How to Fix iPhone stuck on Preparing Update (Troubleshooting Tutorial)

  1. Published on Sep 27, 2021
  2. Updated on Sep 27, 2021
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Sometimes your iPhone might be stuck while updating with the display showing the Preparing Update screen. The process seems to have entered an infinite loop with no progress made.

We are going to discuss what needs to be done in such a scenario. Read on!

Why is my iPhone stuck on preparing update?

Your iPhone gets stuck on the Preparing Update step if there is some error with the hardware or the software that is hampering the normal updating process.

There are several factors that lead to the error which are mentioned in the rest of the article.

How long iPhone should say preparing update?

Typically, you should hang in there for at least 30 mins for the Preparing Update phase to complete. It might take even longer depending on the network load during the time.

Free up the storage on your iPhone

Of course, things could mess up a bit if you aren’t able to provide the storage space needed for the update to settle down in your iPhone. The best thing to do in such a scenario will be to free up some storage space. For that,  

  • 1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage
  • 2. Delete the apps and other data you no longer need.
  • 3. Transfer all data and info to your iCloud or iTunes account if needed.

 iPhone storage

Turn Wi-Fi off and on

One of the primary reasons the iPhone gets stuck during the Preparing Update phase is a non-functional Wi-Fi connection.

The thing to keep in mind here is that many iOS updates, especially the heavy ones will only download on a wireless connection and not mobile data.

So, you got to be absolutely sure you have a working Wi-Fi connection before attempting to update. To check,

  • 1. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi.
  • 2. Make sure it is turned on.
  • 3. Or you can turn it off, wait for a few seconds and then turn it on again.
  • 4. If needed, Reset your network settings and establish a Wi-Fi connection again.

Turn Wi-Fi off and on

Hard reset your iPhone

An underlying software glitch is a common reason for your iPhone to get stuck at the preparing update stage. Doing a hard reset can be the simplest way to set things right in such a scenario as it forces the software to establish fresh links with other programs. Here are the steps.

For iPhone X and later models:

  • Press the Volume Up button followed by the Volume Down button and then press and hold on to the side Power button, all in quick succession.
  • Release the side button only after the Apple logo appears.

Force Restart iPhone 12

For iPhone models prior to iPhone X

  • 1.Press and hold on to the Volume Down button and the Power button simultaneously.
  • 2.Release both the buttons after the Apple logo appears.

Force Restart iPhone 7

For iPhone SE and earlier models

  • 1.Press and hold on the Home button and the Power button simultaneously.
  • 2.Release only after the Apple logo appears.
  • 3.Retry installing the update all over again after the restart process is complete.

Force Restart iPhone 6S

Delete the update in the iPhone Storage

This is something that too is known to be quite effective in dealing with the scenario such as your iPhone getting stuck during the Preparing Update stage.

All the updates that you download get saved in the iPhone Storage section. All you need to do is delete the update from the storage section and initiate the download process all over again.

To delete the update,

  • 1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage
  • 2. Tap on the update and select Delete from the options provided.

You have now got rid of the update. To download it again,

  • 1. Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • 2. Download the available update again. 

check for an iOS update

Use TinyFix to fix potential system issues without data loss

TinyFix can be the magical solution to many iOS issues your iPhone might be facing. It is an iOS system repair tool unlike any other, one that offers fast, easy, and more importantly, effective solutions to almost all system-level deficiencies or anomalies your iPhone might be facing.

Here is how to attempt the iOS fix using Standard Repair Mode.

  • 1. Download the install TinyFix on your PC or Mac. There is a version for both.
  • 2. Launch TinyFix.
  • 3. On the home page, select iOS System Repair then Standard Repair Mode.
  • 4. Connect the iPhone to the PC or Mac using a suitable cable.
  • 5. Click on Fix Now for the process to begin.
  • 6. TinyFix will now need access to the latest Firmware for an effective repair process, click on Download to download the latest iOS firmware that applies to your iPhone.
  • 8. Click on Fix Now once downloading is complete for the repair process to begin.

Standard Repair Mode

Using the Deep Repair Mode

You might have to use the Deep Repair Mode as the standard mode might not be effective in fixing the iOS issues in some cases.

The steps are the same as with the standard mode though the difference here is that the iPhone is going to be wiped clean of all its data.

So, back up before proceeding with the advanced mode. Here are the steps.

  • 1.Select Deep Repair Mode from the program followed by clicking on the Fix Now button.
  • 2.Connect the iPhone to your computer.
  • 3.As before, the program will need the latest firmware for fixing the iOS issues. Click on the Browse button and then select Download for the firmware to be downloaded on your computer.
  • 4.Click on Start Repair once the download process is complete.
  • 5.The Advanced Mode will attempt an in-depth repair process.

Using the Deep Repair Mode

Force update iPhone using iTunes or Finder

Yet another option would be to install the update manually via iTunes or Finder on Mac. Here is how you do that.

If your Mac is running macOS Catalina or a later version

  • 1. Open the Finder window.
  • 2. Connect your iPhone to the Mac using a suitable cable.
  • 3. Select your iPhone that should be listed on the left panel on the Finder window.
  • 4. Click on General > Check for Update.
  • 5. Click on Download and Update.
  • 6. Follow on-screen instructions.
  • 7. You might be required to enter your passcode when prompted.

Update via iTunes - when updating via PC or Mac running Mojave or earlier macOS versions.

  • 1. Launch iTunes on your PC or Mac.
  • 2. Connect the iPhone to your computer using a compatible cable.
  • 3. Click on the device button in the iTunes toolbar.
  • 4. In the Summary that you get to see, click on Check for Update.
  • 5. Click on the Download and Update option.
  • 6. Follow on-screen instructions.
  • 7. Enter your passcode when prompted.

Update Your iPhone via finder


It is quite common for iPhones to get stuck during the Preparing Update phase of downloading an update. While that sure is a frustrating feeling, setting things right is simple and easy. Just follow the above steps and get going with the latest update in no time. 

Sovan Mandal

A tech enthusiast to the core, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments from the world of technology. Android and iPhone trouble-shooting is another aspect that interests me a lot, as do a few of the more recent developments such as self-driving automobiles, AI, and such.
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