When iTunes gets stuck, it can be very frustrating, especially, when you’re trying to update your iPhone to iOS 17, or restore your old iPhone before giving it to your family when you get a new iPhone 15.
The “Waiting for iPhone” message usually comes up when iTunes is trying to connect your iPhone during the process. If your iTunes is stuck on “Waiting for iPhone”, it might lose the connection with your iPhone. The solutions below will help you overcome this problem and enable you to update to iOS 17 or restore your phone.
Check Your USB Cable
Since iTunes gets stuck on “Waiting for iPhone” when your device disconnects, then there may be a problem with your cable. When updating to iOS 17 or restoring your iPhone, there has to be a solid connection between your phone and computer. Otherwise, the update or restoration process will stop. Follow the steps below to check your USB cable:
- Unplug the cable from your computer and device and reconnect it.
- Connect your other Apple devices like an iPad using the cable to test whether it works or not.
If the message is still stuck, the cable may have a problem. If so, use a new and original cable to connect your device and computer.
Check the USB Port
Apart from your USB cable problem, the USB port can be damaged. This can cause your iPhone not to connect to your computer and lead to iTunes being stuck on waiting for iPhone. Sometimes, the port may not work if it is dirty so it’s always best to give it a clean as well. Follow the steps below to check your USB port:
- Unplug your USB from your iPhone and computer and reconnect it.
- If this doesn’t work, have a look at the USB ports and use a soft brush to clean the ports.
If the USB ports are still not working, use your device manager to scan for hardware changes. This will help the computer recognize the USB device that is connected and may start working again.
- To scan for hardware changes go onto Settings and click on Device Manager.
- In Device Manager, click your computer so that it is highlighted.
- Click Action, and then click Scan for hardware changes.
- When this is completed, check the USB to see if it is working.
Use Another Computer
This solution is very self-explanatory. Sometimes the computer you are using may not be able to support your iPhone when trying to update or restore it, so iTunes gets stuck on waiting for iPhone. This may be because the computer is too old, doesn’t have enough space or isn’t updated with the latest software. If so, use another computer if you have access to one. If not, borrow a friend’s computer or use one at a library or work if possible.
If Your iPhone Is Not in Recovery Mode or DFU Mode
In some cases, your iPhone might not be detected by iTunes directly, so you may have put your device into recovery mode or DFU mode before updating or restoring your iPhone. However, if it takes too long for iTunes to download iPhone software, your device may get out of recovery mode or DFU mode because iPhone will be out of the modes after 15 minutes. If this happens, iTunes won’t be able to detect your device. To solve this, put your phone back into recovery mode or DFU mode and try again. It is also recommended to try both modes.
Follow the steps below to put your iPhone into recovery mode:
Plug your iPhone into your computer using a USB cable. Make sure your iTunes is updated and open iTunes. Follow the steps below depending on what iPhone you have.
- iPhone 8 or later – Press and quickly release the volume up button. Press and quickly release the volume down button. Then, press and hold the side button until you see the recovery-mode screen.
- iPhone 7 or 7 Plus: Press and hold the top/side and volume down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until the recovery mode screen appears.
- iPhone 6s or earlier: press and hold the Home and top/side buttons at the same time. Hold until the recovery mode screen appears.
When your phone is in recovery mode, try to restore or update your phone again. iTunes will install the latest software which is iOS 17 currently to your device.
Follow the steps below to put iPhone 8 or later into DFU mode. If you have other models of iPhone, check this guide.
- Connect your iPhone to a computer with an original USB cable.
- Quickly press the volume up and the volume down buttons.
- Hold down the side button until the screen goes black, then hold down the side button and the volume down button at the same time.
- After 5 seconds, release the side button and carry on holding down the volume down button.
- The screen of your iPhone will be black when the device is in DFU mode. If you open iTunes, it will alert you that your device was detected in recovery mode.
If your iTunes isn’t updated to the latest version, this may cause iTunes to be stuck on waiting for iPhone. This is because iTunes won’t be able to support the restoration or update process if some of its components are not the latest version. Follow the steps below the update iTunes:
- Open iTunes.
- From the menu bar at the top of the iTunes window click Help.
- Then click Check for Updates.
- If there is an update available, click Install.
- When iTunes has updated, close and reopen it and attempt to restore or update your iPhone.
If you are using Mac, just update your macOS.
Use an Alternative to iTunes
If the solutions above do not work to fix iTunes stuck on waiting for iPhone, there may be a problem with the iTunes application. The last solution to this is using an alternative application to avoid the problem.
Wondershare Dr.Fone – System Repair (iOS) is an excellent alternative to iTunes. The app is used to fix your iOS if the bugs/error messages won’t go away when updating or restoring your device. The data on your device can be kept using the Standard Repair mode and all data will be erased using the Advanced Repair. Therefore, if you want to update your iPhone to iOS 17 or fix your device without losing any data, choose Standard Repair; if you want to restore your iPhone even iPhone 15, choose Advanced Repair.
Follow the steps below to use Wondershare Dr.Fone – System Repair (iOS):
- Download Wondershare Dr.Fone and install it on your computer. Select System Repair on the main interface, and you will see the System Repair module opens a new window.
- Select Apple > iOS Repair on the new window. You can also choose other options based on the problem you are experiencing with your phone.
- If you choose iOS Repair, then choose Standard Repair which will keep your data.
- Connect iPhone and computer. After the program recognizes your device, it will load the firmware (system file) suitable for your iPhone model.
- Select the firmware version you want. Click to start downloading the firmware.
- After the firmware download is complete, click Repair Now. The program will install the firmware you selected to your iPhone.
- After the firmware is installed successfully, your iPhone will restart.
The steps for Advanced Repair are almost the same. If Standard Repair fails, you can use Advanced Repair.
Hopefully, one of these solutions has prevented iTunes from being stuck on “ Waiting for iPhone”. If you have any other ideas, please leave a comment below.