Apple’s updates are critical for iOS device users if they want to enjoy the maximum benefits from their iPhones or iPads. These updates ensure optimum device performance and help users upgrade to the latest software features in iOS versions.

It means that regardless of your iPhone model, you can use the latest version on your device via a simple update from the app store.

While Apple update requests are meant to make your operation smoother, they can cause a few hardware problems. But if you have an iPhone stuck on preparing an update screen, you don’t need to worry anymore.

In this guide, we will talk about how you can get rid of this common problem and restore your iPhone performance within no time.

Why Does the iPhone Get Stuck in Preparing Updates

While there can be several issues with your iPhone software or the Wi-Fi network settings, the server issue is one of the common reasons for the iPhone getting stuck on preparing updates.

When Apple introduces a new iOS update file, most iPhone users tend to download and install updates instantly. This is a typical problem when a new software version is updated. Since there could be a substantial load on the server, it slows down the update process.

How to Fix iPhone Stuck on Preparing Updates

You can resolve the issue by following these simple hacks when your iPhone receives a software update but tends to freeze on the update screen.

Check Your Internet Connection

As basic as it may sound, a poor internet connection can cause problems during the update process. Since the update download can happen through the internet, make sure that you have a strong Wi-Fi network connection to work with.

If your connection isn’t stable, your iPhone might have a partially downloaded update file, making it more complicated for the device to update iOS or other software files. Hence, it can force you to re-download updates.

So, start by rebooting your network device or router. Ensure you have optimum connection speed to go through the process quickly.

Moreover, if restarting your router doesn’t give enough speed, you can also configure your network settings. Whether you need to reset network settings or get a new router, only a decent internet or Wi-Fi connection will take you through the update process.

If the internet is the problem, it’s possible that your device won’t need any software configuration, and it should get rid of the update screen on its own.

Force Quit Settings App

Sometimes, the settings app doesn’t work according to the plan and has a critical role in iPhone software updates. For example, when you want to install a new iOS update, you can only do it through the Settings app. So, if the app is causing a problem, it’s better to force quit and start again.

For iPhones with Home Button

To force-quite, the settings app, double-tap the Home button. Now, locate the Settings app in the list and swipe it upwards. It will force-quit your Settings app.

for iPhones with Face ID

If your iPhone has a Face ID, swipe up your finger from the bottom of the screen and pause when you reach the middle. This should bring up all the apps running on your iPhone.

Now, Swipe up the Settings app to force quit.

Force Restart your iPhone

Restarting the iPhone is a great way to resolve the update screen problems and many others. When you receive an iPhone update, and the phone won’t get out of the update screen, it’s a good idea to try a force-restart.

Even though this is one of the last-resort options, it’s worth a try earlier too. Especially if you don’t have any unsaved data on your iPhone, typically, the force-restart can resolve several bugs and software crash issues in the iPhone, so it should work for this problem too.

Force restarting your phone is an excellent trick to deal with software crashes and bugs. But depending on the iPhone model, there are different ways to force restart the device. Here is a quick summary.

If you have iPhone 8 or later models, you can restart your device by pressing the VolumeVolume Up button. Then press the VolumeVolume down button. Now, press and hold the iPhone Power button until the Apple logo appears on the iPhone screen.

For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models, you can simultaneously press and hold the Power button and the VolumeVolume Down button. Release the buttons when you see the Apple logo on the screen.

In iPhone SE, 6S, and all earlier models, you can force restart by pressing the Home and Power button simultaneously. Release the button when the Apple logo appears.

Clean your iPhone Storage and Delete Previous Update File

Having clean and junk-free iPhone storage can save you from many problems. Whether hardware-related problems or software issues, clean iPhone storage can help in many ways.

Especially when it’s about iPhone update problems, deleting previous or recently downloaded update files can help you. Yes, you can delete previous update files from your iPhone if it’s stuck on the preparing update screen.

If you choose to delete the files, you must restart the download process again. To delete the previous update file, follow these instructions.

Go to iPhone settings, and in the General section, navigate to iPhone storage. Now, select your iOS update file and then tap Delete Update. Sometimes, the downloaded updates don’t find enough space in your iPhone storage.

So, after deleting the update file, it’s essential to clear your phone storage too. Otherwise, you can get stuck with the same problem again.

Here is a shortcut to deleting unwanted data. Go to iPhone Storage in the phone settings. Tap on Clear Up Data Unnecessary. This will wipe off any temporary files from your iPhone and make space for the new ones.

Use iTunes or Finder App to Install iOS Updates

If you have access to a Mac or PC device, there is one great way to install updates and get rid of the preparing updates screen. For instance, if you want to update your iOS device to iOS 15.5, you can rely on your PC to do the job.

But why is it relevant? One great reason to choose Mac or PC is that you can download the files with a wired internet connection. While a stable Wi-fi network also does the job effectively, you can get the updates faster with a PC or Mac and complete the update process with just a few clicks.

Here is what you need to do to use the iTunes or Finder app to update your iPhone.

Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to the computer. Now, open the iTunes app on your computer and click the device icon. Next, locate the device name in the finder section on the left of your screen.

Next, click Trust, and it will recognize your device’s hardware. Then, the software will ask your iPhone to trust the computer. So, tap on Trust and then enter your iPhone passcode.

In the summary tab, you can see if there is an update file available for your iPhone. To check for the updated file in Finder, go to the General tab. Then, click on the Update, or Check for Update option to install the updates.

Now click download, update, and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation process.

Use the DFU Restore on iPhone

The DFU mode is much like a recovery mode for your iPhone. It’s one of the last options to fix preparing update issues in iOS 14 and iOS 15.

The DFU mode completely wipes off any data in your iPhone. So, it’s pretty effective for many other software-related issues and bugs in your iPhone.

To use the iPhone in the DFU mode, ensure you use the latest iTunes version.

Next, following these instructions, you can put your phone in DFU mode.

For iPhone 8 and later models, press the VolumeVolume Up button, then the Volume Down Button, followed by a press and hold of the Side button. Hold until the screen turns black.

Now, press the VolumeVolume Down button and the Side button together and hold for about 10 seconds. Now, release the buttons, and your iPhone will enter DFU mode.

For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models, press the VolumeVolume down and Side button for roughly 10 seconds and then release the Side button.

In iPhone 6 and earlier models, press the Side and Home buttons for 10 seconds and release the Side button. Then, make sure to hold the Home button for five more seconds.

Quick FAQs

Here are some essential questions people commonly ask about iPhones stuck on preparing updates.

What are your Options if Your iPhone is stuck preparing an update screen?

If you talk about options, you can do plenty of things to get out of the preparing update screen. Unfortunately, it mainly depends on specific settings in your iPhone. But thankfully, there are different ways to resolve the problem ranging from a quick Wi-Fi check to a software update and hard reset.

In most cases, one of these options would do the job for you. However, if it doesn’t help, you can contact Apple Support to prevent the problem.

What’s the Optimum Timeframe for the iPhone to Say “Preparing update”?

Depending on your iOS version, every software update can have a different time range. Generally, it depends on the updated file size and the internet connection.

However, it typically lasts from 15 to 20 minutes in most cases. So ideally, if your iPhone shows preparing an update screen for more than 30 minutes, it’s a sign that it’s possibly stuck on preparing updates.


It can be frustrating to deal with the iPhone stuck on preparing updates. Unfortunately, whenever an iOS update arrives for your iPhone, your iPhone might get stuck in preparing an update.

However, now that you know how to deal with it, there should be no problem as you fix your iPhone stuck on the preparing updates screen. Make sure you have a stable internet connection to navigate the necessary process.