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    Why can't I download apps on iPhone?

    Who I am
    Aina Martin
    @ainamartin

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    It can be frustrating when your app store doesn't download applications to your iPhone. There is little to do with an iPhone that cannot use Apple's vast app store and application library. Solving this problem is usually not very difficult.


    This tutorial applies to all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices with recent iOS versions.

    Why can't I download apps on iPhone?

    While fixing the problem with an iPhone not downloading apps is simple enough, the causes are not easily diagnosed. Causes can come from App Store rules, simple software bugs, or problems with Apple ID or iPhone settings.



    Instead of providing a list of causes here, each solution below provides some basic information for the problem when your app store is not downloading applications to your iPhone.

    A simple explanation of why you can't download apps on your iPhone is that there isn't enough storage space on your iPhone. There are ways to free up iPhone space and even expand your iPhone storage.


    Why can't I download an app on iPhone, how to fix?

    There are several ways to fix an iPhone that freezes while trying to download apps. If the apps on your device aren't downloading, try these solutions, in that order.

    1. Download over Wi-Fi. You can reach an App Store limitation if you download an app over a cellular connection such as 4G LTE. Apple limits the size of apps you can download on cellular networks to 200MB. (Older versions of iOS set the limit to 150MB.) This prevents people from using too much data in a single download. If the app you want to download is very large, connect to Wi-Fi and try again.



    2. Make sure your phone is not in airplane mode, which blocks all Wi-Fi and cellular network connections.


    3. Restart the App Store app. The app download bug may have something to do with the App Store app. Closing the App Store app may clear the bug. After closing the app, reopen the App Store app and download the app again.

    4. Pause and restart the app download. This tip works when the app download freezes. If an app icon appears on the home screen, but the download has slowed down or froze, tap the icon of the app you are trying to install. This pauses the download. Wait a few moments and then tap it again to resume the download.

    5. Restart the iPhone. Sometimes a device needs to reboot to get things working again. There may be a temporary failure in the operating system or a software component. A reboot usually fixes these problems.


    6. Check your Apple ID payment method. To download apps, you need to link a payment method to your Apple ID, even if you're downloading a free app. If you don't have a registered payment method or your card has expired, you may not be able to download apps. This can also lead to a verification required pop-up message. Adding a valid payment method could solve the problem.

    7. Log out of the App Store and log in again. An iPhone that can't download apps could mean something is wrong with your Apple ID. If the connection between your iPhone and the Apple App Store is broken, logging out and logging back in may fix it. Select Settings> iTunes & App Store> Apple ID> Sign Out. Then, sign in again by selecting Sign In and entering your Apple ID username and password.



    8. Update iOS. Updates to iOS, the operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, often fix software bugs. It is possible that your iPhone cannot download apps due to a bug in the operating system. An easy, fast, and free operating system update could fix the problem. You can update iOS wirelessly or via iTunes.

    9. Set the correct date and time. Incorrect date and time settings may prevent you from downloading apps. The easiest way to fix this is to have your iPhone automatically set the date and time so that they are always correct. Select Settings> General> Date and time. Slide the Set Automatically switch to On (green).


    10. Reset iPhone settings. Bugs sometimes result from low-level settings. You can't always see or fix these settings individually, but iOS offers you a way to reset all settings. This way your data will not be erased, but you can solve these kinds of problems.

    11. Check the Apple ID you are using. If you have a problem updating an app on your device, the problem may be the Apple ID you are using. When you download an app, it is linked to the Apple ID you are currently signed in to. If you change the Apple ID you are using, the apps tied to the old ID cannot be updated. Sign in to any other Apple IDs you've used, following the instructions in step 6 above.


    12. Get help from Apple. If you've tried all these steps and your iPhone still won't download applications, you need help from Apple's experts. You can get online or telephone support on Apple's website or make an appointment at the Genius Bar at your local Apple Store for in-person assistance.

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