iOS 8 Update: “Insufficient Storage”, “Update Failed”, “Stuck on Update Requested” [How to Troubleshoot]

By now, two things might have happened: you have updated to iOS 8 successfully or you’re still stuck trying to upgrade to iOS 8 on your iPhone/iPad or iPod touch. Besides the very prominent issue of server overload which prevents you from downloading the required update files, there are many other errors that could have cropped up.

This is for all those of you who are still trying to update to iOS 8. If you are facing issues like “insufficient storage space” or “software update failed” or if the OTA update is stuck on “Update Requested” for a long time, you should read the following.

#1. Storage Space Insufficient on iPhone/iPad While Upgrade to iOS 8

This is the biggest of all. Anyone attempting to do an OTA update for iOS 8 – especially someone who’s with a low-capacity device like the 16GB iPhone 5/5c/5s – has a very high chance of seeing this.

You try to do an OTA update and your iPhone tells you that you have insufficient space (because the OTA update requires abhout 5GB of free space to unpack all the things, backup your data etc.)

Fixing “Insufficient Storage” on iPhone while Upgrade to iOS 8:
The easiest fix is to do this:

  • Connect your iPhone / iPad to your computer
  • Fire up iTunes
  • Update from within iTunes.

No access to a computer? Wait till you can be near a computer with iTunes and then update. iOS 8 is big but not big enough to pull your hair over failed OTA update due to insufficient space. And for folks that are complaining about why Apple would need so much space to do the OTA update, that’s just the way it works.

If you are still intent on going the OTA-route, you need to remove data from your iPhone.

#2. Software Update Failed

What happens when you run into ‘Software update failed’? This could mostly be due to server issues (there’s still a massive overload as millions of people try to update).

Fixing “Software Update Failed” while Upgrading to iOS 8:

The most ideal way of fixing this would be to download the IPSW files directly and install it through iTunes. Here’s how to do that:
(Note: An IPSW file is basically the iOS 8 installation file)

  • Download the correct IPSW file (pick the right one from here)
  • Connect your iPhone to computer
  • Open iTunes. Backup your iPhone
  • In the Summary tab, you should see the “Restore iDevice…” button.
  • Hold down the Shift key and click on Restore iDevice….
  • Select the downloaded IPSW file.

The iTunes restore will install iOS 8 on your device. Then, restore from backup to get all data back on your iPhone/iPad.

#3. iOS 8 Update Stuck on “Update Requested”

Quite a lot of people trying the OTA update are facing this issue. And unless you don’t have access to a computer with iTunes, there’s no point in waiting several hours just to do this OTA update. You can just forget about OTA and get on with a regular iTunes update.

Refer to #1 for fixing this. All you need to do is connect your iPhone to the computer, open iTunes, click Update under the Summary tab.

#4. iOS 8 Update Stuck!

This can happen at both times: when you try to do an OTA update or when you try updating through iTunes. There can be a lot of reasons but predominantly, this could be some software glitch or a server issue.

  1. Irrespective of when this happens, you can always restart the update process by turning off your iPhone and then switching it back on.
  2. If the iPhone / iPad doesn’t respond (or it gets stuck in a boot loop after you turn it off), connect it to iTunes. Mostly, iTunes detects the iPhone in recovery mode. Yes, you will lose data if you didn’t remember to backup first. But you can restore through iTunes.
  3. If you were updating through iTunes and it gets stuck, do this: force quit iTunes, disconnect the iPhone from the computer, open iTunes, reconnect the iPhone and restart the update.

#5. Other Issues

A host of other issues can be attributed to the server overload problem. Despite Apple’s handling, the sheer amount of traffic the servers are subjected to is huge. There are bound to be problems like ‘unable to connect to the server’ and many other generic update problems.

With problems like these, you will have to wait a few minutes/hours before attempting the update again.