Why is My iOS Update Paused?

Updating your iPhone or iPad to the latest version of iOS is an important process that ensures your device runs smoothly and is equipped with the latest features and security updates. While the prospect of a new update can be exciting, it can also be frustrating when the installation process gets stuck or paused, leaving you wondering how to proceed.

This is a common issue that can arise during the iOS update process and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor internet connectivity, insufficient storage space, or a faulty software update. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to troubleshoot the issue and find a solution to ensure your device is updated and functioning properly. Don’t worry – there are several potential reasons why is my ios update paused.

Understanding iOS Updates

Understanding iOS Updates

Apple periodically releases major iOS software updates, introducing new features and updates to the core apps like Messages, Maps, Photos, and more. These updates are generally numbered increments like iOS 14 or iOS 15.

Minor iOS updates with bug fixes and small improvements are also released between the major versions. These are denoted by a number followed by .x, like iOS 14.2 or iOS 14.6.

How iOS Updates Are Delivered

iOS updates are delivered in two main ways:

  • Over-the-air (OTA): This is where you get a notification on your iPhone or iPad letting you know an update is available. You can choose to download and install it right away or later.OTA updates allow you to get new iOS versions without connecting to a computer.
  • Through iTunes: Connecting your device to a computer with iTunes will also check for updates. You can then download and install the latest iOS update through iTunes.

Apple has made OTA updates the default method, but iTunes is still helpful for significant updates or issues with OTA downloads.

Reasons to Keep Your iPhone/iPad Updated

Here are some of the key reasons why you should keep your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch updated with the latest iOS version possible:

  • New features: Major iOS releases include exciting new capabilities like Dark Mode, widgets on the home screen, improved Maps, and more. Staying up-to-date lets you access the latest innovations.
  • Security patches: Apple releases frequent iOS updates to patch vulnerabilities and improves security. Running older iOS versions leaves you more exposed to potential risks.
  • Bug fixes: Nothing’s perfect, and Apple uses iOS updates to address bugs and glitches in the operating system, built-in apps, and functionality.
  • App support: Developers update their apps to support the latest iOS features and frameworks. Using older iOS versions can result in app incompatibility issues.
  • Performance improvements: Optimization and speed boosts are common additions in iOS updates. Your device will feel faster and more responsive on the latest iOS.

Updating your iPhone, iPad, or iPod with the newest iOS delivers significant benefits. However, interruptions during the update process can halt your ability to access these improvements.

Why Your iOS Update May Get Stuck or Paused

Several different factors can cause an iOS update to become stalled or interrupted mid-installation:

Insufficient Storage Space

The iOS update package file is usually 2-4 GB. If your device is low on free storage space, the update download may be paused because there is no room to finish the installation. Clearing space or utilizing external storage can get things moving again.

Connection Issues

A weak cellular signal or unreliable WiFi network can disrupt the update process during download or installation. To improve the chance of success, move closer to the router or wait until you have a strong cellular connection.

App Issues

Problematic apps that aren’t fully compatible with the iOS update can sometimes interfere with the installation. Restarting your device or removing bad apps may help resolve these conflicts.

Power Problems

The iOS update process requires your iPhone or iPad battery to be charged above 50%. An unexpected device shutdown or disconnecting from power mid-install could lead to freezing or errors. Keep your device plugged in during updates.

Jailbroken Devices

Jailbroken iPhones and iPads contain software modifications that often prevent successful iOS installations. You may need to remove the jailbreak before attempting to update.

Siri Pausing Downloads

If you use a Siri voice command to start an iOS update download, the assistant will automatically pause it once the device locks. Unlocking and resuming may fix things.

Miscellaneous Bugs

Like any software process, iOS updates can randomly encounter generic bugs and glitches that stall progress. Cancelling and retrying, restarting your device, or factory resetting as a last resort can help.

Suppose an iOS update gets stuck for an extended period. In that case, your iPhone or iPad will typically detect the failure and automatically roll back changes to restore the previous working iOS version. This prevents bricking or unusable devices.

Fixing a Paused or Stuck iOS Update

Fixing a Paused or Stuck iOS Update

Now that you know some of the potential reasons an iOS update can become paused or interrupted, here are suggested solutions to get it successfully installed:

1. Check Storage Space

Go to Settings > General > iPhone/iPad Storage to view available space. The iOS update file size is listed at the top. If space is low, delete apps, photos, videos, and music to free up space.

Also, manage and clear clutter from iCloud storage if you’re getting “not enough iCloud storage” errors. Streaming media rather than downloading it locally can help minimize storage use in the future.

If your device supports it, external USB flash drives or SD storage expansion are other ways to add more available capacity.

2. Get a Better Internet Connection

Slow or unstable internet access while downloading or installing iOS can lead to failure.

For WiFi networks, move closer to the router, turn off VPN connections, or try switching the wireless channel for less interference. Ethernet cables offer faster, more reliable speeds as well.

If using cellular data, turn off WiFi and move near a window or outdoors for better signal strength. Disable LTE and use 3G networks instead if coverage is poor.

3. Close Problematic Apps

Apps that are incompatible, corrupted, or contain bugs sometimes block successful iOS updates.

Try closing all apps before checking for a new iOS update. Force-quit anything that’s acting sluggish, too. Delete and reinstall badly behaving apps if needed.

Turning the device off and on can also clear app issues before initiating the update.

4. Update Apps and Restore Data

Ensure your apps are updated to the latest versions supporting the new iOS. Developers often release compatibility updates alongside iOS releases.

You can update all apps manually or turn on automatic updates in the App Store settings. It is also wise to back up your data to iCloud before updating.

If you’re stuck, a full factory reset will wipe out all content and settings but guarantee app and software stability for a fresh iOS install. Just be sure to restore your data backup afterward.

