How to Download iPhone Apps From the App Store

Get the best free and paid iOS apps

Social Media Apps on Smart Phones
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Maybe the most exciting and compelling thing about iOS devices--the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad - is their ability to run the huge variety of apps available in the App Store. From photography to free music, games to social networking, cooking to running, the App Store has an app--probably dozens of apps--for everyone.

Using the App Store

Using the App Store isn't too different from using the iTunes Store (and just like with iTunes, you can also download apps on your iOS device using the App Store app), but there are a few key differences.


In order to use apps and the App Store, you'll need:

  • An iPhone 3G or higher, a 2nd generation iPod touch or higher, or any iPad model
  • iTunes 7.7 or higher (though it's always best to have the newest version your computer can run)
  • iOS 2.0 or higher (again, the newer the better)
  • An iTunes account

With those requirements met, launch the iTunes program on your desktop or laptop, if it's not already running. In the top right corner, there's a button labeled iTunes Store. Click it. Not surprisingly, this will take you to the iTunes Store, which the App Store is part of.

Finding Apps

Once you're at the iTunes Store, you have two options. First, you can search for an app by typing its name into the search field at the top-right corner of the iTunes window. Or you can look for the row of buttons across the top. In the middle of that row is App Store. You can click that to go to the homepage of the App Store.


To search for a specific app, or a general type of app, enter your search term in the search bar in the top right and press Return or Enter.

Your list of search results will show all the items in the iTunes Store that match your search. This includes music, movies, books, apps, and more. At this point, you can:

  • Results Categories - click either iPhone Apps or iPad Apps in the right column to narrow your search results and see a full screen of apps
  • See All - Click the See All link at the far right of either search results box to see all the apps that matched your search
  • Select an app - If the app you're looking for turned up in the initial group of search results, click it.


If you don't know the exact app you're looking for, you'll want to browse the App Store. The homepage of the App Store features lots of apps, but you can find even more either by clicking on the links on the right side of the homepage or by clicking the arrow in the App Store menu at the top of the page. This drops down a menu that shows all the categories of apps available in the store. Click the category you're interested in viewing.

Whether you searched or browsed, when you've found the app you want to download (if it's free) or buy (if it's not), click on it.

Download or Buy the App

When you click on the app, you'll be taken to the app's page, which includes a description, screenshots, reviews, requirements, and a way to download or buy the app.

On the left-hand side of the screen, under the app's icon, you'll see some basic information about the app.

In the right column, you'll see a description of the app, screenshots from it, user reviews, and the requirements for running the app. Make sure your device and version of the iOS are compatible with the app before you buy.

When you're ready to buy/download, click the button under the app's icon. A paid app will show the price on the button. Free apps will read Free. If you're ready to buy/download, click that button. You may need to sign in to your iTunes account (or create one, if you don't have one) in order to complete the purchase.

Sync the App to Your iOS Device

Unlike other software, iPhone apps only work on devices running the iOS, not on Windows or the Mac OS. This means that you need to sync the app to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad in order to use it.

In order to do this, follow the instructions for syncing an:

When you've completed the sync, the app is installed on your device and ready for use!

You can also set your devices and computers to automatically download any new apps (or music and movies) using iCloud. With this, you can skip the syncing entirely.

Redownload Apps with iCloud

If you accidentally delete an app--even a paid app--you're not stuck buying another copy. Thanks to iCloud, Apple's web-based storage system, you can redownload your apps for free either via iTunes or the App Store app on the iOS.

Redownloading also works for music, movies, TV shows, and books bought at iTunes.