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iOS 9 Installation Stuck At Slide To Upgrade? Here’s The Fix

If you are updating your iPhone / iPad to the new iOS 9, this is what happens:

You go to the Software Update page, then request to download and install the new iOS 9. Then you forget all about it.

Next thing you know, your iOS device’s screen is locked automatically.

Then, when you pickup the device to check, you see two things:

  • Verifying Update
  • Slide To Update (or “Slide to Upgrade“)

You can take your finger, like we did, to unlock the locked screen by swiping the “Slide To Update” bar but nothing really happens.

The iPhone / iPad is frozen.


And that is what happened with us last night – and several others have confirmed this issue!

You can’t unlock your iPhone’s screen and you can’t get rid of the “Verifying Update…” pop up too.

So what’s the solution?

We simply locked the phone by pressing the power button. Of course, it took us 5+ tries.

First, you have to constantly keep pressing the power button to lock the device.

Then you will get a blank loading screen, and the installation of your downloaded iOS 9 file will start immediately.

This was one of those tricks we have learned it the hard way. There must be other “fix” to this as well – and if you know any of them, feel free to share via the comment section below.

Update September 18th, 3:30 PM: We have confirmed that hard resetting your device can help you get rid of the “Slide To Upgrade” frozen screen. Please try it and let us know through the comment section below.

Update September 19th, 1:45 AM: Apple has finally acknowledged this issue and they have also posted an update to fix the “Slide To Upgrade” problem. This looks like generic solution, but still is worth a shot:

-> Connect your iOS device to your computer and open iTunes.

-> Select your device. If you don’t see it listed, force restart your device by pressing and holding both the Sleep/Wake and Home button for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

-> If you made an iTunes backup of your device before updating to iOS 9, restore your device from that backup. If not, you need to make a backup of your device in iTunes, then restore from that backup.

Our Thoughts:

  • In case your iOS 9 device shows a blue/red iTunes icon with USB cable pic, then it is stuck in the recovery mode. Get out of it by reading this article: Recovery Mode in iOS 9 Explained.
  • If you believe your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch is frozen, then put it into recovery mode and restore it via iTunes. Update: Here is the new tutorial to do just that: How to Fix Frozen iOS 9 Device.
  • Some users have reported that the device gets “stuck” at the Apple logo. Unfortunately, we couldn’t replicate this problem, but the “search” for solution is on.
  • Please make sure that you are using the latest version of iTunes player on your computer (currently: iTunes v. 12.3). It is important you have that when you are trying to restore your iPhone / iPad.

Update September 19th, 6 AM: If nothing else works, or you don’t have the time to try everything, then you have a chance to go back to the earlier iOS firmware by downgrading.

Right now, Apple allows you to downgrade from iOS 9.0 to iOS 8 firmware. Note that only iOS 8.4.1 is signed at the moment – which means you can downgrade from iOS 9.0 to iOS 8.4.1.

Update September 23rd, 1:30 AM: Apple has released a new iOS 9.0.1 update that fixes many issues including one that is related to “Slide to Upgrade.” It looks like the problem will no longer appear when you upgrade from iOS 7 or iOS 8 to the new iOS 9 (directly to iOS 9.0.1).

Still this new iOS 9.0.1 update doesn’t “fix” anything if you are currently stuck with the Slide To Upgrade screen. It’s just that from now onwards, whenever you upgrade to iOS 9.0.1 – you won’t get the white screen, or at least that’s what Apple claims.

Update September 24th, 2:35 AM: As Allen points out, iOS 9.0.1 actually fixes this problem. All you have to do is install iOS 9.0.1 update via iTunes on your iPhone / iPad.

Here is the complete tutorial: Easiest Way To Bypass The “Slide To Upgrade” Screen

With this, the whole drama comes to an end. You will no longer see those white screen with that painful “Slide to Upgrade” message anymore. Feel free to share your thoughts via the comment section!

  • Cc

    This works, Thank you so much my iPhone probably would’ve become a brick without it!

    • Cc

      Update: it downloaded the file then got stuck again…

      • aqib

        Finally worked for me. try 1 of the 3 methods in below link to overcome slide to upgrade loop.

      • BillPosters

        Put your device in recovery mode and restore with iTunes. Choose to set up as a new iPhone. Hopefully you’ve backed up your contacts and personal data etc because it wipes everything, but this will work. You’ll need to re-install all your apps. Fun times.

        • Lucille Mendoza Silverio

          it will took how many hours sir?

  • Sam

    Ugh doesn’t work, it just gets frozen again. i’ve done it a dozen times already SOMEONE HELP

  • aqib

    Finally worked for me. try 1 of the 3 methods.

  • Sarah Waring

    mines stuck on the slide to update page since 11 o’clock last night tried everything you’ve said loads of times still no luck “gutted” feel like putting it in bin fed up !!

  • weirdo123

    I wish i would have searched before I upgrade because now I am locked up too. Thanks Apple!

  • viveka

    On a lot of devices this is caused by choosing to use backup, which IOS 9 apparently doesn’t work with, so you have to set your phone as new, and then apparently everything works just ***ing dandy!

