iOS Stuck On Update Requested? (Do This First!)

There’s nothing more irritating when you’re trying to update your iPhone only to find yourself dealing with iOS Stuck on Update Requested error message.

There are multiple reasons why the iOS update could get stuck, but the reason may not always be crystal clear.

If you are in such a situation, don’t worry. We have a step-by-step process of systematically working through the issue so that you can get your iPhone updated with the latest and greatest iOS version.

What Does Update Requested Mean?

Simply put, “Update Requested” means your iPhone (or iPad) is requesting an update from the server to download the firmware.

You may get Update Requested because Apple’s servers are probably overloaded with a lot of people wanting to download the update.

Other factors like a weak Wi-Fi signal or not enough storage for the update could also cause this problem.

Now that you know why your iPhone says “Update Requested”, it should be easier to troubleshoot the problem. Let’s get to the fixes.

Step 1: Check Wi-Fi Connectivity

In order to deliver the update to your device, you need to be connected to the internet. The process of installing the new iOS update involves the following:

  1. Request the available update
  2. Connect to the server(s) that hosts the update
  3. Download it from said servers
  4. Unpack the update file and install it on your device.

However, if you cannot get past the second step of requesting it or the third step of downloading it (fully) the update will not happen.

For the entire process to occur, you will need to make sure that you are connected to a strong Wi-Fi signal during installation.

iOS Wi-Fi connection
Make sure you’re connected to a strong Wi-Fi network. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

If there is no internet connection, then the request attempted to be sent out to query Apple’s servers for the update will never go through. And the device will continue to inform you that the update is just requested.

If the Wi-Fi signal is weak, it may not download the file fully, and your device will not be able to proceed to the installation stage.

You may be wondering why Wi-Fi is necessary and not a straight connection via mobile data is needed.

While you can permit your device to download the update via mobile data, most people do not have unlimited data, and the update files can be quite large.

Downloading it via Wi-Fi greatly increases the chances of the downloaded completing fully and quickly so the update can be installed.

Step 2: Hard Reset Your Device

If you are connected to Wi-Fi accordingly, but your device is still stuck trying to query the update, you should try rebooting your phone.

The mantra of “turn it off and on again” may sound cheesy, but it is highly effective for resolving many small nuisances like this one.

Depending on the type of iPhone device you have, rebooting it is done in slightly different ways. Here’s how to restart an iPhone.

If you have an iPhone X or a later model you will need to:

  1. Press and hold down the Side button along with either the Volume Up or Down button
  2. This will display the slider on your phone’s screen. Drag it all the way to the right to shut down your device
  3. Give it a few seconds after shut down, then press and hold the Side button until the Apple Logo appears. Your phone will restart shortly.

If your device is an iPhone 8, iPhone SE, or an earlier model the process is done by the following:

  1. Hold the side or top button on your device down until the slider appears on the screen
  2. Drag the slider to the right to power down your device
  3. Press the side or top button down and hold until the device turns back on

When prompted for an available update, attempt to request it again to see if it succeeds.

Step 3: Delete Software Update

If you are still not successfully installing your update, the request your device received may be corrupted. To initiate another request, you will need to delete the existing update. This can be done by:

  1. Navigating to the General tab on your Settings menu
  2. Select iPhone Storage from the tab list
  3. A Delete Update button should become available. Tap on it and confirm the update has been removed
  4. Navigate back to the General tab again, but this time select Software Update. This will attempt to download the update again

Once the update loads again, try installing it and see if you still get the Update Requested message.

Step 4: Free Up Storage Space on Your iPhone

As noted earlier, update files can be sizable. This means that your device needs the space to download it.

iPhone storage bar
iPhone storage bar. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

It’s possible that your process attempted to download your update but was unable to do so because the installation file would not fit.

It is important to make sure that your device has ample room. Sometimes they fill up much quicker than we realize.

To safely assume an update will load you should try to always keep at least 7 GBs free on your device. You can check your space situation by:

  1. Going to the General tab from your Settings menu
  2. Checking under iPhone Storage to see the display meter that shows you how much total room your device’s storage has and how much space is empty
  3. If you find that the device is too full, see what you can remove to give yourself some storage room.
  4. Restart your device as per the instructions in step 2 and try installing the update again

If your iPhone is running out of space, we’ve got a great guide that will show you how to free up space on your iPhone. You should check it out!

Step 5: Reset iPhone Settings

If you have reached this step and still cannot load the update, the installer itself may be having a problem. The best way to get it back to proper form is to reset your device’s settings.

This process will leave all of the data intact but will reset the device’s settings to their factory defaults. This can be done via the following actions:

1. Go to the General tab from the Settings menu.

General option in iOS settings. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

2. Tap Transfer Or Reset iPhone.

Transfer or reset iPhone to fix download requested problem
Transfer or Reset iPhone settings. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

3. Choose Reset.

Reset iPhone to fix download requested issue
Reset option in iOS settings. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

4. Select Reset All Settings.

iOS reset all settings to fix iOS stuck on update requested
iOS Reset All Settings. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

5. Enter your device’s passcode. Then, tap Reset All Settings again to confirm your intent.

You should be aware that this will require you to reconnect any previously connected Bluetooth devices, re-enter any Wi-Fi passwords, reset battery-saving settings, and adjust your wallpaper once you have loaded the update.

We are hopeful that your issue was resolved before you got to this step, but your last line of action will require you to put your iPhone into DFU mode (Device Firmware Update).

Step 6: Put Your iPhone In DFU Mode

This will restore your phone to the deepest factory settings. Before taking this step it is imperative that you back up your iPhone.

That way you can save all of your data, contacts, apps not installed at the initial device purchase, pictures, media, and messages.

Put iPhone in DFU Mode to fix update requested
Put your iPhone in DFU Mode. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Once you are satisfied that everything is secure, you can proceed with putting the iPhone into DFU mode. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Connect your device to your computer and then open iTunes (or Finder if you are running anything later than macOS Catalina 10.15
  2. Press the Side button and Home button at the same time for 8 seconds
  3. Release the Side button after 8 seconds, but continue to hold the Home button down. Your device should appear on iTunes or Finder at this time
  4. If you successfully got the device into DFU mode, your screen display will be black
  5. Use iTunes or Finder to restore your phone at this time

This should perform a firmware update and load the latest update for your device.

Final Thoughts on Update Requested

We are sure that at some point in this process you were able to figure out a way to complete your phone’s update.

Now you know the entire process from the most benign to most invasive steps to how to fix iOS stuck on update requested problem. 

If you have any feedback or questions, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. 

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially with smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work.

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