iOS Bugs: All apps stuck on "Waiting" to install

iOS Bugs: All apps stuck on

After updating to iOS 5.0.1 via iTunes and rebooting, I found all the App Store apps installed on my iPhone were suddenly waiting to download. That's right. All of them. Just "Waiting". Unable to launch.

I tried force-quitting the App Store app. I tried rebooting. I tried resetting. I logged into and out of the App Store app. I checked if there were any iTunes Store downloads, like podcasts, that might have gotten "stuck" (there weren't). I checked if any large apps like Navigon were slowly -- very slowly -- downloading (they didn't appear to be.) I tried re-syncing with iTunes on my desktop (the apps came back, still waiting).

I could still download new apps and those worked fine. They actually downloaded quickly, installed completely, and launched properly.

With 5 pages of apps, it's going to be a pain to delete them all and re-download them all one by one, but it's about the only option I have left right now.

Problem

  • All App Store apps show as "waiting" to install and can't be launched

Possible solutions

  • Stop any iTunes Store downloads that might have gotten stuck
  • Delete any big apps that might be clogging the install problem
  • Manually delete and re-install all App Store apps.

Note: Like I said, the first two didn't work for me but they were offered as potential fixes on Apple's discussion forums, so if you have the same or a similar problem, give them a try before you escalate to the last one.

If anyone else has figured out a better solution, let me know in comments!

Anthony

Anthony is an IT administrator, retro gamer, and accessory reviewer for iMore.

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There are 62 comments. Add yours.

Beau says:

Just a heads up - if this appears for some apps; if you've got Automatic Downloads turned on, but have it disabled over 3G; new apps will appear on your springboard with 'waiting' until you connect to WiFi or delete them,

jakeless.123 says:

This has happened on my iPod touch 4th gen that hasn't upgraded to 5.0.1. I think it may have something to due with the wireless sync.

N3L5ONMD says:

Yup, came across that too. I just kept iTunes opened and patiently waited. It appears as though they were queuing themselves up an preparing to install. After the "waiting to install" messages sat there for a bit my apps began to install like fireworks going off in sequence one after another.

Brian Bufalo says:

Same thing happened to me, not cool at all, hope there is a fix soon.

Brian Bufalo says:

Same thing happened to me, not cool at all, hope there is a fix soon.

rex450se says:

I thought the whole thing with the iPhone was "It just works"

Not says:

As I said above, this is just an OS bug with the AppStore app. That in combination with Automatic Downloads is causing this.

CrackBerry Bla1ze says:

This happened on my iPhone 4 but not on my iPhone 4S.

Djskeeskee69 says:

Re-sync... U can plug Ur phone into computer for them to
Update and install... The sync my have not finished or they didn't all download at the time u initially synced.

healerf18 says:

Same thing happened to me, and as Dj.....69 notes, resync'ing took care of the problem.

TechRumblings says:

TThat happened to me a few times with the betas. If I remember right, a wired sync and a reset fixed it, but I am not sure. The apps were all there, iOS was just confused.

TechRumblings says:

TThat happened to me a few times with the betas. If I remember right, a wired sync and a reset fixed it, but I am not sure. The apps were all there, iOS was just confused.

Briank84 says:

It happened to me as well. I deleted one app and reloaded it from the purchased items section in the AppStore and boom all the other apps started working again!

Daniel Waters says:

This happened to me and the only way I could fix it was to re-install iOS 5.0.1 and start again. Really annoying!

ASDFSD says:

ITS HAPPEN TO ME AFTER ANY RESTORE
TO SOLVE THAT
CONNECT YOUR IPHONE AND IN ITUNES REMOVE THE SYNS FROM APP
AND THEN SYNS APP AGAIN
SORRY FOR MY ENG :>

Danny Michel says:

don't worry about the english. you should be sorry about the double spacing and caps. this isn't your Facebook profile

Whisp says:

I just tapped the icons and they went from waiting to loading, then installed. Simple?

spanishcop says:

I think I'll stay on IOS 5.0 for now....Luckily I was reluctant to upgrade, now I'm glad I did.

OrionAntares#CB says:

You might try the OTA update instead of the full iTunes update like the author did. I didn't have any issues with the OTA update but i did see this same issue when I initially updated to iOS5 from iTunes just after release.

