How to fix an Apple iPhone XR that cannot download apps via App Store [Troubleshooting Guide]

Downloading apps on your iPhone XR is supposed to be done easily by a few taps on the screen. But this can also become complicated due to a number of reasons. In most cases, a phone won’t be able to download new apps due to insufficient storage. This is usually the case among early devices especially those with shrinking storage. To fix the problem, freeing up space on the internal memory is recommended. Aside from memory or storage issues, network connectivity errors are also among other possible hindrances. This is when your iPhone is experiencing intermittent or unstable Internet connection or doesn’t have Internet connection at all.

In this case, solving Internet problems is likewise the key for App Store download operations to resume. Among other possible causes are server problems like when the Apple servers is are currently down or unavailable. Software-related issues like incorrect settings, bad updates, and malwares are also a culprit. To give you some inputs on how to deal with this problem, I’ve mapped out a few suggested workarounds and possible solutions. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone XR is unable to download apps through the App Store.

Before troubleshooting, check on your Internet connection. Try to open a browser app then navigate to different websites or simply open other online apps and see if they work. If you can’t access websites or online apps aren’t working, then you need to fix Internet problems on your iPhone first. Otherwise, try applying any of these subsequent solutions.

First solution: Refresh your Internet connection.

Downloading problems in mobile devices are often due to network connectivity errors or Wi-Fi issues. Thus, they are likewise remedied by refreshing the phone’s wireless functions. There are many ways to refresh your phone’s Wi-Fi feature and they are depicted below.

  1. Turn Wi-Fi OFF and ON again. Random Wi-Fi connectivity issues are usually dealt with by simply turning Wi-Fi off and then back on. To do this, head over to your iPhone Settings-> Wi-Fi menu, then tap the Wi-Fi switch to turn the feature OFF. After a few seconds, toggle the switch to turn Wi-Fi ON again.
  2. Turn Airplane ON and OFF again. Another old trick that’s been proven effective when it comes to dealing various wireless connectivity issues on an iPhone is the so-called Airplane Mode tweak. To do this, navigate to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu, then toggle the switch to enable Airplane Mode. While Airplane Mode is enabled, restart your iPhone then go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu to turn the feature OFF again. Turning Airplane Mode on disables all wireless radios including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections on the phone and turning it off re-enables the other features. So it’s like giving a quick restart on your Wi-Fi internet connection.

The ultimate solution to Internet connectivity issues is to power cycle the network equipment (router or modem). This will be necessary if all your devices are experiencing the same problems with Internet apps and services. However, you can only do this if you can access your wireless router/modem as it involves turning the equipment off, unplugging it from the power source for about 1 minute then plug it back in and turn it on again.

Internet services will then resume and online operations including app downloads via App Store should likewise be working smoothly again.

Second solution: Quit App Store and clear all background applications.

Apps do encounter random issues at any time and the App Store is no exception. If everything works perfectly fine with the App Store until now, then it’s likely just among other random app glitches that are easily remedied by restarting the application. If you’ve opened or used the App Store before and haven’t restarted your device, the app may still be suspended along with other background apps. In this case, you need to quit the application. So here’s what you should do first:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the Home screen and then pause slightly in the middle of the screen .
  2. Then swipe right or left to navigate through the app previews.
  3. Swipe up on the App Store app card/preview to close it. Do the same to clear the rest of the background apps.

Clearing all background apps is necessary to get rid of symptoms inflicted by any corrupt background applications.

Third solution: Restart your iPhone XR.

If you still can’t download apps after restarting the App Store and clearing background apps, then the next factors to eliminate are minor problems affecting the phone system itself. Random system glitches are often resolved by performing a simple restart or soft reset on the phone. Here’s how:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

You can also do a forced restart on your iPhone XR. This works similar to a soft reset in terms of rectifying minor system errors including those that caused troubles to App Store operations. To force restart an iPhone XR, simply follow these steps:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Power/Side button on the side of the phone and then release when the phone restarts.

Both these resets won’t yield to permanent data loss as they don’t affect any saved information on the phone memory.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XR.

Network-related errors on the phone are also among the possible causes. If the problem started after modifying relevant settings or installing new updates, then resetting the network settings will likely fix it. Doing so erases all customized network settings and information including Bluetooth connections, Wi-Fi networks and passwords, APNs, server settings and similar information. This reset also helps resolve minor problems affecting the phone’s wireless functions. To reset network settings on your iPhone XR, simply refer to these steps:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed.
  6. Tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

After the reset, your phone will restart automatically. Wait until it boots up and then you can start enabling necessary options and features including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. Once your device is re-established Internet connection and gets back online, retry downloading apps through the App Store.

Fifth solution: Log out and back into the App Store.

Your Apple ID is the primary key that is used to identify your App Store purchases and downloads. To rule out account-related issues that might have caused you trouble downloading apps from the App Store, sign out and back into the App Store with these steps:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select iTunes & App Store.
  3. Tap on the Apple ID header.
  4. If prompted with pop-up message, tap the option to Sign Out. You will then be logged out from your account.
  5. After logging out, tap on your Apple ID again then select the option to Sign In.

Be sure to enter the correct account information then restart or refresh the Apple Store application.

Also check and ensure that the Apple ID you are using is correct. Note that every downloaded app is associated with a specific Apple ID. To check on this, access the details on your App Store purchases. Here’s how:

  1. Tap on the App Store icon from your Home screen.
  2. From the App Store main screen, tap Updates.
  3. Then tap to open the Purchased tab. A list of apps will then be displayed.

Find the app that you want to download. If it’s not in the list, then it means that the app was downloaded using different Apple ID from the one you’re currently logged in. In this case, you can use iTunes to find out which Apple ID was used to download the app. To do so, open iTunes on your computer then select your iPhone XR to access your list of apps. Open the File menu then click on the Purchased tab to view the Apple ID details.

Other options

If all the aforementioned solutions don’t work and your iPhone XR is still unable to download apps from the App Store, then you can use iTunes as alternative solution. To get this done, you need to secure a Mac or Windows computer with the latest version of iTunes software installed. Once everything is set, connect your iPhone to the computer using the Apple-supplied USB/Lightning cable then open iTunes. Just follow the onscreen commands to start downloading iOS apps through iTunes.

For other options and more advanced solutions, call your iPhone provider/carrier or Apple Support. Let them know about your concern so they can further assess the problem and come up with the ultimate solution.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!