Fix iPhone Stuck On Verifying Update When Updating to iOS 16

Nothing is more frustrating than having your iPhone get stuck on something while updating. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to verify an update, and yet, it happens anyway.

When you’re trying to upgrade to the latest version of iOS, you might find yourself sitting there watching the “verifying update” window and wondering why it’s not doing anything. You can’t even do anything with your iPhone until it’s finished.

Now what? Are your iPhone and everything in it lost to the ether? There are several possibilities for getting your iPhone stuck on verifying iOS 16, and while there’s no single solution to the problem, there are several things you can do.

Good News: The solutions in this article can also be used to fix iPad stuck on verifying update when updating to iPadOS 16.

Part 1. About iPhone Stuck On Verifying Update Issue

When your iPhone has been stuck on the same screen for ten or more minutes (roughly the equivalent of an eon), something’s wrong. You can fix it without knowing what the problem is, but you might run into it again if you don’t know what happened.

Also, if you can fix this kind of problem now, you can figure out how to fix it if it happens to you again.

1.1 What is Verifying Update?

To be able to resolve the problem, the first thing that you need to know is what does verify update mean.

If you see the message “verify update”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your iPhone has been stuck completely. Seeing this message is normal when you try to update the latest iOS version.

ios verifying update

Typically, the verify update message will last for around 1-2 minutes and sometimes up to 5 minutes. This is done to check whether your iPhone can go through the setup or not. However, if you continue seeing the message for as long as 15 minutes, then yes, your iPhone has indeed stuck.

You must note that this problem is not uncommon and may occur primarily because a lot of people are trying to update their iOS at the same time. When too many people try to do the same thing, Apple servers can feel overwhelmed, making your device freeze.

Don’t worry; we will cover all the solutions to fix this problem.

1.2 Why Your iPhone Stuck on Verifying Update?

Note that the reasons below are also compatible for iPad stuck on verifying update.

1.2.1 Apple’s Systems Are Overloaded

New iOS updates, mainly when they release a new operating system, excite Apple users because they’re about to get a slew of features and upgrades for their mobile devices.

apple system status

Unfortunately, that means millions of people downloading the new iOS all at once, thus overwhelming Apple’s systems. That can slow the update process down to a crawl, and this is probably one of the most common reasons for getting your iPhone stuck on verifying iOS 16.

However, when this is the case, your iPhone usually won’t get stuck verifying its update for more than a few minutes. You might be stuck on that screen for five to ten minutes at most.

1.2.2 Firmware Crash

Firmware is little bits of code that help your iPhone function, but, like software, firmware can crash.

Sometimes that’s what’s happening when your iPhone is stuck verifying an update, and it’s one of the primary reasons you run into trouble. This isn’t necessarily a blue-screen-of-death problem, but you will need to take some steps to get your iPhone to finish its update.

1.2.3 Too Little Storage

While the new system overwrites and replaces the old one, you still need sufficient storage before updating to iOS 16. This is another common problem and can get your iPhone stuck on verifying iOS 16 update.

iphone storage screen

Your iPhone is a tiny computer, and it works just like your desktop or laptop. When your storage is full, the iPhone has trouble functioning. That can cause it to crash when you’re doing something as big as an iOS update.

1.2.4 Too Little Power

There’s a reason iOS tells you to plug your iPhone in at night before it does an automatic system update. It takes a lot of power to download, verify, and install such an update.

If you don’t have enough battery power and your iPhone isn’t plugged in, it can interrupt the process and cause problems when you try again.

1.2.5 Poor WiFi Connection

You already know that a bad wifi connection can make everything on your iPhone run about as well as molasses going uphill. That can get your iPhone or iPad stuck on verifying iOS 16 update, too.

These updates need a certain amount of bandwidth, and without it, system updates will take considerably more time or stall entirely.

1.2.6 Restrictions Enabled

Restrictions make it so third-party users can only access certain things on your iPhone. They also act as parental controls so you can control the content your children access.

