Phone Won’t Download Apps? Here’s What to Do

May 7, 2021 • Devin Partida


Smartphones have countless capabilities, including holding all your favorite apps. However, sometimes errors or obstacles occur where you’re unable to download apps. It could be an issue with the app store or the phone itself. No need to worry — you have several actions you can take. Here’s what to do if your phone won’t download apps: 

General Ways to Fix a Phone that Won’t Download Apps

Though app downloads are usually simple, a lot of factors go into even a single download or update. You’ll need to have a strong Wi-Fi or cellular data connection, you may need to verify your payment method and you need enough storage to download the app.

The first step you should take is to pause the download if it’s already begun and then restart it. Sometimes the app gets stuck and needs a simple push. Next, you can try quitting the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Then, start your download again.

You can also check to make sure you have enough storage on your device to download. Go to your Settings on your phone and find the storage section. It will show you how much space you have left. If you don’t have enough for the app you’re trying to download, you’ll need to free up some space.

If that isn’t the issue, check your Wi-Fi connection. Some large apps may require Wi-Fi to download — if it takes up a lot of storage, try turning on your Wi-Fi. If you’re already connected, check to make sure your router is working since the issue could be the Wi-Fi itself. You may also need to switch to data if you have a poor Wi-Fi signal.

The next thing you can try is verifying your payment method. On the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, go to your account and click on the payment section. Sometimes, you’ll need to verify your card or switch your payment method if your card has expired. 

If your phone won’t download apps still, you can try turning it off and back on again.

How to Fix an Android

Some issues may be specific to the operating system that your phone runs on. For Android users, first check for a software update on your phone. While rare, having outdated software can make your phone run into problems. One of those problems could be errors with downloading apps. 

If you don’t have an update to download or if that’s not the issue, try to change your app preferences. First, cancel the app that’s pending download. Go to the Google Play Store – Menu – My apps & games. Cancel the downloading apps. 

Then, go to Settings on your device and tap App download preferences. Change the setting to Over any network. If you have Wi-Fi only selected, that could be the issue.

If all else fails, try clearing the cache of the Google Play Store. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Hit Apps & notifications. Then tap on See all apps.
  • Scroll until you find the Google Play Store.
  • Then, click on Storage. 
  • You can now clear the cache and clear data as well. 

Doing so will reduce the chance of app errors and glitches. Try your download again.

How to Fix an iPhone

With an iPhone, a software update is usually necessary to keep things running smoothly. This step should be the first thing you check on to get your apps downloading again. 

Go to Settings – General – Software Update. Your phone will check for an update — if you have one, you should download it. Here you can also turn on automatic downloads for updates if you’d like. 

Otherwise, try the general solutions above. Restart the App Store or your iPhone if necessary. 

The Last Resort if Your Phone Won’t Download Apps

If these solutions aren’t helping and your phone won’t download apps still, you may need to contact your carrier’s customer support team for additional help. Sometimes the fix could be as easy as turning your phone on and off again. Other times, it could be an issue with the hardware. Regardless, you’ll want to test these solutions to get back to enjoying your apps, carefree.