Why can’t I install apps on App Store?

If you are having issues installing apps from the App Store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, there are a few potential causes and solutions to try. The most common reasons why you may be unable to install apps include:

Your device lacks storage space

In order to install new apps, you need to have sufficient storage space available on your device. Each app requires a certain amount of storage, which can range from a few megabytes up to multiple gigabytes. If your device is low on storage, you may be unable to download and install new apps.

To check your available storage, go to Settings > General > Storage on your iOS device. This will show you a breakdown of how much space is being used by different categories like Apps, Photos, etc. If you are getting close to filling up your total capacity, you will need to free up space before new app installations will work.

To free up storage space, you can:

  • Delete unused apps
  • Offload unused apps – this removes the app but keeps documents and data
  • Delete photos and videos from your camera roll
  • Remove music, movies, and other media you no longer need
  • Turn on iCloud Photo Library to store photos and videos in the cloud instead of locally
  • Enable iCloud storage optimization for your device to store full resolution photos and videos in iCloud and smaller resolution versions on your device

Deleting unused apps and media you no longer need is the best way to quickly free up significant storage capacity. Once you have freed up enough space, you should be able to install apps from the App Store again.

App requires newer iOS version

Apps in the App Store are developed for specific versions of iOS. If you are trying to install an app that requires a newer iOS version than what your device is currently running, installation will fail.

For example, if you have an iPhone 6 running iOS 12 and attempt to install an app that requires iOS 13, you will get an error that the app is not compatible with your iOS version.

To resolve this, you would need to update your device’s iOS version. You can do this by going to Settings > General > Software Update and installing the latest iOS update that is compatible with your device. Once updated to the required iOS version, you should then be able to install the desired app.

App only works on specific devices

Some apps are designed only for specific iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch models. Even if you are running the required iOS version, you may get installation errors if the app does not support your particular device.

For example, some apps are developed only for iPad and will not install on iPhones. Other apps may have specific requirements such as needing an A9 chip or higher. The app details in the App Store will show compatible devices – if your device is not listed, that is likely the reason installation fails.

In this case, there is no workaround other than getting a device that the app supports. You will need to check the app’s product page in the App Store to determine compatibility before attempting to download it.

Connection issues

In order to install apps from the App Store, your device needs a steady and strong internet connection. Problems with your wifi network or cellular data connection can prevent successful app installation.

If you are getting connection errors when trying to install an app, try the following steps:

  • Restart your device – turn it fully off and then back on.
  • Check that WiFi is turned on and connected to a working network.
  • For cellular data, make sure you have at least 3G connectivity and turn Airplane Mode off.
  • Try connecting to a different WiFi network or use cellular data instead.
  • Move closer to your wifi router if the signal is weak.
  • Temporarily disable any VPN or proxy connections that could be interfering.
  • Reset your network settings under Settings > General > Reset.

A stable, high-speed internet connection is required to download apps. Resolving any network problems can help app installation complete successfully.

App Store errors

Sometimes issues with the App Store itself can prevent installing apps. App Store outages or errors do occur on occasion when Apple’s servers are down or overloaded.

If you are getting vague errors such as “Cannot connect to App Store” or “App Store is unavailable”, the issue is likely server-side. Check Apple’s System Status page to see if there are any known App Store outages. You may just need to try again later once the issues are resolved on Apple’s end.

You can also try the following steps which may help with certain App Store errors:

  • Try installing the app on a different iOS device to see if the error persists.
  • Restart your device and try installing again.
  • Update to the latest version of iOS if available.
  • Sign out of the App Store, restart, then sign back in.
  • Clear the App Store cache by going to Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Offload App.
  • If App Store login fails, check that time/date are set correctly on your device.

For recurring App Store errors, contacting Apple Support to report the specific issue may help get it resolved quicker.

Payment issues

If you are trying to install a paid app, but have payment issues, this can also prevent successful installation.

Some common payment problems that could block app installs include:

  • Expired or invalid payment method on file
  • Insufficient funds in your Apple ID account wallet
  • Payment verification taking too long
  • Banks/credit card issuer rejecting the charge

To resolve payment problems:

  • Check that the payment method for your Apple ID is valid and up to date.
  • Add funds to your Apple ID if there are insufficient funds.
  • Use a different payment method if your default one is having issues.
  • Contact your bank if they are rejecting Apple charges.
  • Retry the purchase – sometimes there are simple verification issues that get resolved quickly on retry.

Once any payment problems get sorted out, you should then be able to complete the app purchase and installation.

Restricted content settings

If you are trying to install an app that is rated 17+, but have parental restrictions enabled, this could block the app installation.

To resolve this:

  • Disable restrictions under Settings > General > Restrictions.
  • Adjust the app rating limit to allow 17+ content.
  • Enter the restrictions passcode if prompted to confirm access.

With age restrictions lifted, you should now be able to install the 17+ app.

Regional App Store mismatch

The App Store you access is based on your configured Apple ID region. If your device’s App Store region does not match the app’s availability, it cannot be downloaded.

For example, trying to install an app that is only available on the Japan App Store will fail if your Apple ID is for the US App Store. In this case, you would need to switch your Apple ID country or create a new account for the required region.

The app details will indicate regional availability – make sure to check before trying to install on a device configured for another App Store.

iPhone storage full preventing update

If your iPhone says storage full when trying to update apps or install new ones from the App Store, this indicates you need to free up space on your device first.

Even though existing apps are updated in place without additional storage needed, iOS still requires a certain amount of free space to be able to complete app updates and installations. This is generally around 500MB or more of available storage.

To make space so app updates/installs can complete:

  • Offload unused apps
  • Delete photos and videos
  • Remove music, movies and other media
  • Enable iCloud Photo Library
  • Turn on iCloud storage optimization

After you have freed up sufficient storage such as 1GB or more, you should be able to update and download apps again from the App Store without getting the iPhone storage full message.

Fix iPhone could not download app

Seeing “Unable to Download App” or “Could Not Download App” errors usually indicate an issue with the network connection when trying to download the app from the App Store.

Some things to try to fix iPhone could not download app errors:

  • Check for any App Store outages at apple.com/support/systemstatus.
  • Restart your iPhone and try downloading again.
  • Make sure you are connected to a good WiFi network or fast cellular data.
  • Toggle Airplane mode on and off to reset the network connection.
  • Clear cookies and data for App Store app.
  • Try on a different network if download fails repeatedly.

A stable, high-speed internet connection is required to download apps from the App Store. Resolving any network issues can help fix iPhone app download failures.

Fix error occurred while installing iOS update

If you get an “Error occurred installing iOS update” while trying to update iOS, it is usually caused by the device having low storage space.

Updating iOS requires approximately 3-4 GB of available storage in order to temporarily store update files and complete the installation.

To fix error occurred while installing iOS update:

  • Check your available space in Settings > General > Storage.
  • Free up space by deleting apps, photos, movies and other files.
  • Disable iCloud Photo Library and iCloud storage optimization temporarily.
  • Restart your device and try the iOS update again.

After making space on your iPhone, the iOS update should be able to complete without errors.


Trouble installing apps from the App Store is usually caused by storage space issues, outdated iOS version, network problems, or the app not being compatible with your device. Checking for these common problems and applying the appropriate solutions outlined above should get app installs working properly again.

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