Enabling certain restrictions can interrupt updates, including iOS updates, and get your iPhone won’t update to iOS 16.

Part 2. Top 7 Verified Solutions to iPhone Stuck On Verifying Update iOS 16

Now you know why your iPhone is stuck verifying update when updating to iOS 16, but what can you do about it? Solutions can depend not just on what’s wrong but also on what generation iPhone you have.

Good News: All the below solutions are also work for iPad stuck on verifying iPadOS 16 update issue.

2.1 Force Restart It

Everyone jokes about “turning it off and then back on” these days because it was, quite possibly, one of the least helpful things many of us ever heard on a tech support line. However, that’s often the easiest and best method for unfreezing your iPhone.

force restart iphone

2.1.1 iPhone 8 or Later

  1. Press and release the volume up button quickly
  2. Press and release the volume down button quickly
  3. Press and hold the power/side button until Apple’s icon appears

2.1.2 iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

  1. Press and hold the side button and the volume down button
  2. Wait until the Apple logo appears, then release both

2.1.3 iPhone 6 and Earlier

  1. Press and hold the home and power buttons at the same time
  2. Wait until Apple’s logo appears, and then release

2.2 Try Airplane Mode

Sometimes, when you’re having connectivity problems, it isn’t your wifi. Your iPhone is having a difficult time remaining connected to the internet for one reason or another.

Trying airplane mode is an old trick for solving that issue, but it can work. Go into your iPhone’s settings and turn airplane mode on. Restart your iPhone, then go back into your settings and turn airplane mode off.

Connect your iPhone to your wifi network (or whatever wifi you’re using at the time), and then try updating to iOS 16 again. If the problem was your iPhone’s connection, this should fix it.

2.3 Reset Your Network Settings

You might also have connectivity issues because of your network settings. If those settings aren’t correctly configured, your iPhone will stall during an update. When you reset your network settings, it deletes all the old settings and restores your iPhone’s original settings.

Server settings and other network information will get deleted, too, and all the incorrect information will ultimately get eliminated.

iphone x reset network settings

To do this:

  1. Head to Settings > General > Network
  2. Find “Network Settings” and tap it
  3. Tap “Reset Network Settings”

Once your iPhone finishes restoring its original settings, it will automatically restart. You’ll need to reconnect your iPhone to your wifi manually before you can try to update to iOS 16.

2.4 Turn Off Your Restrictions

Restrictions can make updates difficult, if not impossible. If the above methods don’t work for getting your iPhone going again, restart your iPhone, and then go into your settings and disable all restrictions.

If you’re running iOS 12 or later, do the following:

disable content privacy restrictions

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content Privacy & Restrictions
  2. Put in your passcode
  3. Turn off Content Privacy & Restrictions

On the off-chance you’re running iOS 11 or earlier:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions
  2. If restrictions are enabled, tap “Restrictions”
  3. Tap “Disable Restrictions”
  4. Enter your passcode to confirm

Once you’ve turned all restrictions off, restart your iPhone and try updating again. If you’re running anything earlier than iOS 14, you may have to update more than once before your iPhone accepts iOS 16.

2.5 Update to iOS 16 Using iTunes or Finder on Your Computer

Instead of trying to update to iOS 16 via wifi, you can connect your iPhone to your computer and update via iTunes (or Finder on Mac OS Catalina and later).

The Macintosh operating system automatically syncs your iPhone when you connect it to your computer, helping your devices all work the same way with the same information. Keep in mind that completing a smooth update to iOS 16 this way means you need the latest version of iTunes or Finder first.

When you plug your iPhone in, iTunes will automatically start up. From there:

finder iphone check for update

  1. Find your iPhone and click on it
  2. Click on “Summary”
  3. Choose “Check for Update”
  4. Click “Download and Update”
  5. Enter your passcode if asked

You might also have to tell your iPhone to trust your computer if it’s the first time you’ve ever connected the two.

