Fix: App Store not downloading apps

Apple’s App Store maybe has fewer apps than Google’s Play Store but most of its apps are really well-optimized and, more times than not, work without any issues on all devices. However, what happens when you can’t get any apps? Some iPhone users report that App Store is not downloading apps for some reason.

If you are having a hard time downloading or updating apps on your iPhone or iPad, make sure to check the steps we listed below.

Table of contents:

  1. Force close App Store and restart your device
  2. Check Content & Privacy Restrictions
  3. Check the Network connection
  4. Reset All settings
  5. Restore device to factory settings

Why won’t apps download on my iPhone?

1. Force close App Store and restart your device

The majority of App Store issues are temporary and a simple restart is usually all you need to do in order to fix them. So, make sure to force close App Store and then power off your device.

Once you power it back on, the problem should be gone. Also, don’t forget to update firmware on your phone. You can do so in Settings > General > Software Updates. In case App Store is still not downloading apps, make sure to continue to the next step.

2. Check Content & Privacy Restrictions

Content & Privacy Restrictions under Screen Time allow for user-imposed limits on iTunes & App Store Purchases. The main idea is to limit usage for your kids and prevent them from installing third-party apps from App Store. Now, if you never imposed such limitations, you can skip this step.

On the other hand, if you meddled with Content & Privacy Restrictions, we suggest disabling them or, at least, allowing downloads from App Store. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Open Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Either disable Content & Privacy Restrictions or open iTunes & App Store Purchases.
  5. Make sure that App Store is allowed to download and update apps.

You can also try to sign out of App Store and sign in again. To do so, open App Store > your account (profile pic). Scroll down until you reach the Sign Out option. Tap Sign Out. Now, repeat the steps and sign in with your AppleID and password.

3. Check the Network connection

This goes without saying but apps won’t update or you won’t be able to download new apps without Wi-Fi. So, make sure to check the connection. The best way to confirm that there are no global connection issues is to check in some connection-dependent apps like social networks or Safari.

If you can confirm that the connection is not the cause of App Store issues, move to the next step. On the other hand, if you can’t seem to connect to Wi-Fi, check this dedicated article where we covered the most common troubleshooting steps.

As a side note, if you use cellular data to download and update apps, make sure to open Settings > Cellular and allow App Store downloads over the cellular network.

4. Reset All settings

If this doesn’t work, and since you can’t reinstall a system app like App Store, you can at least restore system settings to their default values. By doing so, you won’t lose any important data, although some settings might require tweaking later on. Just in case, we still suggest backing up your settings and data to iCloud or iTunes (via PC or Mac).

Here’s how to Reset All Settings on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Select Reset.
  4. Tap Reset All Settings.
  5. Enter PIN/password.
  6. Tap Reset All Settings in a dialog box.

5. Restore device to factory settings

Finally, if App Store is not downloading apps after all previous steps, you can factory reset your device and restore it from iCloud. It’s, of course, important to back up all your files before doing so. Once you restore everything, App Store should work as intended.

Here’s how to restore your iPhone or iPad to factory values through system Settings:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Reset.
  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings. Make sure to back up everything to iCloud. Navigate to Settings > Your Account at the top > iCloud > iCloud Backup and tap Back up Now.
  5. Enter PIN/Password when prompted and confirm.
  6. Once your device reboots, choose Restore from iCloud Backup.

Alternatively, you can use iTunes on a PC or Mac. We even recommend backing up your data via iTunes on regular basis so, if something goes awry with your phone, you’ll have everything on your PC or Mac.

That should do it. Thank you for reading, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and feel free to share your thoughts about App Store issues with us. You can share alternative solutions or post questions in the comments section below.

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