How to Fix iTunes/iPhone Stuck on Preparing iPhone for Restore?


"'Preparing iPhone for software update...' iPhone 8 gets stuck on this message while trying to update in Recovery mode. What can I do from here? I don't want to have to reset it if it's possible to avoid that. I can't close iTunes without it telling me I will have to restore my phone if I do so. The screen is back to just showing the Apple."

- Reddit.com

iTunes is a handy tool to back up and restore your iPhone, update the software version, or manage Apple devices. Generally, when iTunes is preparing to restore the software on this iPhone, the process will last a few minutes. What if iTunes/iPhone gets stuck on preparing an iPhone for restore? Is there any way to get rid of the issue? Well, you can fix the issue using a few easy ways.

fix itunes stuck on preparing iphone for restore

Part 1. How Long Should Preparing iPhone for Restore Take?
Part 2. Why Is Preparing iPhone for Restore Taking So Long?
Part 3. How to Fix iTunes Stuck at Preparing iPhone for Restore?

Part 1. How Long Should Preparing iPhone for Restore Take?

Usually, iPhone recovery mode preparing iPhone for software update takes about 15 minutes. But recently, some users have reported that "preparing iPhone for restore taking forever" or "preparing iPhone for restore stuck on iPhone 11". So, what affects the restoring process?

1. Download Firmware

In general, downloading firmware from Apple servers for your iPhone to a computer won't take long if your internet is in a good connection.

2. Extract Firmware

After downloading the firmware, iTunes will extract the firmware content, which won't take long either.

3. Verify Firmware

iTunes will verify the files in this stage, which often takes a few seconds.

4. Restore Firmware

Eventually, iTunes restores the firmware on your iPhone, and it normally takes a few minutes up to an hour, longer than other stages.

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Part 2. Why Is Preparing iPhone for Restore Taking So Long?

The following factors may be the main culprits for the iTunes stuck on preparing iPhone for software update issue.

  • Outdated software version.
  • iTunes/Finder needs updating.
  • Software bugs or glitches.
  • Damaged/defective lightning cable/port.
  • Incompatible apps on your iPhone.
  • Poor Wi-Fi network connectivity.
  • Insufficient iPhone storage.
  • iPhone and computer condition.
  • Low backup frequency.

Part 3. How to Fix iTunes Stuck at Preparing iPhone for Restore?

A few tips below will help you eliminate the iTunes stuck on preparing iPhone/iPad for restore issue.

Way 1. Restart Your iPhone and Computer

Whenever there is something wrong with your iPhone or computer, the first thing you can try is to restart your devices, which fixes many system glitches.

To restart your iPhone

  • Press and hold the Power button on your iPhone/iPad.
  • Drag the slider from left to right to turn your device off.
  • Press and hold the Power button again for seconds until your iPhone/iPad powers on.

restart iphone to fix itunes stuck at preparing iphone for restore

To restart your computer:

  • For Mac: Click the Apple icon on the menu bar and choose Restart.
  • For PC: Click the Start menu at the lower-left corner > choose Power > tap the Restart option.

restart pc if itunes gets stuck on preparing for restoring iphone

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Way 2. Update the iTunes Version

An older version of iTunes can cause issues with your iPhone. So, updating iTunes to the latest version may solve the problem "iTunes stuck on preparing iPhone for restore".

To update iTunes on Windows PC:

  • Click the Start menu at the lower-left corner and search for Apple Software Update on the search bar.
  • Click Apple Software Update from the results and allow it to check for iTunes updates.
  • If a newer version is available, tap the Install button.

update itunes on windows pc to fix the stuck issue

To update iTunes on Mac:

  • Launch iTunes on your Mac and hit the iTunes icon on the Apple menu bar.
  • Choose the Check for Updates option.

Way 3. Change a Different USB Cable and Port

Many users suggest using a USB 2.0 or another port on your computer to restore or update your iPhone since they will offer the required speed for the device firmware.