Hedwig Guerra says:

What worked for me was restoring via iTunes, because I had two apps no longer available in the App Store (Instapaper free and VLC). Guess the process got stuck on one of them.

Jessica Ramos Edholm says:

I had a similar problem but it was my books. I noticed all the covers were missing so I re synced them by deleting them all from the iPad and re syncing them. I ended up with all the covers showing but the line along the bottom of each one as if they were waiting to install. Took for ever to get them on the iPad. Several re boots and selecting each book manually instead of sync all books. Still don't think they are all synced...But I was too tired to keep trying.

Miccharles says:

My purchased books are gone and I still haven't found a way to sync them back. Same as Pages.

Faizalfaiz Othman says:

What happen if the apps your bought one is in "waiting" list? Do you need to buy for the 2nd time?

Anton Frost says:

Same for me. And the update was flawless. So in my case, the phone definitely "just works" and have not had any problems, battery or otherwise. Wish there was an HDMI adapter of some kind.

AP says:

You can actually purchase one from Apple. I believe it's about $40?

Bozotheclown says:

Just remember to take your bumper case off before you try to use it or you might find out the hard way it doesn't work with the bumper in place

Frederick Alfaro says:

most accessories don't work with cases thats why i love the incase slider both benefits of plastic and rubber and bottom section comes to connect to stuff and your still mostly protected

StaticFX says:

this happened 2 times (but only when i tried to update all at once)
All i did was go into the running apps, shut app store down... (sometimes a reboot in between) then start the app store back up.

MegletTX says:

I've had this happen multiple times since iOS 5. The first time was updated apps that seemed to have hung up installing. I don't know what it was I finally tried that got them to go, but two of them went and the third just managed to delete itself completely for my phone. This annoyed me to no end because it was GasCubby and I thought it was auto syncing online but it wasn't and I lost all my entries since January. Since then I've not had one completely delete itself but they seem to often get stuck installing. I think it has to be issues with the wireless iTunes sync so I'm thinking of turning it off for now as this is quite annoying to think you've got a new app or an updated app installed and find out in the middle of the day it really isn't (and then it gives you no end of trouble trying to make it install).

Ssj4_gokou21 says:

I had the same problem on my 4S on 5.0. I simply paused the ones causing the clog and allowed the others to finish. It ended up being Street Fighter IV was messing up the other 8

anon says:

I've had a similar situation except I update the app with problems. It updates but then in the App Store says it needs to be updated again. After about 3 updates of the same app it resolves itself. Seems to have started with iOS 5. Something not right in the app updating logic. Sometimes I wonder if the servers the phone is contacting are not in the right state.

anon says:

I've had a similar situation except I update the app with problems. It updates but then in the App Store says it needs to be updated again. After about 3 updates of the same app it resolves itself. Seems to have started with iOS 5. Something not right in the app updating logic. Sometimes I wonder if the servers the phone is contacting are not in the right state.

Roger says:

It happened to me. I just waited and eventually they installed.

Roger says:

It happened to me. I just waited and eventually they installed.

Not says:

Turn off your automatic sync for apps you download from various devices. This is a bug due to the new AppStore app in iOS5.0.1 which if you go into Updates and Purchased products, only apps not on the phone will display no matter which column button you press.

Dev says:

This happened to me a couple of times on iOS 5.0, not just on 5.0.1, but just to one or two apps, not all at once. In each case I had to delete and reinstall the offending app.

OrionAntares#CB says:

Not so many different phones in Apple's case. But as it turns out this issue did show up several times in beta so it's a known bug that I guess they couldn't solve in time for public release.

Anon says:

Try double click start button and turn off all apps that are running.

anon says:

I would hope they could prioritize the updates. Download the small ones first etc. Bag a bunch of them before any bandwidth issues with big boy games.

Patty says:

Yeah, it's worth cyilafring that Google didn't need to make any changes to their app submission policy. You submit it, it goes live, usually within the hour!

John C Vestal says:

This seems to me to be related to iTunes Match downloads (these apps are "behind" the iTunes Match downloads. Also, sync to iTunes with a USB cable may get this going again.

Alex Mackoul says:

Mine was stuck on installing for all the apps..

