Top 7 Fixes to iPhone Stuck on Preparing Update iOS 17

iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS 17/17.1? This guide will tell you why iPhone stuck on preparing update and how to solve this problem.


By Lena / Updated on March 5, 2024

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Problem: iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS 17


iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS 17

Trying to install the latest iOS 17 but it gets stuck on preparing update. Why is my iPhone preparing update for so long? Please help!

- Question from Apple Community

New iOS brings new features and fixes for bugs. Therefore, most of us would install the update immediately to experience updated iOS. In most cases, the update is easy to do and can complete in 10 minutes. However, sometimes the update does not go as smoothly as we expect. iPhone stuck on preparing update is one of the common issues that many users complain about.

iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS 17

This iPhone stuck on preparing update issue can happen on any iPhone. Some people say that new iPhone stuck on preparing update during setup, while others say the problem occurs when updating manually. Which is your case? Well, in either case, you can follow this guide to get it resolved.

Have you backed up your iPhone? There is always a risk of data loss when upgrading to new iOS. You’d better backup iPhone before upgrading to iOS 17 in case of data loss!

How long does iPhone preparing update take?

When the progress bar doesn't move for a long time, you may wonder: how long should preparing update take on iPhone? You'll know the answer to this question after you know what does Preparing Update mean.

Preparing Update is one of the steps of iOS update. In general, iOS update involves three steps: download the update file, prepare for update and the actual iOS installation.

When the download is complete, your iPhone will do some preparation for the installation and you will see Preparing Update... under the progress bar. It will prepare and configure the downloaded files. After that, your iPhone will start installing the update.

Usually, the preparing update process should only take a few minutes to complete. However, some unknown issues may cause this step to not go smoothly. If your iPhone stays in this step for a long time, you can take some action to fix this iPhone stuck on preparing update problem.

Why is my iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS 17?

It is difficult to determine the exact cause of this problem. Below are some of the possible reasons behind iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS 17.4/17.

● Apple server is down. iPhone stuck on preparing update issue will occur when there are problems with the server.
● There are too many files. This usually happens when you upgrade iOS versions out of order. For example, from iOS 14 to iOS 17. Your iPhone needs to deal with too much content and thus it will take longer.
● Poor Wi-Fi connection. iOS update requires stable Wi-Fi to work. When the Wi-Fi is poor, you will meet the new iPhone stuck on preparing update during setup issue.
● Lack of available storage. There is not enough storage space for a smooth upgrade.
● Unknown bugs. The bugs of the existing iOS may also cause iPhone stuck on preparing update problem.
● Physical damage. Hardware problems can interrupt the update process. In this case, you should bring your iPhone to an Apple Store to get it fixed.

How to fix iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS 17.4/17

What to do if iPhone is stuck on preparing update? Don’t worry too much! Here are some of the working methods that can help you fix iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS 17 issue.

Tip 1. Check Apple System Status

Apple Server stores and provides iOS update for all iOS devices. However, it can go down sometimes, especially when there are too many iOS device owners requesting the update at the same time. Maybe you can wait a few hours before doing the update.

When you find iPhone stuck on preparing update, you can go to Apple System Status page ( to check the condition of Apple server.

Apple System Status

Tip 2. Refresh Wi-Fi connection

You can download iOS update via cellular data or Wi-Fi. But the truth is that it is easier to update your iPhone via a Wi-Fi connection. Anyway, you should make sure there is a high network speed, otherwise, you will meet new iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS issue.

There are many reasons for network problems. You can try these steps to get the Internet working on your iPhone.

  • Restart the rooter.
  • Turn on and off Airplane mode to refresh the connection.
  • Reset network settings to factory defaults. Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings > Enter your passcode to confirm.

Reset Network Settings

📝 It can clean up any faulty configurations and fix network issues. Please note that all network-related settings will be removed including the Wi-Fi passcodes.

Tip 3. Check storage space

iOS update requires enough storage space to work smoothly. When you find iPhone stuck on preparing update, you can go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to check the available space.

  • If you using an older iOS version, you need to make about 2GB of free space for the installation.
  • You can delete unused apps, large files in apps, old messages/videos/photos, or any unnecessary files to clean up the storage.

Free up storage space

Tip 4. Force restart iPhone

To get rid of any potential glitches that caused iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS 17, you can force restart your iPhone. It will not erase any existing data. It’s a safe and useful solution for most iOS-related issues.

Force restart iPhone

● Force restart iPhone 8 and later with Face ID :

Quickly press and release the Volume Up button > Quickly press and release the Volume Down button > Press and hold the Side/Power button until the Apple logo appears.

● Force restart iPhone 7/7 Plus:

Press and hold the Power button and Volume Down button together > Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

● Force restart iPhone 6s, SE and earlier with Home button:

Hold down the Home button and the Top (or Side) button at the same time > Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

Tip 5. Delete the previous update file

You will meet iPhone stuck on preparing update issue when the downloaded update is corrupted. In this case, you can delete the downloaded update file and then re-download it.

  • Go to Settings app > General > iPhone Storage.
  • Wait for a few seconds and find the downloaded update file.

Software update file

  • Tap Delete Update > Tap Delete Update again to confirm.
  • After that, you can restart the software update.

Tip 6. Update your iPhone via iTunes

If the above methods cannot help you fix iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS 17 issue, you can try to update your iPhone via iTunes or Finder. It’s a good choice if you are having problems with your iPhone network connection.

On Windows PC & Mac with macOS Mojave or earlier

  • Download and install the latest version of iTunes.
  • Connect iPhone to computer via USB cable.
  • Click the Device tab > Go to Summary > Click Update.

Update iPhone via iTunes

On Mac with macOS Catalina or later

  • Connect your iPhone to computer via USB cable.
  • Open Finder > Select your iPhone from the left sidebar.
  • Select General > Click Check for Update to update your iPhone.

Update iPhone via Finder

Tip 7. Put your iPhone in Recovery Mode

If you still cannot update your iPhone successfully, then you put iPhone in recovery mode. Recovery mode can help you fix iOS errors by updating or restoring your iPhone. Below are the detailed steps.

  • Launch iTunes and plug in your iPhone.
  • Force restart iPhone to go to the recovery mode.
  • When iTunes recognizes your iPhone in recovery mode, you will see a pop-up window.
  • There are two options: Update and Restore. Choose Update and it will reinstall your iOS.

Recovery Mode Update

If you choose Restore, it will delete all existing data and update iOS to the latest version. It is recommended to use this function when the update does not work. If Update does not work, then you have no choice but to restore your device. In this case, make a backup in advance. You can backup your iPhone with iTunes.

Backup iPhone with iTunes

iTunes only supports full backup. If you just want to backup some important files, you can turn to FoneTool. With this tool, you can preview and select the files you want to backup.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
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Selective Backup

Final words

When you find iPhone stuck on preparing update iOS 17.4/17, you can try to troubleshoot the factors that are causing the problem. If none of them work, you can rely on iTunes to update your iPhone. Anyway, it's best to back up your iPhone before updating. In this way, you do not have to worry about losing any important data after the update.