iPhone & iPad apps stuck waiting, not downloading

When downloading, updating or syncing apps to an iDevice, apps may occasionally get stuck waiting and never install on the device.

First, give the app enough time to download and make sure it’s actually stuck before proceeding. Most apps download within a few minutes over Wi-Fi but if you are downloading or updating several apps this could take much longer depending on the size of apps and the speed of your internet connection.

Also, if you are downloading or updating apps over Wi-Fi or 3G make sure the problem is not with your data connection before proceeding.

Restarting iOS Devices

The easiest way to clear up apps that are stuck waiting is a Restart.

To Restart or Reboot your iPad, iPhone or iPad touch;

  1. Press an hold the Sleep/Wake button (top right corner) until the red slider appears.
  2. Slide your finger to turn off the device.
  3. Give it a minute to shut down, then press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears.

This will sometimes clear up apps that have difficulty installing but if that did not resolve your problem then keep reading.

Download and Sync Apps With iTunes

    1. The next method will require you to plug you device into your computer and open iTunes.

If you were installing a new app that is not on your computer, you should be able to download the app without being charged. Make sure you are signed in with the same account that made the purchase. When you locate the app in the iTunes Store, you should see “install” or “Downloaded” instead of a price. Download the app or apps to iTunes on your computer.

    1. Select your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch under Devices on the left.
    2. Click the Apps tab and check “Sync Apps”.
    3. Select the apps you want to sync in the left-hand column. You can select all apps by clicking on an app checkbox while holding down the Control key on Windows or the Command key on Mac OS X.

  1. Sync to transfer the apps you selected to your device.

Remove and Reinstall Apps

Hopefully your problem has already been resolved by this point but here’s one more method that should certainly clear up the issue. I have saved this for last since it is the most time consuming. The length of time will depend on the number of apps you sync to the device.

  1. Uncheck “Sync Apps” from the same screen we were using above and sync the device. This will remove all the apps on the device.
  2. After the device has finished syncing check “Sync Apps” again.
  3. Select the apps you want to install and sync the device.


  1. Lacori Mitchell

    June 10, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    My games are not downloading

  2. Megan

    July 5, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I have done Everythink to get rid of it but it won’t budge

  3. Rochelle

    August 30, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Done everything same issue

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