How to Fix Apps Stuck at “Waiting” in iOS 7.x When Installing/Updating

Apps can get stuck when you’re updating or installing them. You see a “Loading…” or “Waiting…” under the icons which are blacked out or look like this app-icon-template. In our earlier coverage of the topic, we mentioned a few fixes.

Checking your Wi-fi connectivity and signing in/out of your iTunes account mostly solves this issue (that’s what we blogged out in our previous post). But there are some more things you can try. Read on to find out how you can fix and get rid of the issue:

No 3G/LTE. Only Wifi

One of the first things you should remember is that app updates mostly happen only over Wi-fi. By default, the “Use Cellular Data” switch is disabled, which prevents you from downloading apps or updates to apps over 3G/LTE network. If you specifically need to update/install an app over cellular, you’ll need to do this first:

  • Go to Settings → iTunes & App Store
  • Scroll down and turn on Use Cellular Data

Turn Off Mobile Data on iPhone

It is, however, recommended that you get to a Wi-fi network before attempting an update or installing a new app. An install/update can burn through your data plan.

Re-download from App Store

You’re on Wi-fi and the app being downloaded/updated shows “Waiting…”. What do you do now? Obviously, it’s not a network-related issue (assuming you’ve checked for Wi-fi problems).

Here’s what to do then:

  • Quit all apps, including the app store.
  • Re-open the App Store and search for the app that you are attempting to download or update.
  • Tap on the stop icon (square with a circle around it). If it responds and pauses the app-download, good. You can now re-start the download by tapping on the button again.
  • In case, the button doesn’t respond, what you can try is a hard-reset. Press the home and power button simultaneously to switch off the iPhone. Then, press the power button to reboot. Go to Step #1 and follow the process from the app store.

Delete and Re-download

You can delete an app in two ways: 1) press and hold on the app icon on homescreen, then when it starts to wobble, press the ‘X’ on the app icon; 2) go to Settings → General → UsageTap on the app under Storage → Delete App.

Delete and Re-download iPhone App

Try the first method. If the ghost app lets you delete it, delete it and re-download it from the app store. If the first method doesn’t work, you always have the second one to try. Go to Settings, General, Usage and tap on the app. And delete it.

Sign Out, Sign in

We outlined this method in this post. Basically, you sign out of your Apple ID in Settings → iTunes and App Store. As an extra measure, turn off Wi-fi and reboot your iPhone. Then, connect to the Wi-fi, sign-in to your Apple ID and re-download the app.

Hard Reset / Soft Reset

A hard reset (mentioned above) is when you just respring/reboot your iPhone by forcing it into a half-shut-down state. When you hard-reset your iPhone and reboot it, the ghost app that is stuck at “Waiting…” should be gone from the homescreen/springboard. You can then re-download the app.

A soft-reset, on the other hand, is when you go to Settings → General → Reset and tap on Reset All Settings. This will not delete the data but it will delete the app stuck at “Waiting…”.