We posted about this sometime back for iOS 6 apps. But the issue does crop up in iOS 7 too (especially with recent updates). You try to update an app (or install it) and it gets stuck in the ‘Waiting’ or ‘Loading’ stage. The app icon is the black placeholder image and when you tap it, nothing happens. What do you do now?

When you download an app and this happens, it’s frustrating. But when you are updating an app that was working just fine and all of a sudden, you can no longer use the app, it’s even more frustrating. Don’t worry, though. It’s easy to fix.

How to Fix Apps Getting Stuck At Download or Update in iOS 7

Sort Network Issues First

One of the first things you want to check is the network/data connectivity. Is the network working fine? Is your iPhone or iPad still connected to the network?

The easiest way to check this will be to open a web link in Safari. If the website opens just fine, your network is good and the app being stuck at Loading/Waiting is caused due to some other issue. But if the website doesn’t open and Safari throws an error, there could be two possibilities: the network is down or the connection is slow.

Solutions in this case would be to switch to a different network (may be Wi-fi) and try.

Sign Out of App Store and Back In

When data connectivity isn’t the problem, let’s try another route which is most likely to fix the issue. Do this:

  • Open Settings
  • Scroll down and tap on iTunes & App Store
  • Tap on your Apple ID and Sign Out
  • Turn off Wifi or the cellular connectivity after you have successfully signed out.
  • Wait for a couple of minutes before turning the Wifi/Cellular back on.
  • Head to Settings → iTunes & App Store and sign in with your Apple ID.
  • See if the download of the app resumes correctly. If not, open the App Store, search for the app in question and tap on the stop button. Wait a couple of minutes and then tap on it again to resume the download.

In most cases, this seems to fix the problem.

If both these things do not fix your issue, it could be a problem at Apple’s end. Server issues can time out connections and cause downloads to get stuck mid-way. If it’s a matter of urgency, you can plug-in your iPhone to iTunes and sync to get the apps downloaded.

  • Neo-K

    all nice and well, but what do you do with apps that no longer exist in the app store? how to get rid off these black holes on the iphone, when the app itself no longer exists in the store?

    • The installed app will continue to run as normally .. if it uses its own servers (lke Dropbox) and the servers also go down with the app, then you’ll run into problems (and you have to uninstall it). Otherwise, the app does run normally. There will, of course, be no updates.

      • Neo-K

        Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be that easy.
        I’ve got a bunch of these black hole apps on my iphone, some can be updated, some have been removed from the app store. the ‘black hole apps’ cannot be uninstalled, can be reinstalled if you find them in your purchased apps. they cannot be remove via iTunes…
        Basically a huge pain! Apps that no longer exist in the app store, will probably stay on the iphone until I do a next upgrade. you cannot start these apps either, so just a waste of space, time and nerves!

        • Ah so you are talking about those stuck at loading/waiting apps. Sorry
          for not getting the question right. Yeah, these apps are stuck where
          they are. One method is to backup everything (iCloud/iTunes) and then do
          a Reset (Settings -> General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and
          Settings). This will remove everything (photos, data, passwords,
          bookmarks and apps). Then, restore from backup.