Fix App Downloads That Become Stuck On ‘Waiting’ [iOS Tips]

Fix App Downloads That Become Stuck On ‘Waiting’ [iOS Tips]

"What are you waiting for?!?!"

Over the past few days, a large number of iOS users have been reporting that their App Store downloads are becoming stuck on the “Waiting” status when they attempt to install or update a number of apps at once. It is thought that the influx of Retina updates for the new iPad is causing an App Store overload.

Fortunately, there is a simple workaround. Here’s how to fix that frustrating “Waiting” freeze.

First, look for an app that is stuck on “Paused” rather than “Waiting.” If you find one, tap it once to resume it and if you’re lucky, your apps will continue to download and install.

If this doesn’t work, or if you don’t find an app that’s “Paused,” your only option at this point is to reboot your device. It’s inconvenient, and sometimes you’ll find that your apps will disappear if they’re new downloads and you’ll have to grab them from the App Store again, but unfortunately it is the only way.

The problem is believed to be caused by Apple’s servers being used more than normal for all of those iPad updates, but this hasn’t been confirmed. Whatever it is, let’s hope it doesn’t last too long.

  • SteveLV702

    neither of those work i have a app that says waiting tapping it, rebooting and hard resetting don’t do anything………….

  • JackWoodmansey

    I get this all the time. It tends to fix itself after a few days. 

  • Bob_Zimmerman

    The weird way I fix it is by launching another app that accesses the internet – weird I know, but every time I launch Safari it seems to work.

  • Ben Carroll

    I encountered this exact problem today. Unfortunately, the only solution was a complete restore.

  • lowtolerance

    Rebooting doesn’t do shit. I’ve had about a dozen apps that have been “waiting” for two days now.

  • Y3Fr3me Nana Yaw

    All u need to do is tap it and tap it again…

  • Jamie

    yeah, i think it had to do with everyone using icloud as a backup as well.  it took forever for me to download my apps Friday.

  • Martin

    I turn off wifi and cell.  Then tap to pause apps and only let one continue. Turn back on cell/wifi. Then one by one, untap and let them update.  

  • Martin

    I turn off wifi and cell.  Then tap to pause apps and only let one continue. Turn back on cell/wifi. Then one by one, untap and let them update.  

  • healeydave

    This can also be caused if you are trying to restore apps that we’re originally installed under a different Apple ID.
    For example if you have more than one Apple ID, it’s possible a number of apps were installed using one or more Apple ID’s. ITunes or iCloud backups will backup all apps on your iDevice, but when it comes to restoring, it will only install the apps that were downloaded with the current Apple ID (that is logged into the App Store).
    Any Apps originally downloaded with a different Apple ID will stay stuck at ‘Waiting’. If you tap the App, it will usually pop up with the Apple ID that it requires to continue downloading and you should be able to sign into the other account to resume downloading.

  • joewaylo

    Another solution is if your Mac has “Automatic Downloads” preset, it’ll download separately. Then it won’t be a hassle to find and redownload again.

  • Edoardo

    It happened to me, too. I solved it by restoring “Photo stream” on iPad. I’m quite sure there were some photos stuck in upload (i deleted some while they were being uploaded). 

  • Carlos Melero

    same problem here. i have found this solution (a bit complicated but works fine for me)
    1- Sync your iPad with iTunes
    2- Navigate to yours apps folder inside the iTunes library and manually cancel the apps that are stuck.
    3- Cancel the apps in your iPad (if you can)
    4- Go to the app store and download again the apps you have cancelled in number 2. – Problem: your iTunes won’t let you redownload the apps because he thinks they are still in your HD. Solution: when you are in the app page, click on the app icon on your left (big icon) and for a second you will see under the icon the text with the price (free, 0,99, etc.) click on the price before it becomes “installed” (you must be quick)
    5- Restore your iPad and resync

    After this process, all the apps are ok, updates work fine and new apps can be downloaded.

    Hope this will work for you.

    (sorry for my bad english)

    Carlos Melero fon Venice (Italy)

  • CharliK

    that means that in your case, the issue was that you lost connectivity for some reason. Opening up safari triggers the iPad checking to see if you are on the internet and once it gets a yes, everything else that needs that connectivity is back in business. Although sometimes you still have to pause one of the ‘waiting’ apps and then tap again to restart it to get that going. 

    it’s happened to me several times when I forgot something was downloading and I watched out of wifi at work. 

  • babysteps

    I have had this problem for a very, very long time. Simply put, there is no easy solution out there, yet.

  • bondr006

    I had this problem also. Had a 9:30 Genius bar appt. this morning because of it. None of the things mentioned above fixed it. She ended up going in to settings and resetting my iPad. Go to settings/General/Reset and choose the first choice. I had to enter all my passwords and rejoin my home network, and reset my home screen….but otherwise, all my programs and everything else was still there and the problem was fixed. Downloading apps from the app store as usual.

  • Alfiejr

    oh phooey. sure i was downloading a few dozen purchased apps at once to my new iPad. i thought it might take a while … some are really big files. anyway, after about 20 minutes of ‘stuck on downloading’ i just opened the Purchased page on the App store app and my screen updated immediately. the apps had been downloading in the background all the time. gradually it finished up. took almost an hour. Apple’s servers are probably getting slammed right now, don’t you think?

    in other words, don’t panic and mess with your iPad. just put it down, do something else, and let it do its thing.

  • apixel

    I came across this article, and most of the tips helped me coax my new iPad along in restoring from the cloud. At some point, though, I gave up babysitting and clicking on one icon at a time and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, all the stuck apps had taken care of themselves. The poster above me was right … the servers were just slow. Eventually, the iPad does it all and does it correctly. Give it time.

  • KinG

    iOS is looking a lot like win98
    lots of bugs, lots of crashes

  • Chris Lackey

    I had this issue a while ago, and found that it was an iTunes podcast download that had gotten stuck.  I cancelled that download, then the app downloads started again.

  • ddawson100

    I had this issue a while ago, and found that it was an iTunes podcast download that had gotten stuck.  I cancelled that download, then the app downloads started again.

    That’s it! I had downloaded Apple’s new Podcasts app and just started subscribing to a couple of podcasts. This app seems a bit flaky. There have been three apps in the Waiting status for more than a day. I’ve had this phone for a year now and have never had a problem. I’ve rebooted this device a few times and can browse through two different browsers, use FaceTime and send and receive iMessages. The problem has nothing to do with network settings and I did not want to reset anything and lose my passwords, WiFi settings, etc.

    I saw your tip and opened the Podcasts app. I didn’t see anywhere to find the download queue (uurrgggh) so went back to my list of apps and see that the icons have changed. One app had completed downloading and the others are on the way. The problem must have been that there are sometimes downloads in the queue.

  • arvoapp

    I had this issue a while ago, and found that it was an iTunes podcast download that had gotten stuck.  I cancelled that download, then the app downloads started again.

    This is exactly the solution in my situation. I had subscribed to a couple of podcasts and turned on auto download. One was stuck. I cancelled all downloads and retry install app, it finally worked!

    Thanks Chris!

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , |