When my iOS has an update it downloads then spends a long, long time "Preparing Update..." before completing the install. Generally tens of minutes and often longer than half an hour or so (haven't precisely measured). If I disconnect from WiFi it pauses.

What is iOS doing during this "Preparing Update" phase and why does it require a WiFi connection?

Is there anything I can do to make it possible offline or faster so wifi interruption is less of a factor in getting it installed (which is often a problem when tethering via other devices, traveling, etc)?


  • Do you also use Mac computers? If so you could look at Content caching to speed up software installation on your iPhone, iPad, Mac etc. As for the fact it pauses when on Wi-Fi, that's because an iOS upgrade (and any large update) cannot be downloaded via a cellular connection - it must be connected to the internet via Wi-Fi etc instead. And this is relevant because the process of preparing an update actually includes downloading file(s) from Apple's servers.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 1:30
  • I always make sure to not be travelling etc to give the updating device a stable wifi connection.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 5:15


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