'Why won't my iPhone download apps?': How to troubleshoot your iPhone in 4 ways if apps won't download

NurPhoto/Getty ImagesThere are four different ways to troubleshoot your iPhone if apps won’t download.

  • Occasionally, apps from the App Store won’t download on your iPhone.
  • You should ensure your phone is using a local Wi-Fi connection rather than cellular data, pause and restart the download, and double check that you have a valid credit card associated with your Apple ID.
  • If all else fails, restart the iPhone and try the troubleshooting steps a second time.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

While it goes without saying that apps should install automatically from the App Store, occasionally things don’t work out the way they should, and apps won’t download.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone 11 (from $US699.99 at Best Buy)


How to troubleshoot your iPhone if apps won’t download

Chinnapong/ShutterstockThere are several ways to troubleshoot the situation.

There is no single reason why your iPhone isn’t downloading apps, so you should try these troubleshooting steps. If you try each one, you’re likely to solve the problem.


Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi

Dave Johnson/Business InsiderMake sure you are downloading apps with Wi-Fi, not cellular data.

If you’re trying to download an app using your cellular connection, that might be the problem.

By default, the iPhone won’t attempt to download an app that’s more than 200 MB in size so that it doesn’t use too much data from your wireless plan. Cellular networks can also be generally unreliable for downloading large files.

To eliminate this potential problem, go somewhere with Wi-Fi, connect to the network, and try again. For instructions on connecting to Wi-Fi, see our article, “How to connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi in 2 different ways, to either a visible or hidden network.”


Pause and restart the download

Dave Johnson/Business InsiderTap the app to pause and restart its download.

Occasionally, a download will get corrupted or “confused,” and stall indefinitely. There are a few ways to get the download to resume, but the first and easiest way to try to fix it on an iPhone running iOS 13 is to pause the download and then restart it.

1. To do this, find the partially installed app and then tap and hold it firmly.

2. If you see “Pause Download,” tap that, then repeat the process and resume the download.

3. If it’s already paused, tap “Resume Download.”

4. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you can tap “Cancel Download” and then try to install it again from the App Store.

On an iPhone running iOS 12 or earlier, you can pause and restart a downloading app from its App Store page.


Check your payment method

Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou need a valid payment method even to download free apps.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to install a free or paid app – Apple requires you to have a payment method associated with your Apple ID.

1. To check the status of your payment method, start the Settings app and tap on your Apple ID at the top of the screen.

2. Then, tap “Payment & Shipping” and make sure your payment method is valid and up to date.


Restart your iPhone

Crystal Cox/Business InsiderYou might have to restart your iPhone to fix the problem.

Often, restarting your phone can resolve unexpected issues, and this is no exception. See our article “How to restart and force-restart any iPhone model,” and after it restarts, check to see if it downloads properly. If not, try to pause and restart the download a second time.

embed type
product
oEmbedUrl
html

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.