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9 Tips to Fix iTunes is Downloading the Software for This iPhone Issue

DoubtUser Concern

“I decided to do a factory restore on my iPhone, however this was almost 2 hours ago and all it reads on iTunes is 'iTunes is downloading the software for this iPhone and will restore the iPhone when the download is complete'...Does anyone here know how long this can take?”

While using iTunes to update, backup or restore your iPhone, you might encounter the error "iTunes is downloading the software for this iPhone and will restore your iPhone when the download is complete". It is really frustrating when the iTunes seems to take forever to download the software or firmware files.

Don't worry. In this article, we will take a look at the reasons and introduce effective ways to fix iTunes is downloading software for this iPhone error.

itunes download software stuck

How Long Does iTunes Take to Download Software for iPhone?

As a matter of fact, there is no particular time limit on how long it takes to download software for your iPhone via iTunes. It entirely depends on the connection between the device and the Apple server as well as the data size of the software to be downloaded. Here is the estimated time to download and update iOS 16 version. I hope it works for you.

  • Download iOS 16: 15-30 minutes
  • Install iOS 16: 15-30 minutes
  • Set Up iOS 16: 1-5 minutes
  • Total iOS 16 Update: 30-60 minutes

If the duration is longer than 1 hour, the error of "iTunes is downloading the software for this iPhone" will pop up on iTunes.

Reasons of iTunes Being Downloading Software for This iPhone?

Why does it says "iTunes is currently downloading software this iPhone"? Before we look at the solution of this error, let's first go through the reasons that might cause such problem.

  • Your iPhone is failed to connect to Apple server.
  • Poor or unstableinternet connection.
  • iOS system malfunction.
  • Software downloading is interrupted by unknown errors.
  • There are some hardware problems with your iPhone

Whatever the reason is, we have solutions to fix iTunes is downloading the software for this iPhone:

  • If your iPhone can work properly, all the solutions in this article are right for you. The method in Part 3 is a better alternative of iTunes to update iOS.
  • If your iPhone is frozen and you don't want to lose any data on the device, the method in Part 3 is right for you. Also, you can try the last 2 methods in Part 4.

Common Tips to Fix iTunes is Downloading Software for This iPhone

If the "iTunes is downloading software for this iPhone" remains on your screen for a long time, the following are some common tips for you to get rid of the stuck issue.

Reset Network Connection

The primary requirement for iTunes to download software for iPhone is stable network environment. The network performance or its instability can lead to the errors when downloading a software update with iTunes. The very simple solution is to refresh network connection.

Go to Settings > General > Reset, tap on "Reset Network Settings" and then follow the instructions. After resetting network settings, the source of network connection on your iPhone will be restarted. You can then download software for iPhone with iTunes.

reset network settings

Check iTunes System Status

In the premise of downloading the software for this iPhone or restring software using iTunes, you have to ensure that iTunes system status is stable. To do that: visit the site of Apple system status page to check if iTunes system is available.

check apple system status

Uninstall 3rd-Party Apps

The connection between iTunes and Apple server may be influenced by specific 3rd-party security apps installed on iPhone or computer. Thesolution to such a problem is to uninstall this kind of security apps.

  • Find the app you want to delete on your iPhone.
  • Tap and hold the app's icon. After a few seconds, all your iPhone apps will start to swing and there will be a small "X" icon next to them.
  • Click "X" to delete the application.

remove iphone app

When iTunes has finished downloading the software for this iPhone, you can search this app from Apple Store and reinstall it.

Update iTunes to the Latest Version

If the iTunes software installed on your computer is not the latest version, it may not be compatible with an iPhone that has been updated to the newest iOS 16. Consequently, the iTunes may be stuck in downloading the software for this iPhone.

Click on ‘Help’ menu and ‘Check for Updates’, then follow the instructions to update iTunes on your Windows computer.

update itunes

If you are using a Mac computer, you can go to the Apple Store and click on 'Update' to see if the update is available for iTunes.

