iOS Software and Apps

iOS 4.2.1 Bug – iPad Freezes And Getting Stuck?

If you have been attempting to update your iPad to the latest iOS 4.2.1 version, chances are that you will find yourself stuck for an hour or so while the iPad seems to freeze or stuck at recovery. A number of users are now complaining on the Apple support forums about this problem. Here are some excerpts from what people are experiencing

“Download and install worked fine but iPad won’t restart. It shows the black screen with the progress bar with @95% complete but will never move beyond that point. Tried to restore and after an hour of backing up got a message that the backup couldn’t be saved to disk.┬áHave tried to restart multiple times, but it always hangs before finishing.”

“Froze at about 90%. After waiting for 20 min, I force quit itunes, and now it freezes at 40%..cannot be updated or even restored by itunes as it cant get that far.”

“Frozen solid here as well. iTunes says “Not Responding” in Task Manager and my iPad which I froze at 90% a few times, finally put it in restore mode and updated it that way. NOW iTunes is stuck on “Preparing to Sync” and my iPad is stuck at about 40% for about 45 minutes now.”

So is there a fix? Some users have noted that it may merely be a question of being patient and waiting for long enough will get the iPad to get responsive and finish the installation. A few others continued to do a few hard resets until the installation got complete. But one solution that appears to be working for a lot of users is simply uninstalling and reinstalling iTunes once again.

“Re installing iTunes works! I tried about 10 times and it froze every time until I re downloaded iTunes and installed it again.”

It looks like a weird fix for the bug but it seems to be working. Do check it out and let me know if it fixes the problem at your end.

12 replies on “iOS 4.2.1 Bug – iPad Freezes And Getting Stuck?”

My upgrade stalled for nearly an hour but did eventually complete. Somethings not happy but it does right itself after awhile.

My iphone 4 did exactly the same. After trying to install update, it bricked my phone.
Tried to restore it using itunes and stuck at 20%.
After a while, I just used another PC to restore the iphone then used original computer to restore backup files.
That was after 6 hours of fiddling.

It’s Wi-Fi Sync… from the product page:

“Please do not attempt to restore your device while Wi-Fi Sync is installed; uninstall first, restore, then reinstall.” (Same applies to updates)

Yep, reinstalling iTunes did it for my iPad. I tried the upgrade to 4.2 but it would hang every time at about the 90% complete mark. It read [here] about reinstalling iTunes so I gave that a try and it worked like a charm. Apple needs to make this issue known!!!

By the way, you don’t have to uninstall iTunes first (just in case you were wondering). Just reinstall iTunes over your existing installation and this should fix your “firmware upgrading” problem. Also, by doing it this way no changes are made to your iTunes setup or content.

I didn’t have any issues updating both my iPad and iPhone4. I did it about an hour after the update became available (3am my time). Not that it has anything to do with it. Just got lucky, probably.

iOS 4.2.1 for iPad is totally buggy. I am a developper and my application does not have the same behaviour as before. It seems that the device sometimes sends the wrongs event type. A simple ‘touchesEnded’ act now like a ‘touchesEnded + device rotation’, so you end up with the wrong orientation (i.e. portrait meanwhile you are in landscape). That’s a pity.

For me I found it was waiting to sync. I had canceled that because I did not want to “erase and sync with this computer” But I finally gave up with the freeze and told it to do that and it did.

The whole iTunes experience is not good because it’s like walking a maze… so many dead ends.

I updated my iPad from a Windows iTunes laptop no problem. I updated my wife’s iPad from her MacBook and it is locked in the way described here. How do I reinstall iTunes??


I’ve got my iPad locked on passcode when it suddenly freezes. I force quit it and rebooted it but I can’t access it via my laptop’s iTunes because I still have the passcode on. How do I fix this? PLEASE!!

@Steve Thank you for the Wi-Fi Sync uninstall advice!! It worked like a charm. Previously, I have been uninstalling/reinstalling iTunes every time I had to update iOS software (which also works if your restore is freezing). But this was a HUGE help!

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