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iPhone Cannot Download or Update Apps? Check 9 Fixes Here

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Francisco Spearman

August 4, 2018 (Updated: August 4, 2018)• Filed to: iOS 12 Issues

4 min read

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You will find yourself in a situation where you need to update or download new apps but your iPhone cannot download apps or your iPhone cannot update apps. This article will show you how to go about fixing these problems.

1. Check Apple ID

There are times when updates will appear on your iPhone that will require you to download them. Once you start to download your iPhone cannot download apps. You need to check if the Apple ID you are using is the right one. Every downloaded app has a specific Apple ID that is associated with it. Meaning that the only way you can use a particular app on your iPhone is by being logged in with its original Apple ID. You can check using your iPhone the Apple ID that was originally used to get the app by following these steps:

Step 1: On your iPhone click the Apple store app.

Step 2: Click on Updates.

Step 3: Then tap on Purchased tab.

Step 4: Check if you can find the app you want to download is listed. If you cannot find it means it was downloaded using another Apple ID.


If you are using iTunes you can get the Apple ID that was used to download an app by following these steps:

Step 1: On your iPhone go to Your list of apps.

Step 2: Then click the File button.

Step 3: On the Purchased by tab check the Apple ID.

2. Sign Out and Sign In To Apple Store

If you are having problems where your iPhone cannot update apps then you need to make sure you are using the right Apple ID from Apple store. If it is the right Apple ID you can solve this issue by signing out and signing in again on Apple store. Follow these steps:

Step 1: On your iPhone go to Settings.

Step 2: Click on the iTunes & app store tab.

Step 3: Then click on the Apple ID tab.

Step 4: In the pop up click on the Sign out tab.

Step 5: Click on the Apple ID again and sign in with your Apple ID.


3. Restart Apple Store app

Sometimes your apps do not work properly or your Apple store has stopped functioning properly. This means your iPhone cannot download apps or even update. For you to rectify this problem you can force quit the app then launch it again with the following steps:

step 1: Click twice on the Home button. You will get a preview of all recently used apps.

Step 2: Find the App store app by swiping right or left.

Step 3: Close it by swiping up.

Step 4: Go to your iPhone’s Home screen and launch the App store.


4. Free up Storage on iPhone

You need to have enough free storage space on your iPhone or iPad for you to be able to update or download the apps. You can delete some of the apps you are not using like in your photos, videos or music but first back them up then delete them. Follow these steps:

Step 1: On your device’s Home screen find the app’s icon you want to delete.

Step 2: Click and hold the app’s icon till it jiggles.

Step 3: Then click on the X.

Step 4: Click on delete for the app to be deleted.


5. Check Internet Connection

If you are having issues updating or downloading app on your iPhone or iPad, you need to check if your internet connection is working properly.

Follow these steps to turn on/off the Airplane mode:

Step 1: On your iOS device click on Settings.

Step 2: Turn on the Airplane mode.

Step 3: Wait a while then turn it off.


Then turn on/off Wi-Fi

Step 1: Go to your device Settings and turn off the Wi-Fi switch.

Step 2: Wait for a while then turn it on.

Then forget the Wi-Fi network and reconnect your device

Step 1: Go to Settings and click on Wi-Fi.

Step 2: Click on the ‘i’ button next to Wi-Fi network.

Step 3: Click on Forget this network then confirm. Then reconnect Wi-Fi.


Then allow App store to use your cellular data

Step 1: Go to Settings and click on Cellular/mobile data.

Step 2: Scroll to the App store tab and make sure it is On.

Lastly reset all network settings to factory default settings if network is still poor.

Step 1: Go to Settings, click on General then tap on Reset.

Step 2: Click Reset network settings and confirm.


6. Reconnect Wi-Fi

You can try disconnecting then reconnecting to your wireless network if your iPhone cannot update apps or download apps directly using your iPhone’s wireless connection. You can try turning your Wi-Fi on and off which usually helps to rectify the network problems on your device.

7. Clear App Store Cache

You might find that in some cases your cache may prevent you from updating of downloading apps on your device. You need to clear your App store cache by following these steps:

Step 1: Go to your device’s App store app and open it.

Step 2: Touch 10 times any icon on the down bar of the app.

Step 3: The app will restart then click the Finish button to empty the cache.


8. Change Data and Time settings

Your iPhone’s settings on the date and time can give you problems when you are trying to update or download in iOS 12.

Step 1: Go to your device’s Settings.

Step 2: Click on the General tab.

Step 3: Click on Date & time.

Sep 4: Turn on the Set automatically tab.


9. Restore iPhone System without Data Loss

iMyFone iOS System Recovery is an iOS repair tool that helps to get your iPhone functioning again. This tool is highly recommended if the methods mentioned above are not useful. It is used to deal with several iOS or system issues for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Including iPhone stuck in dfu or recovery mode, remove iPhone password, etc. without data loss.

Try It FreeTry It Free

Step 1. Connect your device to a computer and select the Standard mode that will prompt you to enter the DFU or Recovery mode for repair to begin.

interface of iMyFone iOS system recovery

Step 2: Put device on DFU mode by clicking on start then press the sleep/ wake and the home buttons for 8-10 minutes. Release wake/sleep button and continue holding the home button for 5 seconds.

 enter DFU mode under Standard mode

If phone is not on DFU mode put on recovery mode by pressing and holding the sleep/wake and home buttons. Continue to hold till you see the ‘connect to iTunes’ icon.

Step 3: Once on DFU/recovery mode the program will automatically download the latest iOS version to your device. Click download to install the firmware.

download firmware

Step 4: Once firmware is downloaded, click ‘start to fix’ and the program will start to fix the device automatically. Once completed, checks if device is starting if not re-try.

fixing ios issues

You now know what to do when your iPhone cannot download apps. The above methods also show you what to do when your iPhone cannot update apps.

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