How to Fix iPhone That Won’t Download And Update Apps

Are your iPad or iPhone apps stuck in the middle of the download? Or your device does not start the process of downloading and installing apps at all? Take it easy and try the methods below to fix the problem. They are also helpful if your apps won’t update the new versions from App Store.

How to fix: iPhone/iPad apps won’t download or update

If you encounter the issue that apps won’t update and download, sometimes maybe it’s just an issue happening at the server side, not on your device. So you should wait for a while and start to download apps again. If the issue still persists, check out these solutions below.

1. Check Internet Connection

First, make sure your cellular data or Wi-Fi connection is working properly. A majority of the problem of apps not updating or downloading is mostly because your data network is not stable.

Once you’re done checking the connection, you still need to remove the stuck app and start downloading again.

2. Time Set Manually? Change It To Automatic

Sometimes, wrong date and time set on your device may cause network connectivity problems. To prevent this from happening, you should let iOS set the time automatically based on your location.

Just head over the Settings app, navigate to General > Date & Time and then turn the Set Automatically option on. After the change, you should see the proper time displayed on your device. Note that you need an internet connection to be able to change the time setting to automatic.

Set time automatically

3. Clear The App Store Cache or Restart It

Do you know how to clear the App Store Cache? If you haven’t heard of it, let me show you how to clear cache in the App Store.
Tap 10 times on the Featured Tab

It is just a simple act, all you need to do is launch the App Store and tap continuously 10 times on Featured. You’ll see the app reload data. After that, try installing apps. If still not working, you can force quit the App Store and launch it again.

4. Close All Background Apps

iOS is generally smart enough to keep apps in the background from needlessly eating up battery life or system resources. But sometimes, things go wrong. Some apps may glitch out and really, they do slow down the system, making other functions stop working.

So let’s try this: Open up the App Switcher by double-pressing the Home button. Once you’ve entered the App Switcher, simply swipe upward on the apps’ thumbnail to close them. Repeat this act until all your apps in the background are removed.

Close all apps in the background

Now go to the App Store and try to download the app again.

5. Restart the device

This simple act works like a charm most of the time since your device will be reboot and all bugs are cleared. You can simply turn your device off and turn it on again using the Power button.

Or, if you want to give your device a completely clean start, you can perform a soft reset:

  1. Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo. You can let go of both buttons after the Apple logo appears.
  2. Your phone will go through the usual process of starting up.
  3. You’ll be back on your home screen.

6. Free Up Storage Space

Open up the Settings app and navigate to General > Storage & iCloud Usage. Here you can see the storage space available.

Check free storage space

Make sure you’ve got enough free space to install the app. And also keep in mind that the install process needs more space than the actual file size in order to store temporary data while installing.

7. Delete The App and Download It Again (If your app won’t update)

This solution is used in case your app won’t update the new version from App Store. But before proceeding, note that if you delete an app, all the data stored within the app will also be removed. So if you have trouble with apps saving your important documents such as Foxit PDF, Documents 5, you should safely make a backup of the data before deleting it. Or you better try the next solutions to see if they help.

8. Sign Out Apple ID and Sign In Again

Sometimes, the issue that iPhone cannot download or update apps happens because something goes wrong with the authentication process. You just need to sign out of your Apple ID and then sign in again. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Your Apple ID > Sign Out.

Sign Out and Sign in Apple ID

9. Reset Network Settings

To reset network settings on your iOS device to factory default, navigate to Settings > General > Reset, tap Reset Network Settings and follow the prompts.

Reset network settings

This does fix a lot of connectivity problems since it restores all network settings to the factory state.

10. Update Firmware

If you just upgraded your device to the latest firmware, the reason behind why it won’t download and update apps is most likely that the new firmware contains some bugs or is not compatible with your device.

Now, the first solution is to retry updating your device. But this time use iTunes on your computer, it’s more stable than updating via wireless over your Wi-Fi connection.

If it doesn’t work, you should downgrade your device back to the previous firmware version where it had worked flawlessly (if the previous firmware is still being signed by Apple). If you don’t want to do that or the old firmware is no longer signed, you can go to Settings > General > Software update and check to see if there is new firmware available to install.

11. Reset your device

The final solution is to reset your device. Before proceeding with this solution, you should make a backup of your data and save it on your computer or on the cloud for using later.

I have made a complete guide on resetting iOS devices here. Just follow the hard reset section in that guide and you can remove this annoying issue permanently.

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