Hard Reset Your iPhone

Performming a hard reset on your iPhone is also an effective way to fix the issue. Thesteps are vary on different models of iPhone, follow the instructions below:

  • For iPhone 6 or Earlier Devices: Press and hold down the Power button and Home button at the same time until you see the Apple logo on the screen.
  • For iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold down the Power button and Volume Down button together until the Apple logo shows up on the screen.
  • For iPhone 8 or Later Devices: Quickly press and release the Volume Up button and then do the same with the Volume Down button. Finally press and hold the Power button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

force restart

Reset All Settings

Resetting all settings on your iPhone can also help you get rid of the problem that iTunes is downloading software for this iPhone. Here's how to do it:

On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset and tap on "Reset All Settings". Enter your passcode when prompted.

reset all settings iphone

Restore iPhone from Previous iTunes Backup

There is a substantial chance of fixing the error of iTunes is downloading the software for this iPhone by restoring your iPhone from old iTunes backup. Here is the step-by-steps guide to restore the iTunes backup.

  • Connect the iPhone to your computer with an USB cable and run the iTunes software.
  • Click on the iPhone device name on the right left side of the software.
  • Select "Restore Backup" and choose an old iTunes backup that will be restored to your iPhone.

restore ios system

Restore iPhone with Recovery Mode

Another commonly used solution to restore iPhone using iTunes is via Recovery mode, especially if your iPhone is disabled and cannot be detected by computer.

  • Start by attaching your iPhone to computer and launching the latest version iTunes.
  • Keep your iPhone connected and follow the steps in Tip 5 to put the device into Recovery mode.
  • When iTunes detects the iPhone, you will see the option to Restore or Update. Choose "Update" and iTunes will try to reinstall the software for your iPhone.

put iphone in recovery mode

Best Way to Fix iTunes is Downloading Software for This iPhone

The ultimate solution introduced here is FoneGeek iOS System Recovery. It is one of the best iTunes alternative that adopts advanced technology to fix all iOS system issues as well as iTunes errors. Hence, it will be your best choice if your iTunes is stuck in downloading the software for this iPhone and will restore your iPhone when the download is complete.

The core functionality of this repair tool is to fix all iOS system issues with no risk of data loss, for instance, an iPhone stuck in black screen/recovery mode/white screen, etc. In a word, any iPhone/iPad/iTunes issues can be fixed with this program. And supported devices and iOS version include the newest iOS 16/15 and iPhone 14/13/12/12 mini/12 Pro (Max).


Just follow these simple steps to fix the downloading error of iTunes using FoneGeek iOS System Recovery:

Step 1. After downloading the software on your computer, click the software icon to run it. In the main interface, select "Standard Mode" to proceed.

choose repair mode

Step 2. Then connect your iPhone to the computer using USB cable, click on "Next" and wait for the program to detect the device.

connect ios device

Step 3. Normally, the device info will be recognized by the software. Download the matching firmware by tapping on "Download".

download firmware

Step 4. As soon as the firmware is downloaded, click on "Fix Now" to start the repairing process. After that, your iPhone will reboot and work normally.


FAQs about iTune Is Downloading the Software for This iPhone

Q1. What does it mean iTunes is currently downloading software for the iPhone?

The error of “iTunes is currently downloading software for the iPhone” means that iTunes is establishing the connection with Apple server. It also means that the network connection is unstable or the system is breaking down.

Q2. Can I disconnect my iPhone while iTunes is downloading update?

It is not advisable to disconnect your iPhone while iTunes is downloading update, or the system files may be corrupted, leaving the iPhone inoperable.


All the fixes listed in this tutorial are approved to be serviceable for the issue of iTunes is downloading the software for this iPhone. If you are worried that your iPhone will get damaged after trying these solutions, then FoneGeek iOS System Recovery will eliminate your doubt.

Joan J. Mims

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.

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