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How To Fix An iPhone That Won’t Download Apps

There are more than a million apps available in the App Store, and we are eager to try as many apps as possible, and we also want to keep the applications we already installed up to date – but what if iPhone won’t download or update apps? Quite a few users have been complaining about this, saying not only they can’t update the apps they already have, but can’t download new ones too. If this bothers you as well, and the App Store service is not down at the moment, follow the solutions below to easily fix the issue.

 

Read more:  iMessage not working/waiting for activation iMessage

See also: How To Fix iPhone Wi-Fi Issues

See also: iPhone won’t charge

Why is my app stuck on waiting?

 

See also- How To Fix An iPhone That Won’t Update Apps

Steps to fix an iPhone that won’t download apps

iPhone won't download or update apps

Internet connection

The first thing you should do is to make sure your iOS device is connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular data network.

  • If you use Wi-Fi: go to Settings > Wi-Fi and make sure it is turned on.

iPhone Wi-Fi turned on

  •  If you use Cellular data: go to Settings > Cellular and make sure Cellular data is turned on.

Cellular data turned on

One of the reasons why apps on iPad or iPhone won’t update or download can be the poor internet connection. You can switch from Wi-Fi to cellular data or vice versa and try again.

Airplane mode

If the Airplane mode is enabled, turn it off. There is also a simple trick that can solve this problem – toggling the Airplane mode. What you need to do is navigate to Settings, turn the Airplane mode on, wait 15-20 seconds and turn it back off. This may sound crazy, but give it a try!

Toggle Airplane mode

Restart App Store app

Sometimes, the apps can behave strangely, and not work properly. The App Store is no exception. What to do if the App Store functions don’t work and your iPad or iPhone won’t update apps and download new ones? You need to force quit the app and then launch it again. Tap the Home button twice, and you will get a preview of the apps you used recently. Swipe right or left to find the App Store app, and then swipe up to close it. After that, go to the Home screen and launch App Store.

close app store iPhone

Date & Time – Set Automatically

Users noticed that going to iPad or iPhone settings, and turning on “Set automatically” for Date & Time easily solves the problem. Do the following:

  • Navigate to Settings
  • Next, tap General
  • Tap Date & Time
  • Toggle the switch next to “Set automatically” to turn it on.

set automatically iPhone steps

If you have already enabled this option on your device, move to the next step.

See also: iPhone touch screen not working 

Restart your iPhone

Complaints such as “My iPhone won’t download apps anymore” are pretty common, and users often forget how effective a simple restart can be. So, before you move to other solutions, turn your phone off and back on again. Press and hold the sleep/wake button and drag “Slide to power off”. Once your device is completely off, press and hold the sleep/wake button until you see Apple logo.

www.iphonehacks.com

Sign out from the App Store

Signing out from the App Store and signing back in can solve the problem. Follow the steps below:

  • Navigate to Settings
  • Tap iTunes & App Store
  • Next, tap on your Apple ID
  • Tap Sign Out
  • Sign in again.

Sign out Apple ID steps iPhone

See also –Pokemon Go Problems and how to fix them 

Renew Lease

If you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, and your iPad or iPhone won’t update or download apps, tapping on Renew Lease can solve the problem. It is all pretty simple. Here is what you need to do:

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap Wi-Fi
  • Find your Wi-Fi network and tap on the info button (i) right next to it
  • Tap Renew Lease.

Renew Lease iPhone steps

Free up some storage space on your iPhone/iPad

If you don’t have enough free storage space on your device you won’t be able to download or update the apps. So, what you need to do is free up some space. You can delete the apps you are not using, photos, videos, or music. Backup the files before you delete them. As we said, you can delete the apps you don’t need anymore. Here is how to do that:

  • On the Home screen, find the icon of the app you want to delete
  • Tap and hold the app’s icon until it jiggles
  • Tap on “X”
  • Tap Delete
  • The app will be deleted.

delete apps iPhone

Update the software

The bug in iOS can be the reason why iPhone won’t download or update apps. If there is a new iOS version available, it is advisable to download and install it. You can do that wirelessly, or using iTunes.

