Full Solutions to Can't Download or Update Apps on iPhone

James Davis

Sep 01, 2023 • Filed to: Latest News & Tactics • Proven solutions

We will route you through the various possible reasons that are restricting you from downloading or updating your iPhone apps while providing the best solutions for it. As long as there are no issues with your internet connection or Wi-Fi, then you would surely get a fix here. This article provides best solutions if you can’t download apps on iPhone or update apps on it.

Intrigued! Go ahead and follow the steps to get the solution. If you can’t download apps on iPhone or make any app updates, there is a series of things to be checked in a sequence before it boils down to the actual reason why such an issue cropped up in the first place.

Here are some of the things you need to check:

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1) Be sure that the Apple ID you are using is correct

Ok, so first things first!! Are you sure you are using the correct Apple ID? Whenever you try to download any app from iTunes, it automatically connects you to your Apple id, which means that you need to be signed in with your ID before you start downloading the app. To confirm this, go through the steps given below:

  • 1. Start off by opening the App Store and click on “updates”.
  • 2. Now tap “Purchased”.
  • 3. Is the App shown here? If it’s a no, that means it was most likely downloaded with a different ID.

Also, this can be confirmed on iTunes by navigating to your apps list to get the info by right clicking on the particular app. You can also try using any old ID that you might have used at some point in time and check if it resolves the issue.

2) Ensure Restrictions Are Off

Apple has added this feature in iOS for security purposes. “Enable restrictions” is one of those features to restrict the facility to download apps. So, if you are unable to download or update apps, then this could be one of the reasons to contemplate.

Go through the below steps to check if “Enable Restrictions” is enabled and how to disable it:

  • 1. Click on Settings> General>Restrictions
  • 2. If asked, type your password
  • 3. Now, tap on “Installing Apps”. If it is off, it means app updating and installation is blocked. Thereafter, move the switch to turn it on in order to download and update apps.

installing apps

3) Log Out and Log in to the App Store

At times, to fix the error if you can’t download apps on iPhone, all you need to do is sign out and then sign in with your Apple id again. It is quite a simple trick but works most of the time. To understand how to do this, just go through the steps:

  • 1. Click Settings>iTunes & App Store> Apple ID menu
  • 2. Click sign out in the pop-up box
  • 3. Finally, enter your Apple ID again and sign in as shown in the figure below

sign in app store

4) Check Existing Storage

With the vast number of amazing apps on iTunes, we keep downloading them forgetting about the phone storage. This is a frequent problem; so, when iPhone runs out of storage it will not let you download any more apps until you free up some space by deleting apps and other files. In order to check your free storage:

  • 1. Tap Settings> general> About
  • 2. Now check “available” storage.
  • 3. Here you can see how much storage is left on your iPhone. However, you can always create some space by deleting unwanted files.

available storage

5) Restart iPhone

This is probably the easiest of all but could be as effective as anything. In most cases, it works wonders as all your phone wants is a break and needs to be restarted in order to work normally. To do this, go through the following steps:

  • 1. Press and hold the sleep/wake key on the side panel.
  • 2. As soon as the power off screen appears, slide the slider from left to right.
  • 3. Wait till the iPhone turns off.
  • 4. Again, press and hold the sleep key until you see the Apple logo to turn it on.

restart iphone

6) Keep your iPhone updated to the latest version of iOS

Another solution is to keep your iPhone updated with new versions as they have enhanced bug fixes. This is mainly important when you are unable to update or download apps, as the new versions of apps might require a newer version of the iOS running on the device. You can simply do this by navigating to your setting and then, in general, you will see a software update. Click on that and you are good to go.

pdate ios

7) Change Date and Time Setting

These settings on your device also have a great impact on the timeline and frequency of app updates on the device. The explanation for this is complex, but in simple words, your iPhone runs a number of checks while interacting with Apple's servers before updating or downloading the app. To fix this, set automatic date and time by following the below steps:

  • 1. Open Settings> General>Date &Time.
  • 2. Press the Set Automatically switch to turn in on.

automatically switch

8) Remove and Reinstall the App

Try this if none of the above steps seem to work for you. By deleting and reinstalling the app, this issue might get fixed as at times the app just needs to start all over to function properly. This way, you also get the updated app installed on the device.

remove app

9) Empty App Store Cache

This is another trick where you clear your App Store Cache, the same way you do to your apps. In some situations, the cache can restrict you from downloading or updating your apps. To empty the cache, go through the given steps:

  • 1. Tap and open the App Store app
  • 2. Now, touch any icon on the down bar of the app 10 times
  • 3. After you do this, the app will restart and navigate to the finish button which indicates that the cache is emptied.

empty cache

10) Use iTunes to Update the App

If the application is unable to get updated on its own on the device, then you can alternatively make use of iTunes to do this. To understand this, follow the steps provided below:

  • 1. To start with, launch iTunes on your PC
  • 2. Choose Apps from the drop-down list present at the left corner on the top
  • 3. Tap Updates just below the window on the top
  • 4. Tap the icon once for the app you wish to update
  • 5. Now update and after the app is completely updated, sync your device and install the updated app.

update apps

11) Reset All Settings

If you are still unable to install the updates, then there are some more serious steps that you need to take. You can try resetting all your iPhone settings. This will not remove any data or files. It just brings back the original settings.

  • 1. Tap Settings> General> Reset>Reset all Settings.
  • 2. Now enter your password if asked and in the pop-up box
  • 3. Touch on Reset All Settings.

reset all settings

12) Restore iPhone to Factory Settings

If you have reached here, we assume the above steps might not have worked for you, so try this last step and factory reset your iPhone which seems to be the last resort now. Please be informed that all the apps, pictures, and everything will be deleted in this case.  Refer to the illustration below to see how it is done in settings.

factory restore iphone

So, here was your complete solution guide if you can’t download apps on iPhone. It is always important to understand the basic requirements in the first place and check those steps to narrow down the steps you take later troubleshooting the download or update issue on iPhone. Follow all the steps in the manner mentioned in sequence to fetch the desired result.

James Davis

James Davis

staff Editor

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