How to fix iPad/iPhone apps getting stuck while installing updates from the App Store

Adobe Employee ,
Mar 22, 2016 Mar 22, 2016

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The "stuck" or "stalled" update problem can happen with any iPad or iPhone app (not just Acrobat Reader for iOS).  Apple has not published an official solution for the problem.

AcrobatIconWaiting.png  AcrobatIconLoading.png  AcrobatIconInstalling.png

This document describes a few possible solutions (listed in order of difficulty – from a quick solution to a time-consuming solution) that you can try to fix the problem.

IMPORTANT: Uninstalling or deleting the iPad or iPhone app with the stuck update problem should be the last resort because you will lose all of your app data (such as documents, preferences, settings, other cached data) when you uninstall an iPad or iPhone app by tapping the 'X' icon. 

Please make sure to back up your app data before you attempt to uninstall any iPad or iPhone app.

How to backup and restore PDF documents on iPad/iPhone using iTunes


  • Check network connectivity
    Does your iPad or iPhone have steady network connection?  Test your iPad or iPhone's network connection by going to a website in Safari.
  • Check available storage
    Does your iPad or iPhone have enough free storage space?  Check your storage on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch - Apple Support
    Delete other apps that you no longer use to make room for new or updated apps.
  • Check a pending iOS (operating system) download
    If you have a pending iOS download in Settings > General > Software Update, finish the iOS download before updating iPad or iPhone apps.
  • Check pending iTunes and/or Podcast downloads
    If you have any pending iTunes and/or Podcast downloads, finish or cancel the downloads before updating iPad or iPhone apps.








Solution 1: Restart your iPad or iPhone

We have heard from many users that restarting an iPad or iPhone is the most effective solution for the stuck update problem.

  1. Press and hold both the On/Off (Sleep/Wake) and Home buttons until you see the Apple logo.
    Restart your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support

Solution 2: Pause and resume app download

  1. Tap the stuck app icon in your Home screen to pause app download.
  2. Tap the app icon again to resume the app download.


  1. Open the App Store app on your iPad or iPhone.
  2. Tap the Updates icon in the bottom bar to switch to the Updates screen.
  3. Tap the Update or progress ring icon of the stuck app several times to pause and resume the download.
    UpdateButton.png    DownloadInProgress.png

Solution 3: Clear cache of the App Store app

  1. Open the App Store app on your iPad or iPhone.
  2. Tap on any one of the tab bar icons (e.g. Featured, Top Charts, Explorer, Purchased, Updates) at the bottom of the screen 10 times.
    Make sure to tap the same icon 10 times.  The screen will go blank before reloading App Store contents.

Solution 4: Turn Airplane Mode on and off

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your Home screen to open Control Center.
  2. Tap Airplane Mode to disable network connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Cellular).
  3. Wait for 10 seconds.
  4. Tap Airplane Mode again to re-enable network connectivity.

Solution 5: Sign out of App Store and sign back in

  1. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store.
  2. Tap your Apple ID.
  3. Tap "Sign Out" in the popup.
  4. Wait for a few minutes.
  5. Go back to Settings > iTunes & App Store.
  6. Tap "Sign In".
  7. Enter your Apple ID and password to sign in using the same Apple ID. (Don't create a new Apple ID.)
  8. Go to your Home screen.
  9. Tap the stuck app icon to restart app download.

Solution 6: Reset network settings

Please note that the following steps will reset Wi-Fi networks and passwords, cellular settings, and VPN settings to factory default settings. You will need to re-configure network settings.

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset.  (Reset is the last item in the General screen.)
  2. Tap Reset Network Settings.
  3. Enter your passcode.
  4. Tap "Reset" in the alert.
  5. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and VPN and re-configure network settings.

Solution 7: Uninstall and reinstall the stuck app

Please note that the following steps will erase all your data that is associated with the stuck app (such as documents, preferences, settings, other cached data).  You will need to back up your documents before you uninstall the  app.

How to backup and restore PDF documents on iPad/iPhone using iTunes

Uninstalling from Home Screen

  1. Tap and hold an app icon until all of app icons start wiggling.
  2. Tap the 'X' icon in the upper-left corner of the app icon.  (Built-in iOS apps, such as Mail, Safari, iBooks, cannot be deleted.)
  3. Tap the Delete button in the alert.

If the 'X' icon does not appear for the app, restart your iPad or iPhone or try the next method below.

Uninstalling from Settings

  1. Go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage (for iOS 9) or Settings > General > Usage > Manage Storage (for older iOS versions).
  2. Tap the app name to delete.
  3. Tap "Delete App".
  4. Tap the Delete App button in the alert.

Reinstalling from the App Store

  1. Open the App Store app on your iPad or iPhone.
  2. Find the app to reinstall.
  3. Tap the Download icon (the icon with cloud and a down arrow) to download and install the app.


General troubleshooting, Install update and subscribe, iOS








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