I noticed a strange thing since updating iOS to 5.1.

Pretty much none of the apps I buy or update get installed instantly. They are often left hanging in "Waiting..." mode for several hours until they get installed. I can stop the "Waiting..." process by removing the app and trying to install it again, but it still waits for a while until it installs.

This never happened before as apps used to get installed instantly. Is this normal in newer iOS version or is there something wrong?

PS. This is happening on WiFi.

7 Answers 7


I had the same problem after upgrading to iOS 5.1. In addition to the issues you mentioned, the Music app got really slow after start up, taking up to 10 seconds to respond to my taps and touch gestures.

As I couldn’t find a simple solution to the problem, I ended up restoring my iPhone to factory defaults (this is basically a clean iOS 5.1 install) and started over. This fixed my problem.

Update: Seems like there is a workaround:

If you’re trying to install a handful of iOS apps and your entire home screen is filled with app icons labeled “Waiting…” without any of the progress bars moving, downloading, or installing, you can fix this fairly easily with the two methods below. Try the first method before going nuclear with a reboot though:

Tap a single app icon so that it says “Paused” and then tap that app icon again to see if it resumes downloading If pausing and resuming didn’t work: Reboot the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch You may notice a related issue where apps from the App Store will say they’re “Installing” though they aren’t appearing on the iOS home screen yet, that is also resolved with a reboot.

It’s not totally clear what causes this, though it seems that a lot of people are encountering the problem right now when moving from an old iPad to a new one. It could be that Apple’s servers are just overloaded with downloads from the App Store, or it could be a bug.

  • The issue has gone away on itself I think. I cannot pinpoint the moment or action that may have caused it. Anyway, thanks.
    – Michal M
    May 15, 2012 at 16:05

Turn off your iOS device with a total shutdown, then boot up again. That worked for me; my downloads reset and restarted.


Had the same problem. Try the usual: restart iOS device, sign out and back into the iStore, sync with iTunes - but nothing helped, then I found following solution on 'iOS apps “could not be purchased at this time”' and the deleting of the downloads.*.sqlitedb helped.


This problem seems to have appeared recently (maybe after the iOS 5.1 update).

I think it is related to the amount of free storage space left as on my iPad with 3 GB left this does not happen and on my iPhone it happens when I have very large (1GB to 1.7GB) applications updating.

Syncing the iPhone with the computer solves the issue until the next update. Freeing some space seems to solve the issue until the iPhone gets cluttered again.

  • Free space can't be the reason as my iPhone has 16GB free at the moment.
    – Michal M
    Mar 21, 2012 at 9:38
  • 1
    I don't think it's free space. I have a suspicion it's to do with the authorization of your account/credentials. Try logging out of the App Store on your phone. Then log out of the App Store in iTunes. Connect your device and then log into the App Store in iTunes and then authorize your system (it will notify you that your system is already authorized). Finally log into the App Store on your device and disconnect it. Reboot it. Then try again. See if the problem persists.
    – user10355
    Mar 21, 2012 at 9:43

OSX Daily had a good blog post on that. http://osxdaily.com/2012/03/17/fix-ios-apps-stuck-on-waiting/


I have found that putting your phone into airplane mode and then turning it back off will help this once it has to be done again next app update or install. Mine also says I have already purchased this app please sync if I have problems


Do you have to have service? because my iPhone wont install the update it ceaps saying I'm not connected to the Internet but I am!

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