What to do if your Apple iPhone is stuck on verifying update

Normally, your device will prompt an update notification if a new software update is available. And if that happens, you have an option to update your iPhone wirelessly. Installing an iOS update via over-the-air (wirelessly) is supposed to be done with a few taps. But things can go wrong and so you will just realize that your iPhone isn’t updating as it gets stuck on verifying update issue.

If you’re dealing with the same issue while trying to install the latest iOS version on your iPhone, then this post might be able to help you. Read on to learn why your iPhone gets stuck on “Verifying Update” and how to fix it. In here, we will consider every possibility and rule them out one by one until we can determine what the real issue is and solve it.

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Troubleshooting Apple iPhone that’s stuck on ‘Verifying update’

Before you start troubleshooting, check your phone’s memory status and make sure that the available storage space is good enough to allocate the iOS update file. If necessary, free up some space by deleting old and unused files and apps from your iPhone storage. To view the current memory status, go to Settings-> General-> iPhone Storage menu and see the amount of available storage. Consider freeing up space if the available storage is lower than 1GB.

If your iPhone shows ample of storage space but still can’t install new update, try the following procedures to rule out other culprits from within your iPhone software.

First solution: Force restart your iPhone.

Random firmware crashes are the usually the main reason as to why a device would suddenly stop working and gets stuck. And more often than not, minor firmware crashes resulting to a stuck screen are resolved by a forced restart. As the name implies, it works by forcibly shutting down the phone system and thereby allows it to reboot. This does not affect any saved information on the phone’s internal memory, so it’s definitely a safe process to start with.

The steps to force restart an iPhone vary depending on the iPhone model in use. Refer to these steps to force restart your iPhone.

On an iPhone X or later, a forced restart is done this way:

  1. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.
  2. Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then press and hold the Side/Power button until the Apple logo appears.

On an iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8 and 8 Plus, performing a forced restart is carried out with these steps:

  1. Simultaneously press and hold the Power button and the Volume Down button for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Apple logo appears.

On an iPhone 6 or earlier, follow these steps to force restart your device:

  1. Press and hold the Power button and Home button simultaneously.
  2. Then release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

Allow the phone to finish booting up and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network. Once it’s connected, head back to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu and retry downloading the update. If it’s still stuck on ‘Verifying update’ issue, try the next procedure.

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Second solution: Delete the iOS update file from your iPhone.

It is possible that some segments of the update files has already been downloaded but not completed. As a result, the update gets corrupted. In that case, the corrupted update file must be deleted first.

If you’ve initially downloaded the software update and gets stuck on Verifying Update, delete the iOS update file from your iPhone and retry downloading the update again. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.
  4. Find and tap on the update file. It should be listed among your iPhone apps.
  5. Tap to select the iOS update file then tap the Delete Update button.

After deleting the update file, reboot your iPhone then head back to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu and retry downloading and installing the update.

If that doesn’t do any good, proceed to the next method.

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Third solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

The next things you should rule out are network connectivity errors. If your iPhone is experiencing random internet problems from slow browsing to intermittent or unstable Internet access, there’s a higher chance for the OTA update to fail. To resolve the problem, performing the old Airplane mode trick can help. Here’s how it works:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap Airplane Mode.
  3. Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn it ON. The phone’s wireless radios are all turned off.
  4. While Airplane Mode is turned on, reboot your iPhone.
  5. Then head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  6. Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn the feature OFF again. Wireless features and services are then reactivated.

Reconnect your iPhone to your Wi-Fi network and once the internet connection is restored, retry downloading the software update.

Fourth solution: Turn off Restrictions.

If restrictions are enabled on your iPhone, there’s a tendency for downloads to be interrupted. To make sure that this isn’t causing your iPhone to get stuck on verifying update, turn off restrictions from your iPhone settings. This feature is accessible through different menus depending on the iOS version of your iPhone.

If your iPhone is running on iOS 11 or earlier version, follow these steps to turn off or disable restrictions:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap on Restrictions. If the feature is disabled, it should say OFF and the option to Enable Restrictions is active. If the feature is enabled, it shows the opposite.
  4. Tap the option to Disable Restrictions.
  5. Enter your Restrictions passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Then tap on Disable Restrictions.
  7. Enter Restrictions passcode again to confirm.

If your iPhone is running on iOS 12 or later, follow these steps to manage and disable restrictions:

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Enter your passcode to continue.
  5. Then tap the switch to Turn Off Content & Privacy Restrictions.

After turning off restrictions, give your iPhone another restart then retry updating.

Fifth solution: Reset network settings.

Incorrect network configurations on the phone can also trigger occurrence of this issue. This is when performing network settings reset is necessary. In this process, incorrect network settings will be erased and the default network options and values are restored. Server settings and other relevant information are also restored to their default configuration thus any associated errors are obliterated. To reset network settings on your iPhone, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Home screen then tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Choose the option to Reset network settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your device.

The phone will then start clearing your current network configurations and then restore the network defaults. After the reset, the device restarts automatically. Just wait for it to finish rebooting and then you can set up and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network.

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Last resort: Update your iPhone through iTunes.

If all else fails, iTunes can be deemed as alternative. Since the update won’t download or install via wirelessly, you can try implementing the update manually. To get started, you will need to secure a Windows or Mac computer with the latest iTunes app installed. The computer must also have stable Internet connection and sufficient memory space to allocate the update file. Once everything is set, proceed to these steps to start updating your iPhone through iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the original or Apple-supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  2. Start up iTunes if it doesn’t load automatically. Be sure to use the latest version of iTunes app to avoid system conflicts.
  3. Wait for iTunes to sync with your iPhone.
  4. Your iPhone will appear in iTunes once they’re synchronized. Click the icon of your iPhone in iTunes.
  5. Navigate to the Summary section.
  6. If prompted with iTunes commands to Restore or Update your iPhone in iTunes, select Update then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions.
  7. Wait for iTunes to download and install the latest iOS version for your device.

To avoid corrupting iOS, don’t disconnect your iPhone from the computer unless the update is completely installed. You will be prompted with a relevant message once the update is complete. By then you can disconnect your iOS device from the computer then reboot it to apply the recent system changes.

Still stuck on verifying update?

If your iPhone still gets stuck on “verifying update” after exhausting all possible solutions including the above procedures, contact Apple Support to escalate the problem for further assistance. There might be an ongoing issue with Apple’s update server like when it’s congested, unavailable, or experiencing technical difficulties at the moment. In that case, there’s not much can be done on your end but to wait until the update server is back up and running. By then you can reattempt to update your iPhone software. You can also report the issue to your carrier for other recommendations.

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