5. Charge Battery Above 50%

The entire iOS update process requires your iPhone or iPad to have at least 50% battery charge remaining. If your device dies mid-install, the update can pause indefinitely.

Plug your device in throughout the download and installation. Disable auto-lock so the screen stays active. Also, close battery-draining apps like cameras, GPS, and streaming video.

Keeping the iPhone or iPad battery healthy by avoiding damage and excessive heat and performing occasional calibration cycles also promotes stability.

6. Remove Jailbreak Modifications

Jailbroken iOS devices contain modified software and unauthorized changes that often block official updates from installing correctly.

You’ll need to remove and restore the original system files before new iOS versions can be installed over the air. Work with the jailbreak developer community for the proper steps based on your iOS version and device.

Reverting to a clean, non-jailed device is advised for prompt access to the latest iOS updates and features. Back up your data first!

7. Retry, Download, and Install

Once you’ve addressed any storage, app, power, or connectivity issues, try downloading and installing the iOS update again.

Delete the partly-finished download file first since restarting a failed update often causes the same error. Starting fresh improves the success rate.

Be patient; download times vary based on update size and internet speeds. The installation also takes 10-20 minutes on average to complete.

8. Remove and Reinsert SIM Card

As a last resort, removing and reinserting your iPhone’s SIM card can give a fresh start that resolves stuck iOS updates.

Power down the iPhone, eject the SIM tray, remove the SIM card, place it back in, and restart your device. After this reset, retry checking for the iOS update.

This may help recover lost connections with your cellular provider that prevent installations from completing.

9. Contact Apple Support

If you still can’t successfully install an iOS update after trying these solutions, you may need to contact Apple support directly for additional troubleshooting help.

Apple offers technical assistance with iOS update issues via phone, chat, email, and in-store Genius Bar appointments. You can also make an appointment at your local Apple store or call Apple care experts directly for personalized diagnostic and repair options.

Be ready to provide your device details, iOS version, and a full explanation of the update issue you’re experiencing. If software fixes aren’t enough, onsite or mail-in repairs are possible.

Stay on Stable WiFi and Cellular Networks

Download and install iOS updates only when connected to reliable high-speed WiFi or cellular solid data. Avoid public networks that could drop connection mid-update.

Check for outage alerts from your ISP or cell provider that could disrupt service. If your signal strength is poor, use a network extender.

Close All Apps Before Updating

Be sure to fully close out of any open apps before tapping Download and Install on an iOS update. Apps running in the background can interfere with system-level changes.

Double-click the Home button and swipe up on all apps first. Then, for a clean slate, force-quit anything that’s unresponsive.

Maintain Adequate Storage Space

iOS updates require at least 2-4GB of free storage space on your iPhone or iPad to download and install fully. Regularly manage space by offloading unused apps, photos, and videos.

If you are constantly low on local storage, upgrade to a model with more built-in capacity. Utilizing external storage can also help.

Update Apps to Current Versions

Developers release updates to optimize apps for new iOS versions. Check the App Store manually or enable automatic updates to ensure app compatibility before updating.

Deleting and reinstalling outdated problem apps can also increase iOS update stability. Backup data first if needed.

Avoid Jailbreaking iOS Devices.

Jailbroken iPhones and iPads contain modified software that can interfere with official iOS updates. Avoid tampering with system files if you want reliable over-the-air updates.

Backup Data Before Updating

Before installing an iOS update, make sure you have a current iCloud or iTunes backup of your iPhone or iPad data. This provides a restore point in case of significant issues.

To ensure backup integrity, double-check that essential photos, documents, messages, and app data are synced successfully.

Stay Plugged In During Install

Even if your iPhone or iPad shows a 50%+ charge, it’s wise to keep it connected to power throughout the entire iOS update process. This prevents the device from powering down unexpectedly mid-install.

Disable auto-lock so the screen stays active—Also, close battery-draining apps like streaming video or GPS navigation.

Install at Home on Weekends

Triggering a major iOS download and update is best done at home connected to your WiFi. Weekends tend to be lower risk times for disruptions.

Avoid attempting to update on the go or during the workweek when you can’t afford interruptions. Patience and the proper environment prevent many stalled updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my iOS update keep pausing itself?

The most likely culprits are insufficient storage space, poor internet connectivity, incompatible apps, low battery levels, or background Siri commands putting downloads on hold.

Is it safe to delete a paused iOS update and restart it?

Yes, deleting the partly downloaded file and starting the iOS update again from scratch is perfectly safe. This often resolves stalled progress.

Can I resume a paused iOS download?

Unfortunately, resuming a paused or failed iOS update rarely works. It’s better to delete and start the incomplete download from the beginning.

Should I factory reset if an iOS update is stuck?

Factory resetting your iPhone or iPad can help eliminate any underlying software gremlins preventing a successful install. Just be sure to back up your data first!

How can I tell if I have enough storage for the iOS update?

Go to Settings > General > iPhone/iPad Storage to see your available space compared to the pending iOS update file size. Delete unnecessary apps, photos, videos, and music to free up space.


Handling a paused, interrupted, or stalled iOS update can be frustrating but solvable. Issues like insufficient storage, poor network connections, power problems, and app troubles are generally the culprits. In today’s digital age, the security of your personal and sensitive data  Deleting the incomplete download and carefully trying the installation again with optimal conditions usually get things back on track. Staying patient, prepared, and proactively preventing frozen updates leads to smoother installation of the tremendous new iOS features and updates that Apple releases.

Roman Moss

Roman Moss works in business development and regularly contributes to blogs around the web with advice, tips, and strategies for small business marketing and promotion. Even when he’s not in the office Jake is thinking about new marketing tactics and techniques. He just can’t get enough!

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