If the USB cable and port are broken or stained, it will also make the device work abnormally. Since most computers have several USB ports, you can use the Apple-authorized USB cable to connect your iPhone to a different port.

change your usb cable and port if the iphone is stuck for restoring

Read also: What's wrong with my iPad? It keeps restarting all the time. How can I fix it?

Way 4. Avoid Using a USB Hub

If you have more USB devices to connect to the same computer, but the USB ports are limited, you may use a USB hub as a middle-man to establish the connection. However, some USB hubs may be too overheated to guarantee the transfer speed.

Thus, try not to use the USB hub to connect your iPhone to the computer. Most of the time, iTunes will normally work to restore your iPhone.

stop using the usb hub when itunes is stuck to restore your iphone

Way 5. Use Another Computer

In other cases, your computer is blamed for the iTunes stuck on preparing iPhone for restore error. There may be certain issues with its components, or the system is defective. To fast fix the problem without any delay, you can connect your iPhone to another computer with iTunes installed and open iTunes to restore your iPhone with the standard procedure.

Way 6. Check Wi-Fi Connectivity

As mentioned above, the unstable Wi-Fi network connectivity will make it harder for iTunes to connect to the Apple servers and is one of the reasons why the preparing iPhone for restoration is taking forever. You can switch to a stable Wi-Fi network when restoring your iPhone with iTunes to save you time.

Way 7. Uninstall the Anti-virus Software

Consider disabling the third-party anti-virus software before restoring or updating your iPhone because it may mistakenly regard the connection between iTunes and Apple servers as suspicious and block iTunes amid the process. You can also remove the anti-virus app from your computer completely.

Way 8. Try Restoring Your iPhone in Recovery Mode

Above all, ensure that the iTunes or Finder runs the latest version on your computer. Then, boot your device into Recovery mode with these steps:

iPhone 8 and above:

  • Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.
  • Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the Side button until your iPhone enters Recovery mode.

restore your iphone in recovery mode

iPhone 7/7 Plus:

  • Press and hold the Side + Volume Down buttons together until your iPhone gets into Recovery mode.

iPhone 6 and earlier:

  • Press and hold the Home + Side buttons simultaneously until the Recovery-mode screen appears.

Next, connect your iPhone to the computer as you normally do. When it displays the Restore or Update options in front of you, choose the Restore option and complete the whole process.

Way 9. Fix the Issue with a Professional System Repair Tool

The best way to resolve the iTunes restoring problem is using iOS System Repair. It is designed to fix various Apple system issues, like loop restart, battery drain, iTunes restore error, etc.

The highlights of iOS System Repair:

  • Resolve iTunes stuck on preparing iPhone for restore in minutes.
  • Easy and safe to use.
  • Cause no data loss or change.
  • Offer two repairing modes to meet different needs.
  • Compatible with iOS 16/iPadOS 16, such as iPhone 14/SE (3rd generation)/13 Pro Max/13 Pro/13/13 mini/12 Pro Max/12 Pro/12/12 mini/SE/11 Pro Max/11 Pro/11/XS Max/XS/XR/X/8, etc.

ios system repair windows versionios system repair mac version

How to fix iTunes stuck on preparing the iPhone for restore?

1. Install and run the software on your computer. Then, connect your iPhone to the computer via a USB cable and tap More tools > iOS System Recovery to continue.

2. The app will automatically detect your device problem. After it displays the issue on the interface, tap Start to proceed.

3. Confirm the device information on the interface. If needed, choose the correct information from the drop-down lists. Later, click the Repair button to fix the iTunes stuck on preparing iPhone for restore issue.

restore iphone system with ios repair software when itunes is stuck on preparing

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Way 10. Contact Apple Support for Help

Suppose nothing works to resolve your problem, or your iPhone gets physical damage. In that case, you can make an appointment from the Apple Support page ahead of time and bring your iPhone and the purchase receipt to the nearest Apple Store for help.

Final Words

We help the above tips will be effective in fixing the iTunes stuck on preparing iPhone for restore issue. We strongly recommend you try iOS System Repair since it is professional for repairing almost all Apple system problems without data loss and is worthwhile. Meanwhile, please don't hesitate to leave a comment below whenever you need our technical support.

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