  • BillPosters

    This is not the fix. To get around the stuck ‘slide to update’ issue, you’ll need to put your device in recovery mode and restore with iTunes. Even then it might take a couple of tries before it works. Prepare yourself for lost data. But at least you have a clean install as a result. Apple dropped the ball. A ton of people are complaining on various forums about this. Lots of theories about what is causing it, but in the end, the only solution is to restore from iTunes with your device in recovery mode.

  • Bahman B. Ibraheem

    “Iphone 5s ”

    here is THE FIX

    Put your Iphone into Recovery Mode, Then Restore it to IOS 9 on windows SHift+Restore button on Itunes …..

  • Bernard Gonzalez

    Did not work on my iPad2. Did a hard reset, everything went swimmingly (booted up, made me enter the secret passcode, etc.) and then it got stuck in the same place again. Waaaa.

  • SMNR

    Apple Committed Holy SHIT
    IOS 9 needs to be hanged till death…

  • Sahid

    ended up just copying my photos and videos directly from the phone. Browsing to the iphone and copying all the folders i could copy. then just put the phone in recovery mode, then restoring it. That seem to have fixed the problem.

  • Amanda Deane

    I have tried everything! Nothing works on my 4S to fix the issue… When I connect to my computer it tells me on my computer that I must respond on my device but because it’s all frozen my computer never recognizes it for me to restore …this is so frustrating, I’m glad I kept the original phone I received in 2006 with my plan…it’s no smartphone but it always has worked when my iPhones get messed up from updates, which is so much more often than it should be

  • sharon burns

    Apologies if this has previously been posted.


    First, please understand that my text messages, which I have saved for several years, contain my last conversations with friends/family that have since passed away as well as conversations that are important for legal purposes. So for me, even though I was able to do a factory reset or set it up as a new phone and it DID get a working phone in my hands….it is still unacceptable as my text messages (amongst other things) are lost with this “solution”. I also noticed strange behavior with my contacts list. I seem to be missing updates to some contacts, contacts that I’ve deleted several years ago popped up, and some contact that I just updated a few months ago were fully intact. Strange.

    Prior to upgrading, I did do a backup, and I also downloaded all photos, etc. However, upon upgrading, I was stuck at the slide to upgrade.

    1) So I did the restore from iCloud backup (I chose one from 14 Sep prior to upgrade) . This continued to take me back to the slide to upgrade bug

    2) Then I tried another users work around, which was to NOT set a password during set up. In order to have the option of NOT setting a password, during the setup process you need to first decline setting up TouchID, which will take you to setting up a password, under options, you have the choice to “do not set up password”. This seems to have helped for several people. I then also declined all other options and this time chose an older (12 sep) backup from iCloud. Sure enough my phone went to my home screen, where I could see all my previous settings (background, missed voicemails, apps seemed to be in the order in which I had sorted them)….and then my phone rebooted on its own. Then, besides the random glimpses of my home screen, I too found myself stuck at the apple logo (if you watch closely, it actually appears to be in a reboot cycle).

    3) So I decided to try one more “workaround” before giving up…. this time I did the “downgrade to 8.4.1 process”. Full instructions (though these are a little outdated. iTunes is actually at v12.3 now, not the 11.4 described in this article) can be found at http://ios8release.com/installation/ios-8-ipsw-file-installation/. Though I used the download found at https://ipsw.me/8.4.1

    –I chose to do a backup from iCloud and chose a backup from 15 Sep (most recent before upgrade).

    –I chose not to set up touchID, I did set a passcode.

    THIS 8.4.1 downgrade worked for me.

    A few people have posted that upgrading to iOS v9 from here should work as expected, however after the amount of time I’ve spent on this already, I’m not going to take any chances. I’m sticking with 8.4.1.

    FYI…If you need to do these restores and are unfamiliar with how to get it started a post by harpreet0singh on this site will help: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7219325?start=0&tstart=0

    • Really appreciate this! Thanks for sharing.


    I just kept pressing the lock button constantly, just press and let go. I did this 6-7 times, and finally pressed it and held it for a while and it restarted 🙂 I was able to go past the “slide to upgrade” screen 🙂

    • So glad to know what worked for me works even for you! 🙂

  • James Wang

    Here is my fix:
    1. Log into your icloud.com account and remove the AppleID from the associated device, in other words, find my phone is gone because there is nothing registered anymore.
    2. restore your device (iOS restore)

    I have gone through this multiple times, each time I have my old backup data restored, either using iTunes or third party application, the phone restarts after restore, show slide to update…finally got stuck again.

    That is after I have setup as new phone, experienced a while the new iOS 9, then figured if I restore the data now it might work. NO, every time I do that, it got stuck.

    So, for me at least, it is the old backup data triggered the iOS 9 bug. So try restore and then setup as new phone, see if you can turn your paper weight into a phone again.

    I will wait till Apple has real fix then try to restore data.

  • Allen

    “Still this new iOS 9.0.1 update doesn’t “fix” anything if you are currently stuck with the Slide To Upgrade screen. It’s just that from now onwards, whenever you upgrade to iOS 9.0.1 – you won’t get the white screen, or at least that’s what Apple claims.” You’re mistaken. It actually worked. My iPad’s working fine now. All one has to do is update to iOS 9.0.1 via the PC.

  • Teris Lua

    Hi, I get stuck on the “slide to update” as well but can I know how to backup my data before I restore my ipad via itune?