To update the software wirelessly:

  • Connect your iPhone to a power source
  • Connect to a Wi-Fi network
  • Navigate to iPhone settings
  • Tap Software Update
  • Tap Download and Install or Install Now.

Update the Software steps

To update the software using iTunes:

  • Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes
  • Connect your iPhone/iPad to your computer
  • Launch iTunes
  • Select your iPhone/iPad
  • Click Summary
  • Click Check for Update
  • Click Download and Update or Update.

Update iOS iTunes

Reset all settings or Erase all content and settings

When it comes to iPhone and iPad how to’s, we usually list these two solutions because they can be effective if nothing else works.

Reset all settings – the settings on your iOS device will be restored to factory defaults, but apps and data won’t be deleted. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset all settings. Enter your passcode. Tap Reset all settings to confirm your action.

resel all settings

Erase all content and settings – the settings will be restored to factory defaults, and all your data will be erased. Backup your files before proceeding. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase all content and settings. Enter your passcode. Tap Erase iPhone or Erase iPad to confirm your action. Your device will restart. Follow the steps to set up your device as new. This will give you a fresh start!

erase iPhone steps

Why it’s taking so long to download apps?

The above-mentioned solutions usually solve the problem, but if you still can’t download new apps or update the ones you already have on your device, there are a few things to try.

Restart your router

Connection issues can be responsible for the problem. What you need to do is unplug your router, wait for 30 seconds and plug it back in. Or, update Router Firmware.

An app is causing the issue

Sometimes, one of the apps can be the reason why you can’t download new apps or update the ones you have. The solution is to delete apps one by until you are able to download and update applications. This may be time-consuming, but still, it can fix the issue.

App Store is slow, not showing new apps

As any other app, the App Store can be slow at times, or its functions may not work. The first solution we suggested is to force quit the app. Another thing you can do if the app is slow or not showing new apps is to clear its cache.

  • Open the App Store
  • At the bottom of the screen, you will see several buttons
  • Tap on one of those buttons 10 times.

App Store cache

iPad or iPhone  can’t download apps over 100mb

Many people faced this problem – the iPhone won’t download apps over 100mb. Here is how to get rid of the problem:

  • If you are using 4G, connect to a Wi-Fi network instead and then try to download an app again.
  • Free up some storage space –  as we mentioned above, if you don’t have enough free storage space, you won’t able to download new apps and update the ones you installed. Delete the apps you are not using, photos, videos, music, etc.

iPad Pro or iPhone  won’t update apps waiting

If your iPad or iPhone apps won’t download keeps saying “waiting”, there might be a problem with the App Store Server. Apple will fix the issue, and the service will be available again. You can also contact Apple or visit one of their stores.

These problems/solutions are found and effective on iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Air and iPad Pro.

 

93 comments
  1. I have iPhone X. My phone is updated. I have uninstalled pubg game but now it’s not reinstalling again.

  2. Hi! I’ve done absolutely everything in this article, even erasing everything and starting from scratch, and I’m having the same problem: I can’t download apps. PLEASE, HELP!!

  3. So I tried all of the above except the factory reset nothing is working and I can’t update or download apps

  4. THANK YOU! I Followed the video to download apps and it worked. I have an apple SE 64 GB iPhone that has a crazy touchscreen. I think it is the software. It starts typing on its own sometimes, or when it gets close to low battery, it either starts typing random things, or the touchscreen won’t work. I am up to date on software. I had the original screen replaced and that didn’t work, had the second one replaced, didn’t work and the third…same thing.

  5. None of the above worked for my ipad mini 2
    I even restored it using itunes and changed the account in case the account has some restriction
    The only way to download app is through pc

  6. Hey does this work for iPad to I’m having a problem with updating and downloading stuff on my iPad here it will not work at my house but every where else any advice?

