iOS 7.1.2 update freezing on you? There's a reboot fix for that!

Apple released the iOS 7.1.2 update earlier today and it seems for some people trying to install via Settings > General > Software Update, things are freezing before they finish. Over-the-air (OTA), on-device updates are typically the easiest, fastest way to update, but freezes are the absolute exception to that rule. So, how can you fix?

The answer seems to be a hard reboot. Just hold down the Home button and Sleep/Wake button, just like you would to take a screenshot, only don't let go. Keep holding them down until the screen turns off and then comes back on again with the Apple logo.

When it's done, go to Settings > General > About and make sure you're on iOS 7.1.2. If not, repeat the update process.

If your iOS 7.1.2 update is frozen, if you're progress bar isn't showing any progress, give the hard reboot a try and let me know if it works for you. And if you come across a better solution, let me know about that too!

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

198 Comments
  • iOS 7.1.1 has been either rebooting or respringing a lot recently. So, during the update my phone went to black. I did a hard reboot and went back to Software Update and continued the update. I eventually was able to install the software update. I have a 64GB iPhone 5.
  • hello i hope you can help me , i tried the ios7.1.2 update but my phone stuck on the recovery mode , i tried to restore it but then i need a back up which is not working, i also tried to leave the phone for 15 minutes as i read somewhere that it comes out of this mode after 15 min but no use.. i can't afford to loose all the data on my iphone please give a solution, thank you
  • Try a wired connection to iTunes on your desktop/laptop.
  • Hi there I updated my iPhone 5 on Saturday everything was fine till later that night when my phone battery had dead then when I got it back on after charging it. It wouldn't let me do anything with it it's completely frozen n I can't use or turn it off!! Help me please it has all my wedding things on there which I need :-(
  • It worked for me. I waited about ten min after it froze and did a hard reset. Sent from the iMore App
  • Worked for me too. I set the update in motion overnight, in the morning I still saw a progress bar with about 25% progress. Did the two-finger salute, phone immediately rebooted, with 7.1.2 in place.
  • Hey just want to know if you lost the memory of your iphone
  • No memory loss. All data present.
    I did ensure I'd performed a back up beforehand to be safe, but it wasn't needed.
  • what is hard reset and reboot?
  • Thanks! I was really worried I had bricked my phone but the hard reset worked for me and no data lost.
  • Always reboot your iDevices BEFORE performing these iOS updates / upgrades to avoid these issues. iPhone 4s, iPod Touch, iPhone 5s & iPad Air received their updates with no problem here.
  • Correct. I got into this habit with my Mac, my AppleTV, and my iPad. A restart (reboot) before updating eliminates a lot of headaches. Restating clears registers, cleans up caches, gets rid of numerous gremlins that may have creeped in since the last restart. Today, I updated my Mac to 10.9.4, my iPad to 7.1.2, and my AppleTV to 6.2, all without a single hitch or glitch.
  • IKrupp is right, develop the habit of restarting the devise before updating the software. I had frozen my iPhone and resolved by hard booting. Thanks for posting the simple solution.
  • Thank you for this tip!
  • 4s. Was on 7.1.1. Backed up and rebooted prior to wired-from-iTunes (v11.4) attempt at update to 7.1.2. Stuck on the "verifying updated iPhone software" step for about an hour. Now that it's (as I type this) restarting, iTunes tells me it's gone from ~2GB free space to >5GB over utilized. And that things are being synced from iCloud -- which can be managed on the device. Except I have never used iCloud. Ejected it successfully, and it seems to be on 7.1.2 now... but that was the worst iOS point upgrade in my 4+ years on various iPhones. All the best engineers are clearly focused on iOS8 and the new devices. But seriously, that sucked.
  • Had the issue with my iPhone 5, so I decided to just do an iTunes update for my iPad 3. My iPad is now frozen during the update. I think Apple missed something with this one.
  • Another reason I never OTA, ha. I always restore as new from iTunes on my Mac.
  • Never had an issue with an OTA including 7.1.2. All is well.
  • OTA updated an iPhone 5 and 2 iPads. Not even a blink of a problem with any of them. Painless.
  • My iPhone 5 froze. Hard reboot fixed it.
  • I did an OTA with my 5S here. No problems whatsoever. I hope it stop the annoying popups asking me to sign into the iTunes store.
  • That's what I did when the phone reboot for the second time and stay half way before finishing. I just couldn't wait any longer and decide to do this same step "without reading this article first" Sent from the iMore App
  • OTA and both IPad Air and 5S froze. Both complete after hard reboot, but a bit unhappy with Apple. Someone didn't thoroughly QC this update.
  • OTA was fine for me on a VZW iphone 5. It did take a while though before it downloaded, longer than usual actually, but the install and reboot was fast.
