, the new iPad mini and iPad 2021, etc.

ios system repair windows versionios system repair mac version

How do I fix iOS 16 stuck on preparing updates without data loss?

1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to the computer.

After installing the program on your computer, open it and plug your iOS device into the computer via a USB cable. Later, click More tools > iOS System Recovery on the interface to continue.

install ios system repair tool and connect your iphone or ipad to the computer

2. Detect the iDevice problem automatically.

The program will start detecting your iPhone or iPad problem automatically. Once detected, it will display the issue on the interface. Then tap the Start button to move on.

detect the iphone problem automatically

3. Repair the iPhone stuck on preparing update issue.

Now confirm the iDevice information on the interface. If incorrect, select the correct one from the drop-down menu. After that, hit the Repair button to start the repair process immediately.

fix the iphone stuck on preparing update without data loss

Now that you have fixed the issue successfully, you'd better back up your iPhone to the computer to avoid data loss in the future.

Further reading:

Full Guide on How to Fix iTunes Error 4005 or iPhone Error 4005

iPhone Stuck on Restore Screen? 6 Easy Methods Here


iPhone stuck on preparing updates is a common issue on all iPhone models. So don't panic if you are experiencing an awkward situation. Try to fix the problem by yourself with the nine mentioned methods above. If you are looking for a high success rate way, make iOS System Repair your prior choice. It's easy, fast, and secure to repair any iPhone error without data loss.

Most strikingly, you will get instant technical help anytime you run into trouble as long as you leave a comment below.

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