  7. Hey, my mom has an iPhone 6 her Facebook and messenger app deleted, her Wi-Fi is working fine but every time we go to the app store, it’s says it’s unable to download, help please????!

  8. This worked great for me for apps not downloading or updating!!! Much better than Apple support! Thanks a lot 🙂

      1. None of the solution is working in my pone am using iphone6s even after upgrading my phone..what should I do? Please I need help

  9. Not sure which one of your suggested solutions worked but I was able to download the APP that I needed. Thank you so much for your clearly presented instructions. This was terrific!

  10. I have a brand new iPad and I hate it already every time I download an app it tells me my iOS is not updated and I need a different version but my iPad says it has the latest update… How do i fix this

  11. Took forever to figure out that it never tells you “denied because you have age restriction and this is a 17+ app”

    It just sits there stupid, tapping on the blue cloud just doesn’t do anything. Got so frustrated. If you can’t download an app, and have age restrictions enabled, that would be it. Apple is so stupid!!!! it should pop up a window saying it’s age restricted so you know WHY it’s not working. ios is worst operating system on earth.

  12. Hi! So this worked for one app, but when I wanted to install a second it wouldn’t let me again. I’ve tried all of the solutions. Suggestions?

  13. I couldn’t update the Facebook app on my iPhone 6 so I uninstalled it then tried to install it again but it’s not working. My wifi button is grayed out so I connect the phone to wifi. Yet it seems the Facebook app can’t download on cellular data. What do I do? I’ve tried all steps here except to reset settings. Will I be able to download the Facebook app via cellular data if I do the reset option?

  14. my Iphone 6 does no want to update,or download new apps, its asking payment details, so i add my credit card details but it says invalid payment method?

  15. Hello Bogdana, I have been having issues downloading snapchat and Instagram on my iPhone 6 I had it on the very phone b4 but I switched phones for some days so I deleted it. I tried downloading it back from the App Store but to no avail while other apps like Facebook were able to download.

  16. My issue with this that I have multiple iTunes accounts. First app that wanted to update was not part of account that I was logged into. Instead of update all only download apps from that account. Log out then into other accounts and continue

  17. I have a iPhone 5c and won’t leave me download any app so t leave me reset my phone either as k don’t have a restriction code?

  18. after replacing my iphone 7 plus screen + lcd I noticed i cannot drag the phone s icons anymore …could that be a defective part or issues at its installation?

  19. toggling off/on airplane worked on my new iPhone 7 (which had been restored from my prev iPhone 6 backup)

  20. i have same problem with my iphone 6 plus i do all step but dont get any updates on my iphone app store what to do ?????????? plz solve this

  21. Thank you, I have been in painful 2 days figuring out whats the problem with my iphone5s I followed all potential solutions on the net including the apple support website which I expected an answer until such time i decided to let my files to be lost by restoring it to factory reset unfortunately, the problem was still there, Now I’m dressed up going to apple store for a quick repair until I found your site—— router restarting I hope someone uploads a video tutorial of this in youtube since many people are browsing the site for an answer thanks from Manila Philippines

  22. Hi,

    I tried all of these steps to no effect, until I got to Reset All Settings.
    Did that, and now my iPhone is frozen on the reset screen. Thanks, I guess,

  23. Hello. i had a problem with my iphone 6. i dont know wht is a problem. i cant downloading apps can u hel lp me? what if i reset all setting. it will make my data lost or not? please help me asap.

  24. It worked! I had to delete several apps and reset all settings, sign out of app store etc but eventually it is working now. thank you

  25. Damn! Big thank You!
    I was using Android phones all the time, then yesterday i bought IPhone7, just to try something different.
    And got this problem with not working AppStore …
    Your “checklist” helped.