  • 7.1.2 failed the first time for me. The second time, it rebooted during validation and now my iPad is bricked asking for an iTunes restore. And of course, iTunes fails with error 3014 during the restore. This is what i get for not checking to see if others had issues before upgrading.
  • Hi the same has hsppened to my iphone 5 today.. I was just wondering did u get your phone working and if so what did u do to fix this problem?
  • It took forever to verify for me and then I had a black screen for 5 mins and then it installed as usual. iPhone 5 16GB
  • In my case I did the update, it froze, I did the hard reboot, and then after it tried to validate again I had to connect to iTunes. Everything was fine (thanks iCloud!) but it was an inconvenience.
  • Several users on MacRumors were bricked also after upgrade so this isn't just me. Not sure if I'm allowed to link to that thread
  • The update bricked my iPad. It is currently getting restore via iTunes now.
  • It froze while trying to install on Tunes. Did it OTA instead with no problems.
  • Mine was fine but a friends froze. Did a hard reset and I had to attach to ITunes as it said it was in recovery mode. Sent from the iMore App
  • One iPhone 5s, one iPad Air, one iPad mini. All froze on update, even if I rebooted first. This could be bad for Apple if it's as common as it was for me. Not many will know how to recover even if it's easy.... Wow.
  • My update failed as well....iphone 5 is in recovery mode....pissed.
  • Had to do just that, but not for my iPhone but for my Apple TV
  • The update bricked my iPad Mini and I had to do a complete rebuild on it. Pissed! Todays updates did work well on my iPhone and Apple TV.
  • Hard reboot is confusing. Is it hard reset, an in all data is deleted and we start as if we just bought the device?
  • Press home button and off button down at the same time and hold until the phone is off and when its back on all will be ok. good luck
  • How can I do this if my lock/wake button is broken?
  • There is no reboot when you have an iPhone 4. Sent from the iMore App
  • My iPhone 4 had this problem. Holding both buttons down for a few seconds caused the required reboot and everything was ok.
  • Article (and comments?) miss an important step that I've instituted as a regular practice for each and every update, after getting stung with an update that wiped phone and I hadn't backed up recently. Oops. Never again:-
    1. Connect to itunes - sync with backup - disconnect
    2. Repeat (1). Thus there are now two backups on your computer as, well, backups.
    3. Start the update process as normal (learnt something here - adding a new step zero - hard reset before starting everything)
  • All went well with my update I used the Wifi in my office to update... Iphone 5s 16gb.
  • I had the hang while rebooting on my iPhone 5, failed with the progress bar at about 1/3 of the way after the reboot.
  • The reboot fixed it but I'm concerned about that problem.
  • This was the first OTA update that I've had an issue with. I immediately checked imore.com and here you are with the answers before I knew I had a problem! Hard reboot worked beautifully! Thanks!
  • Updated my 5S & iPad mini with retina display, both were done OTA and went smooth and very fast. Thank You Apple.
  • Both my iPhone 5 and wife's iPhone 5S locked up during update. Hard reboot allowed them to completed. My iPad Air LTE went through fine though. Have not attempted wife's iPad Air since it doesn't have space available at the moment (1.5GB needed for a 28MB update!?)
  • That was the first thing that I thought of doing when mine froze. It worked for me like a charm. Sent from the iMore App
  • iOS 7.1.2 update on my iPhone 5 has REALLY buggy lock screen for me. Keeps becoming unresponsive to swipes to unlock (yet will swipe to switch off fine). Getting really annoying, really fast...! Sent from the iMore App
  • Rene, love your work. This saved me this morning! Wouldn't have known what to do. Thanks for your help!
  • Worked for me too.
    iPhone 4, 16gig, Verizon. Locked up with about 25% left on the bar.
    I was busy with something else so I let it go for about 40 minutes before searching on the internet and coming across this solution.
    Thank you much!
  • iPad 2 64gig Verizon. Same problem as JamesShallen. Same solution worked for me. YAY! for iMore. Boo to Apple for buggy update. BUT, at least I am back up and running.
  • OTA worked great for the iPhone, and iPad mini retina. The iPad 3 froze installing the software. The line was 3/4th across. I let it sit for an hour. Never moved. After hard reset, it went to lock screen, and after checking, it was 7.1.2. Sent from the iMore App
  • How can I do this if my lock/wake button is broken?
  • My iPad 3 froze installing the software update. The line was only 1/4 across and didn't move for a couple of hours before I found this fix on the web.
    After the hard reset, it went to lock screen, and after checking, it was 7.1.2.
    Thanks
  • My iphone 4 has frozen in the middle of this update. However I can not reboot because the sleep/wake button broke recently. I have been using the accessibility screen button. Is there another way I can reset my phone?
  • I have the same problem and the sleep/wake button doens't work. It seems like the hard reset is the only solution. Are there other ways to reset the iphone and fix the problem?
  • Any solutions yet? I have a similar problem right now