2.6 Delete the iOS 16 Update

If you’ve gotten stuck updating your iPhone before, there’s a possibility that some parts of iOS 16 are already there. If that’s the case, those segments might be corrupted, which will cause your iPhone to freeze.

You need to delete the segments of iOS 16 that are on your iPhone and start again:

  1. Head to Settings > General > iPhone Storage
  2. Find the iOS update in your storage list
  3. Tap on it
  4. Tap “Delete Update”

Once you’ve deleted it, you need to restart your iPhone and then go into your settings to try the update again.

2.7 Perform a Factory Reset

Unfortunately, there are times when nothing works. At this point, you have one option left: Performing a factory reset. You can go to one of your wireless provider’s locations to get it fixed, but they’ll end up doing a factory reset, too, if nothing else has worked.

The first thing you should do is back your iPhone up to iCloud or another device, like your computer. Factory resets restore your iPhone’s original settings, but they also erase everything you’ve got, including photos, videos, documents, apps, and more. It’s essentially the same function as formatting a hard disk.

You can also use third-party software to back up your iPhone if you can’t back it up to a computer or iCloud.

You have two options for a factory reset: By connecting to your computer or via wifi.

To do it from your computer:

restore confirmation itunes

  1. Open iTunes/Finder
  2. Connect your iPhone and computer with a USB cable
  3. Follow the prompts for “Trust This Computer” if necessary
  4. Click on your iPhone when it appears in iTunes/Finder
  5. Choose “Summary” and then click on “Restore iPhone”
  6. Click on “Restore” again to confirm

From there, your computer will start erasing your iPhone and restoring it to its factory settings.

To perform a factory reset on your iPhone:

iphone x reset all settings

  1. In your iPhone, hit Settings > General > Reset
  2. Tap on “Erase all Content and Settings”
  3. Enter your passcode if necessary

Keep in mind that this is a drastic measure, and you should only turn to it as a last resort. Even if you’ve got everything backed up, you’ll have a lot of work to do to get your iPhone back to the way you like it.

Part 3. Preparations Before Updating to iOS 16

Before updating your iPhone to iOS 16, there are some things you should do to ensure your iPhone doesn’t get stuck verifying the update.

3.1 Charging

Make sure your iPhone has a full charge or is on a charging cable before starting the update. You need sufficient battery power for your iPhone to use while downloading and installing everything without interruption.

If the process gets interrupted, then not only will you have to start over, you might also have to deal with your iPhone freezing when you try to install iOS 16 again.

3.2 WiFi Connection

Check your wifi connection and make sure it’s strong, and check to make sure your iPhone is running at speeds you expect. That will help ensure you have enough speed and bandwidth to update to iOS 16 smoothly.

3.3 Storage

Take a look to see how much space you have available on your iPhone and how much you need before starting the iOS 16 update. Without sufficient space, you can’t install the new system, and your iPhone is likely to freeze up. Go to Settings > General > About > Available to see how much space you have.

You can also connect your iPhone to your computer and use iTunes or Finder to check your available space. If you need to move things off your iPhone, you can do so easily.

3.4 Backup

Always back your iPhone up before updating iOS. You have videos, photos, messages, music, possibly documents, and more that you don’t want to lose. Sometimes you’ll lose stuff in an update even if nothing goes wrong. You want a way to restore it should that happen.


If you’ve gotten your iPhone stuck on verifying update when updating to iOS 16, or your iPad stuck on verifying iPadOS 16 update, don’t despair. While there are several reasons why this might have happened, there are also many ways to fix it without taking it into a store.

However, the best fix is prevention. Make sure you’re prepared for an update before you download and install iOS 16. That’s your best chance to have a smooth update.

About the Author

Darren is an Apple Certified Independent Technician with a passion for researching all aspects of phone locks, including Activation Lock, carrier lock, screen lock, FRP lock, and more. With years of experience in the mobile phone industry, Darren has become a leading authority in his field and has been a sought-after consultant for individuals and businesses seeking to unlock their devices.

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