Fix iPhone Apps Not Downloading [Full Guide]

Trying to download or install an app on your iPhone but it’s just not working? Are apps getting stuck during download or not downloading at all? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many iPhone users face issues with app downloads failing or apps not installing correctly after an iOS update.

The good news is, there are some simple troubleshooting steps you can try to get your iPhone app downloads working again. In this guide, we’ll walk through the top solutions to fix iPhone apps not downloading or installing.

Quick Answer:

Here are quick answer bullet points for the article on fixing iPhone apps not downloading:

  • Check App Store restrictions in Settings to make sure app downloads are allowed.
  • Ensure you have a strong Wi-Fi or cellular data connection when downloading apps.
  • Free up storage space on your iPhone if it’s low on memory. Offload or delete files.
  • Sign out then sign back into your Apple ID to refresh your account details.
  • Reset network settings under General > Reset if connectivity issues persist.
  • Try offloading and then re-installing any problematic apps that get stuck.
  • Contact Apple support if troubleshooting doesn’t resolve the issues.
  • Restart your iPhone as a first step for any app download problems.
  • Search your device for “missing” installed apps. Check the App Library.
  • Stuck app downloads can be caused by unstable connections. Switch networks.
  • Frozen/stuck downloads may require turning Airplane mode on and off to reset.
  • Low storage space, authentication errors, and network glitches are the main causes of failed downloads.

Step 1: Check App Store Restrictions

The first thing to check is whether you have any restrictions enabled on the App Store. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions. Look under Content Restrictions and make sure Installing Apps is switched on.

If it’s disabled, apps won’t be able to download or install. Toggle it on and try downloading the app again.

Step 2: Check Your Internet Connection

An unstable internet connection is one of the most common reasons for failed app downloads. Apps can get stuck when the connection drops mid-download.

Make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. Try connecting your iPhone to a different Wi-Fi network or toggling Airplane mode on and off to reset the connection.

You can also try downloading over cellular data if you were previously on Wi-Fi, or vice versa. A strong, consistent connection is key for successful app downloads.

Step 3: Check Available Storage Space

If your iPhone is low on storage space, it may prevent you from downloading large apps. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to see how much free space you have left.

Try offloading unused apps or deleting old photos/videos to free up space. Most apps need at least 500MB – 1GB of available storage. Clearing space ensures room for new app downloads.

Step 4: Sign Out/Sign Back Into Your Apple ID

Signing out and back into your Apple ID can refresh your account details and resolve any authentication issues preventing app downloads.

Follow these steps:

  • Open the App Store and tap your profile icon in the top right.
  • Tap Sign Out.
  • Enter your Apple ID password if prompted.
  • Once signed out, sign back in with your Apple ID credentials.

Try downloading the app again after signing back in. This often resolves any temporary glitches with your account.

Step 5: Reset Network Settings

For connectivity issues that persist, try resetting your network settings:

  • Go to Settings > General > Reset.
  • Tap Reset Network Settings.
  • Enter your passcode if prompted. This will reset all network settings without erasing any data.

Once your device reboots, try downloading the app again. Resetting network settings often fix cellular and Wi-Fi glitches causing app download failures.

Step 6: Offload and Re-install Problematic Apps

For issues with a specific app, try offloading and re-installing the app:

  • Delete the problematic app from your iPhone.
  • Power down your iPhone and turn it back on.
  • Re-download the app from the App Store.

This will give the app a fresh start which may resolve any corrupted files or issues from a previous install.

When to Contact Apple Support

If you still can’t download or install apps after trying all the troubleshooting steps, it’s time to contact Apple. Reach out to Apple support via phone, chat, or schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store.

Provide details on when the issue started, what troubleshooting you’ve tried, and any error messages you see. Apple can investigate further and resolve stubborn app download issues.


Why does my iPhone say “Unable to Install App”?

The “Unable to Install” error usually means you don’t have enough storage space for the app download or certain files failed to download properly. Try freeing up storage space and ensure you have a strong Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

Why are my apps stuck at “Waiting…” when downloading?

A “Waiting” status typically means there is a network connectivity issue. Try switching to a better Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. Also, reset network settings and sign out/into your Apple ID to refresh your account.

How can I fix the app download progress getting stuck or frozen?

For frozen/stuck app downloads, turn Airplane mode on and off to reset your network connection. Also, try deleting the stuck app and re-downloading it. Check for any paused downloads under Settings that may be preventing the new download.

Should I restart my iPhone if app downloads aren’t working?

Yes, restarting your iPhone is a good first troubleshooting step for any app download issues. Power down your device completely and turn it back on. Then try downloading the app again. This can clear out temporary glitches.

Why does my iPhone say the app is installed but I can’t find it?

If an iPhone says an app is installed but it’s missing from your home screen, try searching for the app name on your device. Also, check the App Library. If you still can’t find it, offload the app and try re-installing it from the App Store.


App downloads getting stuck or failing can be frustrating. But in most cases, it can be fixed with simple troubleshooting. Check for restrictions, free up storage space, reset network settings, sign in/out of your Apple ID, and offload/re-install problematic apps.

Following the step-by-step guidance in this article will help get your iPhone app downloads working properly again. But if issues persist, don’t hesitate to contact Apple support for further assistance. With the right fixes, you’ll be downloading great new apps in no time.

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