Fixing iPhone apps stuck on “Waiting…”

After the nightmare of restoring my iPhone 5 backup to my new iPhone 6S, I noticed a couple apps were missing. I downloaded and installed them, but an odd thing happened. The icon became dark and it said “Waiting…” beneath the icon. I tried deleting the app and reinstalling but the same thing happened over and over. Sometimes, I would end up with this odd “wireframe” icon for the app. I searched the web and found lots of tips on how to overcome this apparently common problem, but nothing seemed to work. I finally came up with my own solution and here are the steps:

  1. Connect phone to iTunes and select the phone
  2. In iTunes, click Apps on the left side. In the scrolling list of apps, select the offending one and click Remove. (Note that if you can’t identify the app by the icon on your iPhone, you should be able to find it in iTunes. Double-click the appropriate Home Screen on the right. It will enlarge. The name of the app will be beneath the icon–it won’t say “Waiting…”)
  3. Click the Apply and let iTunes sync.
  4. Disconnect the phone from the computer
  5. Hold the power and Home buttons to force a restart
  6. On the phone, go to General > Storage and iCloud Usage
  7. Tap Manage Storage under the Storage area
  8. wireframe icon2

    If the app is listed, tap it and delete. Also look for any “null” apps which have the odd-looking wireframe icon.

  9. Reboot the phone again using power and Home buttons
  10. Download and install the app again.

Hope this helps you. Your mileage may vary.

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