Tag Archives: mobile

When iOS downloads get stuck in “waiting”

I’ve been harassed by this intermittent problem updating or downloading new apps from the Apple App Store to my iPhone or iPad. There is a lot of information out there in various message forums, but so far most of the answers have been amazingly unhelpful.

If you came here from a search and want to skip ahead to the answer that DID work, scroll down.

The Apple support site and some other OS-themed forums have suggested:

  • Double-tapping the stuck icon to see if it comes unstuck easily.
  • Deleting the stuck app from your home screen and trying the download again from the App Store.
  • Doing a restart of your device by pressing both “home” and “power” buttons about 10 seconds until you see the white Apple icon appear.
  • Signing out of your Apple ID in Settings, then signing back in.
  • Syncing your iPad, then unchecking all the stuck apps in sync settings, syncing again, then rechecking them, then syncing again.
  • A complete wipe of your entire device and reloading all your apps from scratch.
  • …other absurd combinations of the above.

If you’re like me, this has happened to you several times already and you’re about to reach the boiling point with frustration. I have the original version of iPad but my iOS is up to date. I have never wiped and reloaded the device and have no other problems with it.

Apple support was completely useless in helping me with this problem. The answers given in the Apple support forums were similarly unhelpful.

I found the answer using a Google search after wasting hours looking for it in the Apple website. Thank you, Google. And thanks to Dave Brown, a commenter on the article which didn’t have the right answer after all. You should have seen how many people commented after Dave, thanking him for his contribution. This is how the web is supposed to work, folks.

And because good information deserves a link, here it is:


Dave Brown said:

“What worked for me after trying everything recommend was so simple. Open iTunes on your device, look at downloads and you will find one of them is stuck. Delete it by swiping right and bingo. It’s fixed!”

I tried it too, and it’s fixed for me. @Apple, it’s time to update your FAQ. Don’t worry, I’ll Tweet you the link.