Miccharles says:

I had the same issue... And had to use option 3. Now my main issue is recovering my documents. I can't seem to get them to download or access them from anywhere. Has anyone else had that problem?

numetheus says:

Is there even an issue here? I had the same problem and realized it was because iTunes was downloading a bunch of my music. The apps installed as soon as the music was done downloading.

SpiceRak2 says:

When I discovered this bug, I tapped on each app that said "waiting". It put the app in "Paused" mode. Then I tapped a second time. The app would begin to download as normal. Hope this helps.

Poopingallday says:

You could just back it up and then restore it so you would save the data and all.

garyb says:

the same thing happened with my wifes 4s. we just left it for an hour or so and they all installed by themselves without messing with them

Evanpearcy says:

This is happening to me too. I had to get some profs to do a special reset to turn my phone on from this sleep mode and when it was done- all my apps were stuck on waiting

Zahrina Haitamin says:

I am macbook pro user and this had happened in my laptop once because the downloading got stucked because my wifi sucks. what I did is I pressed the button until every apps start to shake and there it appear an X button which allows me to delete it. Tadaaah, it works.
http://www.ipad-transfer.com/ipad-tips/delete-programs-not-been-download...
here's a link, it might helps. :D

Jeff says:

I think it is downloads stuck in iTunes. I have 4 podcasts that are stuck and will not finish downloading (it has been 3 days - I don't think it's gonna work). I even restored from iCloud. But my restore did not contain my settings for all my TV shows!!! The shows were there, but not my selections (as in, which shows load onto the iPad). So, there is definitely a bug (or several) here.

dmu says:

Had same problem and same solution as Jeff. 8 apps was stuck. Deleted some podcasts, that was waiting in download queue and the apps started downloading immediately.

Wally says:

Thanks Dmu... Deleted a stuck podcast and is working fine again.

andy says:

I had to reset all settings. This solved the problem.

Anthony says:

I had this same problem with an iPad 3/iPad 2 HD/iPad 3/whatever-you-want-to-call-it-today that my boss bought me for mobile development today. I had gone into the App Store's Purchased section and tried to install all of my apps at the same time.
What worked for me:
1. Click all of the "Waiting" apps to make them "Paused"
2. Go into Settings and turn off 4G and Wi-Fi. Wait 5 seconds. Turn on Wi-Fi only.
3. Click one Paused app, wait for it to finish downloading, click next Paused app, etc.
HTH,
Anthony.

Candice says:

Thank you!!!! I was having trouble with the apps and I didn't realize I had a podcast that wasn't downloading! Deleted it and now everything downloads! Thanks again!

stormer4 says:

Had the same problem with my iphone 4s. After downloading stuff on itunes on my laptop and synching it to my iphone, apps on my phone started to download again. I turned off automatic downloads and that did the trick. Make sure you still have your apps in the itunes library do before trying the steps below.
Here's how;
- First off you need to turn off automatic download on your device
In iphone 4s it's in Setting- Store- Automatic Downloads (notice the Automatically download new purchases including free made on other devices? sneaky sneaky apple).
- Delete all the applications that are stuck on waiting and loading on your device
- Go to itunes and put a check on all the apps you need. Make sure you check all the ones you do not want to be removed.
- Then resync it
Hope this helps..
Next delete

stormer4 says:

Had the same problem with my iphone 4s. After downloading stuff on itunes on my laptop and synching it to my iphone, apps on my phone started to download again. I turned off automatic downloads and that did the trick. Make sure you still have your apps in the itunes library do before trying the steps below. Here’s how; - First off you need to turn off automatic download on your device In iphone 4s it’s in Setting- Store- Automatic Downloads (notice the Automatically download new purchases including free made on other devices? sneaky sneaky apple). - Delete all the applications that are stuck on waiting and loading on your device - Go to itunes and put a check on all the apps you need. Make sure you check all the ones you do not want to be removed. - Then resync it
Hope this helps..

Lucas G says:

The problem for me was the iTunes Match, as it downloads the music to your phone and while it is downloading music, AppStore downloads are paused.
I disabled iTunes Match and it worked like a charm.

Cathy McKinney says:

I just got the top of line IPad air, downloaded 2games, now all aps are waiting, like 25 aps. Won't do anything, I can't even delete these aps, there is no x on aps to delete them. Only on the two games that did download can I delete. Even paid for games are waiting.???