  26. Hi Bogdana,

    Unfortunately, neither works for me. I have an iphone 7 128GB and have over 1000 apps installed on my iphone. Also, Apple technical support tried to help me, but they couldn’t. They suggested me to delete everything, setup as a new iphone and then try to install a new app and then it is a proof that there aren’t any hardware issues. Then i restored from a backup, could install some updates, but for sometime, wifi wasn’t available and the app number to be updated grew more than 100 apps and the problem came back. I can’t install a new app or update anything. And this problem exists till October 2016. They offer me to delete everyting and setup everyting from the beginning which is hell because i have a tradition here since 2008 (app store opened) and if i do this, take every screenshot of the folders, re-adjust every settings might take months and not convenient. I suspect the cause of this might be my old ipad 3 which didn’t get ios 10, and my country’s time zone has changed (yes, really) and i had to manually adjust time. And my iphone and ipad shares the same Apple ID. Although, time is now correct on my ipad, calendar notifications comes 1 hour after iphone. Maybe, this might be the problem. What do you think?

    1. Hm, it might be. Can you remember, back in October, did you install a particular app that might be causing the issue? As you said, you are restoring from backup, that’s why I am asking. I can’t think of anything else you may try.

  27. Hey my App Store isn’t allowing me to do anything. It’s saying like the apps that I just recently used i don’t have any option to download it again. Such as like wattpad. It’s not allowing me to download that and I was just using it earlier this morning.

  28. i know theres an update for 2 of my apps but when i go to the apple store to update them they dont show up and i go to the app in the apple store it says open and not update. please help

  29. None of these steps helped me, mine just stays on the loading/buffering symbol that just twirls around, it’s so frustrating

  30. Thanks! I went thru all the steps and when I got to the final one, all my apps appeared and I chose the ones I wanted to work…YaY!!!!!!!!! Thanks again…I even added the GoPro app!

  31. New phone. I have a new apple id that I am fully utilizing for app store and cloud. No problem. However, when running updates, it has some unknown apple id kickgameproper25 – I can’t get rid of it and needless to say it wont take my password.

  32. I have an iPhone 6s Plus with the unlimited data plan with AT&T and I can’t download some apps or update some apps without it telling me that it’s over 100mb. I have tried powering it off and back on. Tried signing out of iTunes and back in. I have went through all my settings on my phone. Any other ideas that I can try. I don’t have the option of wifi at home or work.

    1. Have you tried the solutions listed here? Did you enable automatic app updates by going to Settings > iTunes & App Store, and toggling all the options there?

  33. hello bogdana..i have a problem on my iphone 5..already update the ios by 10.1.1..my problem is no reset in the general setting and when im download or update apps they have nothin to show the install button only the apps will appear..how can i solve this problem thanks

    1. Did you try to perform a hard reset? To press and hold the sleep/wake button and the Home button at the same time, and wait until the Apple logo shows up? If you upgraded your iPhone 5 to iOS in the last few hours, give it a little time to settle.

  34. By downloading apps, I mean update them from the appstore app. Since 2 weeks or so, it’s impossible for me to update apps on iphone or ipad.

    1. Do you have a good and stable internet connection at your home? This may happen if the connection is poor or if it keeps dropping.

  35. This doesn’t work i go to download any app in app store and press get then install but it has the wait sign for about 2 seconds and just says install and get again please help me :((

  36. Thank you so much! I was having a problem with my son’s iPad not downloading a game. It was stuck on waiting, and had been like that for a whole week! Nothing I tried worked, until I read your article about fixing these issues. Again, thank you so much for helping fix this problem!

  37. Darn – been trying to re-install the Facebook app for a few days now…to no avail. Here I go to reset the phone! How obnoxious that I would have to resort to this just for FB :p

    1. Turn airplane mode on and back off (it may solve the problem). Another idea, restart your router, it may be the connection issue. If you don’t have the latest version of iOS installed, I suggest you to update it.

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