  • Me too apparently if your iTunes is set up to the phone you can do a factory restore on that but unfortunately I don't have that computer any more... Out of options please help!
  • Any solutions? I have a similar problem right now
  • The problem resolved itself when my phone battery died. As soon as I plugged it into the charger everything came back. All appears to be ok.
  • I am having the same problem with the hard reboot, my lock button doesn't work. My phone was on 53% battery life before the update commenced. its now been four hours and I can still see the loading bar with the apple logo but I cant reboot or anything and I cant see how long I have to wait for the battery to die (normally its quite quick but its taking forever now!!!). Any tips?
  • Mine took about 24 hours for the battery to die....leave it unplugged then after the battery dies, plug into charger and it should restart. Good luck!
  • I had the OTA update freeze on both my iPhone 5 and iPad Mini w/ Retina Display. In both cases, a hard reboot fixed the problem and both devices report having iOS 7.1.2 installed. Everything seems to work normally, so hopefully the freeze up didn't cause any other problems. I always reboot my devices before updating to avoid problems, but forgot to do so this time. :(
  • Saw the update notice, went for it via OTA, 2 hours later its the apple logo with progress bar about 50%. Hard reset-ed and all seems ok, at least my phone is working. Don't tell me its happening to everyone!?
  • iPhone 4 completely wiped out so I plugged into iTunes. Now it is saying "iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes". I'm not going to update my iPhone 5c yet due to that. Trying to avoid problems Sent from the iMore App
  • Thanks for the tip, had the update frozen on my 4s and did the hard reset which resulted in the update working after that. SV
  • Work for me too
  • Worked for me on a 5s. First time this has happened since my first, a 3G :( No data loss like some others in this thread - everything seems fine. Thanks Rene.
  • You are an Angel, thank you, I was getting worried for a while there after I had to send a phone back to apple after an update killed my old 4 a while ago.
  • Mine has been a true nightmare. I got an error during the installation. I then restarted it and then couldn't connect to the home wifi. I did the hard reboot two times. Still no wifi. I then reset the phone as a new phone. Now having to reinstall all of my apps and it still won't sign on to the wifi at home even though it sees it. I have been using the correct password.
  • Okay I done that reboot thing and I waited for the Apple logo but it did not show any settings, instead it keeps showing the ITunes symbol and a charger symbol as to say plug into iTunes. WWell suppose I am not by a laptop because mine is in the shop now, so what else can I do to fix this? I have the 4s
  • i have the exact same problem right now with my ipad 4... help ...i dont know what to do ...i am afraid of these hack sites and jail breaking and all that shit i just want my ipad to work....ugh... stupid update ...any advice is much appreciated
    thanks
    beth
  • My phone froze on the progress bar when i was trying to update, I tried this method of restarting it, it completely worked fantastic, phone turned back on in i'd say about a minute, with the new software on there and everything :)
  • worked :)
  • iPhone 5 hung while updating. Hard reboot also not helping. help! I am with no phone now.
  • iPhone 5, 64GB, D/L'ed 7.1.2 via wifi. Screen went to half dim at about 1/3 on the progress bar.
    Thought, uh-oh. I haven't backed this up in an age (because the computer and Itunes it was synched to died, and I have to move the data and iPhone sync to another computer).
    Googled the update number and your site came up. The simple hard reboot fix did it.
    So far no damage noticed, but I did learn my lesson.
    Maxim: Backup twice , then Reboot before any OS upgrade on any device.
    Now I'd better Google how to get my iPhones sync to change its allegiance from a dead computer to my working laptop without losing data on either the phone ot the iTunes again.
    Moving ITunes data to a new location without losing anything confuses the heck out of me still..
    Thanks for your good work!
    Bob
  • It worked! Thank you!
  • Connect to itunes? I did it but now it take forever! What should I do now? Pls help.
  • Hard reboot worked for me too. I waited about 15 minutes before I did the reset.
  • I did the update through Itunes and all my data just disappeared and there was a 3 months back recovery data...
    Photos,Vids, Voicerecs, Whatsapps...everything just gone and I cant restore it using my last backup which i did right before installing this new update...It stops in the middle(around 40%) and its says that it could not create a backup or smth...
    I got this update which has not changed anything "at all" but lost all the important files...
    Would be just lifesaver if anyone could help. Thanks=(
  • Perfect! Thank you!
  • My update was absolutely flawless on my iPhone 5c!
  • Thank you so much worked perfectly
  • Had the same problem today when I tried to update my iPhone 5 64GB from 7.1.1 to 7.1.2. OTA update got to about 3/4 of the way on the displayed progressed bar and iPhone remained frozen in that state for over a hour before I decided that the update was probably corrupted. Did a hard reset with the power an