How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that cannot download or update apps [Troubleshooting Guide]

The App Store serves as the main platform to utilize when it comes to getting apps you’d like or updating the ones you’ve already got on your Apple device. For as long as you’re connected to the Internet and the App Store server is available, everything should work seamlessly. But then again, many factors can trigger random errors to occur and you would just realize that the App Store is affected because it doesn’t work as expected. Outlined below are recommended workarounds and potential solutions you can refer to in case you will encounter some issues when trying to update or download apps on your iPhone XS through the App Store. Read on for more information.

Before troubleshooting, verify and ensure that the date and time settings on your iPhone are properly configured. Incorrect date or time is one of the factors that could halt App Store operations. If necessary, set the date and time to Automatic. To manage date and time settings on your iPhone XS, simply go to Settings-> General-> Date & Time menu, then enable the option to Set Automatically. This will prompt your device to use the current date and time information based on your timezone and location.

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Also make sure that restrictions for installing apps on your iPhone XS are not enabled. To check this out, go to Settings-> General-> Restrictions menu. If prompted, enter your passcode to continue and then scroll to the Installing Apps option. Make sure that the switch next to it is turned off. If it’s turned ON, then toggle the switch to turn it OFF and grant permission for Apps Installation.

More importantly, check and ensure that your iPhone has enough memory/storage space for storing additional apps and contents. While this isn’t likely the root cause of the problem given that the iPhone XS is packed with huge storage capacity, verifying the actual memory status is still imperative.

If you’ve confirmed that the problem isn’t attributed to any of the aforementioned factors, then you can start performing the following workarounds to troubleshoot and rule out software-related errors among the culprits.

First solution: Verify and ensure your Apple ID is correct.

An Apple ID serves as the primary key for you to update, download, and install apps through the App Store. Thus, entering an invalid Apple ID and/or password can cause you a lot of trouble. The same thing can happen if you the Apple ID you entered while attempting to update or download new app is different from the one that you used previously or currently registered. To check and verify this information, follow these steps:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Scroll down to and then tap on Updates.
  3. Tap the Purchased tab.

Then try finding the app that you want to download. If that app isn’t there, it means that the app was downloaded using a different Apple ID. In that case, try signing out from the App Store and then sign in again. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select iTunes & App Store tab.
  3. Tap on Apple ID.
  4. From the pop-up message, tap the option to Sign Out. Doing so will log you out from the App Store.
  5. Tap on the Apple ID header again and then select the option to Sign In.

After successfully signing in, open the App Store and then retry downloading or updating apps and see if it’s already working.

Second solution: Force close the App Store then restart your iPhone.

Apps can become rogue and may stop to work due to random glitches and the App Store is no exception. If you’ve previously launched the app, then there’s a chance that it’s still suspended and eventually corrupted. As a result, the app isn’t working as intended and therefore downloads or updates won’t go through. In this case, the app needs to be refreshed. And this likewise denotes that it needs to be cleared out. So here’s what you can try doing next:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe your finger up and then pause.
  2. Swipe right or left to navigate through apps preview.
  3. Find the App Store card/preview.
  4. Then swipe up on the App Store preview to end the application.

If you see any other apps suspended or running in the background, clear them all too so as not to let any of them interfere with the App Store operations. Once all background apps are cleared, perform a soft reset on your iPhone XS with these steps:

  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.

This is also another way to clear and refresh the phone memory from cache and minor glitches, thus giving your phone a clean fresh start.

Third solution: Clear the App Store cache.

Unlike Android, iOS platform doesn’t have an option for users to clear cache and data for individual apps. However, some users found a way to clear the App Store cache. It turned out that by performing this tweak, any minor glitches with the App Store including download or update errors attributed to corrupted caches are rectified. If you wish to try it, then here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Scroll down towards the bottom section where you can see different icons/tabs.
  3. Tap on any of that icons 10 times consecutively.

After the 10th tap, you should notice that the app somehow refreshes. That denotes that the app cache has been cleared.

Fourth solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and then off again.

Another simple old trick that’s been proven effective when dealing with minor network connectivity errors is the so-called Airplane Mode toggle. It works by simply turning Airplane Mode on and then off again. It works like restarting and refreshing the phone’s wireless functions. Here’s how the trick is done:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select Airplane Mode.
  3. Then tap the switch to turn Airplane Mode ON. Doing so will automatically disable wireless functions including your Wi-Fi Internet connection.
  4. Restart/soft reset your iPhone.
  5. As soon as the phone boots up, head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  6. Then tap the switch to turn Airplane Mode OFF. Doing so will enable all wireless functions and services.

Online applications should likewise be working properly again. To see if this has fixed the problem, open the App Store and then retry downloading or updating apps.

If the previous trick doesn’t work, then move on and try forgetting your wireless network. Doing so will delete your Wi-Fi network completely. Once the network is deleted, you can set it up as and connect like the first time you do. Network-related issues including online apps that are glitching will then be cleared out. If network errors are the ones hindering App Store downloads and app updates, then performing this workarounds will potentially fix it. Here’s how to forget Wi-Fi network on your iPhone XS:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
  3. If necessary, toggle the Wi-Fi switch to turn Wi-Fi on and show available Wi-Fi networks.
  4. Select your Wi-Fi network from the list and then tap on the information “i” icon next to it.
  5. Tap the option to Forget this network then follow the onscreen prompt to confirm action.
  6. Restart your iPhone when the Wi-Fi network is successfully forgotten or deleted.
  7. Then go back to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu to set up and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network.

Wait until your iPhone reconnects to Wi-Fi and once it’s connected, try launching the App Store and see if the problem is gone.

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone.

If none of the prior methods helped, then you may now resort to performing system resets. This is often needed to clear out system errors that might have caused troubles with the App Store operations. At this point, you can try resetting all settings on your iPhone XS. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings. This will erase all customized options and recent settings changes on the phone.
  5. Enter your device passcode, when asked.
  6. Confirm settings reset by tapping on the given option.

This reset won’t affect any saved information stored on the internal memory, so you don’t need to create backups. Just be sure to reconnect to Wi-Fi after the reset to go back online and use online services, particularly App Store.

For further assistance and more advanced solutions, contact Apple Support and escalate the problem. If you see any error codes or prompts while attempting to download or update apps through the App Store, then relay that information so the support team can use it as clues to determine the cause of the problem and come up with the ultimate solution.