Be it games or utility, iPhone App Store is a one-stop-shop for Facebook, Rope Rescue, Pokémon Masters, Uber, WhatsApp Messenger, TikTok, Instagram, Netflix, ESPN Fantasy Sports, Snapchat, Yolo and many more apps.
But the experience becomes a pain when you are not able to download any app (paid or free) from the App Store and receive a message – ‘unable to download app’.
The situation gets really annoying when you’re neither able to download new apps through the App Store nor able to update the existing ones.
Why this error “can’tdownload apps in iPhone”?
There can be many reasons such as — poor Internet connection, low storage space on your iOS device, a bug in the App Store, faulty iPhone settings, or even a restriction setting on your iPhone that prevent the apps to download.
Nonetheless, here we bring 13 ways you can try to fix apps won’t download on iPhone problem.
13 Methods to fix ‘can’t download apps in iPhone’
Check your Wi-Fi connection
Check Storage space in your iPhone
Restart App Store
Pause and restart the app download
Sign out and Sign in to the App Store
Check your Apple ID payment methods
Set Date and Time on iPhone
Disable Restrictions for Installing Apps
Allow App Store purchases in Content & Privacy Restrictions
Reset iPhone device settings
Restore iPhone to Factory Settings
1. Check your Wi-Fi connection
Continuous and good speed Internet connectivity is essential for smooth download of any app from Apple Store.
If you are using cellular data, switch to Wi-Fi connection as Apple allows only up to 150 MB download through cellular data.
If the switch to Wi-Fi connection also doesn’t help, try by connecting to another Wi-Fi network.
2. Check storage space in your iPhone
Insufficient space on your iPhone can hamper Apple Store app. You won’t be able to even update the existing apps, if there is not enough storage space.
Check and free up some space on your iPhone. You can delete unwanted apps, documents, photos, videos, music, WhatsApp chats, etc. to make storage space for the new app that you want to download.
To check free space on iPhone:
Follow Setting > General > click on iPhone Storage to see how much free is left on your iPhone.
3. Restart App Store
Refreshing the App Store can help clear the cache, and you may be able to download your app properly.
Steps to refresh App Store on iPhone
Launch App Store on your iPhone
Tap any of the bottom icons (Featured, Games, or Updates) 10 times or more
‘Loading’ circle appears on the screen
Close the App Store and reopen and try to download your app again
4. Restart iPhone
Restart can fix most of the iPhone problems. Restart your iPhone and then try downloading the app from App Store.
5. Update iOS
Apple iOS updates usually fix bug. Some users complained that apps won’t download on iOS 11. The message ‘iPhone can’t download apps’ may be appearing because of a bug. You may be able to fix it by updating the iOS.
Steps to update iOS on iPhone:
Turn on Wi-Fi on your iPhone
Tap Settings > General > Software Update
Tap Download and Install
To automatically update your iOS12: Tap Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates
6. Pause and restart the app download
You can try this if you own iPhone 6s or later models. Press the app from the Home screen. You would see three options — Resume Download, Pause Download, or Cancel Download.
Tap Resume Download, if the app download was paused
If the app download is stuck, tap Pause Download, then press the app again and tap Resume Download.
7. Sign out and Sign in to the App Store
Try once by signing out and again signing in to App Store.
Steps to sign out from App Store:
Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store
Tap the Apple ID
In the pop-up window, tap Sign Out
Tap the Apple ID again and sign in with your Apple ID
Now try downloading the apps in App Store.
8. Check your Apple ID payment methods
Do you have a valid payment method on file in your Apple ID? If not, then too you won’t be able to download any app including the free ones.
Manage your Apple ID payment in Settings on your iOS device; in iTunes on Mac/ PC; and even in the Apple Music app on your Android phone.
On iPhone how to add, remove, update or change the payment through Settings:
Settings > [your name] > iTunes & App Store
Tap your Apple ID, tap View Apple ID
Tap Manage Payments. Next, you can add, update, reorder, or remove your payment methods:
To update your payment method: Tap on the payment method, which you want to change and edit the information.
To add a payment method: Tap Add Payment Method and follow the prompts.
To remove a payment method: Tap Edit > Remove icon or swipe left and tap delete.
Once you get a valid payment method on file, you should be able to download apps.
9. Set Date and Time
It may seem unlikely, but true. Wrong date and time settings on your iPhone can affect app download on App Store.
So set your date and time correctly to fix apps not downloading issue.
Steps to set date and Time on iPhone:
Go to Settings > General > Date & Time
Toggle on Set Automatically
10. Disable restrictions for installing apps
Have you turn on iOS restriction, which restricts apps download? If yes, turn it off to install apps.
Steps to disable apps restrictions on iPhone
Go to Settings> General> Restrictions
Enter your passcode
Toggle on Installing Apps
11. Allow App Store purchases in Content & Privacy Restrictions
You might have disabled app purchases under Content & Privacy Restrictions on your iPhone, due to which apps won’t download on iPhone. Allow the iTunes & App Store downloads and purchases to fix the problem of can’t download apps on iPhone.
Steps to enable App store purchases on iPhone:
Go to Settings > Screen Time
Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions
Enter your passcode
Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases
Set to Allow
12. Reset iPhone device settings
One of the reasons for apps not downloading from App Store can be the settings of your iOS device. Reset your iPhone’s settings. This may resolve apps download problem.
Note: Reset All Settings will remove and set to default all the device settings including network settings, location settings, keyboard dictionary, the Home screen layout, privacy settings. You won’t lose any data, documents, photos, videos etc.
Steps to Reset All Settings on iPhone:
Go to Settings > General > Reset
Choose Reset All Settings
13. Restore iPhone to Factory Settings
When nothing works, factory reset is the last resort. But this will erase all the data, photos, videos, contacts, call history, music voice memos, messages etc., from your iPhone. Thus, always take the backup either in iCloud or iTunes before you opt for factory reset.
Steps to factory reset iPhone:
Go to Settings > General > Reset
Choose Erase All Content and Settings
Can’t Restore iPhone Data after Factory Reset
If you didn’t take backup or unable to restore iPhone data after factory reset, use Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone to get back the lost Photos, Videos, Contacts, Messages, Camera Roll, Photo Stream, Calendar, Call History, Safari bookmarks, and other data. It is easy-to-use DIY software to retrieve lost and deleted iPhone data.
Steps to recover lost iPhone data after factory reset:
· Download Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone on your PC or Mac
· On the software interface, select location from where you want to restore iPhone data – iTunes, iCloud or iPhone
· Select what you want to recover – Contacts, Camera Roll, Photo Stream, Apps Library, Voice Memos, etc.
· Click Scan
· Click Save
Hope one of the above methods will help you to fix the apps can’t download from Apple Store problem. Still, if you are unable to download any app after applying the above troubleshooting methods, contact Apple through their online support or visit your nearest Apple Store.
Sumona is a technical blogger with experience in writing data recovery tips and tutorials. She has over 7-year experience in data recovery/repair technology. She is passionate about Photography and Exploring lesser-known destinations.