How to Download iPhone Apps You've Already Purchased

Re-download an app you already bought

One of the best things about the App Store is that you can re-download apps you've already purchased. You can do this an unlimited number of times without having to pay for them again.

Downloading apps you've already paid for is especially important if you accidentally delete an app or if you lose apps when your iPhone breaks or is stolen. There are a couple of ways to do this, including finding the app in the App Store and downloading it like normal.

These directions apply to iOS 5 and newer versions of iOS. However, the steps are slightly different between some versions (and the visuals often very different), so pay attention to the callouts below.

How to Download Apps You Already Bought on iPhone

Using your phone to re-download apps from the App Store is probably the easiest option. Here's what to do:

  1. Tap App Store app.

    • If you're running iOS 11 and up, skip to Step 3.
    • In some older versions of the iOS, tap the Updates tab at the bottom.
    • In iOS 6 and iOS 5, tap Purchased at the bottom of the screen, and then skip to Step 5.
  2. On iPhones running iOS 11 or newer, tap your photo at the top right corner of the screen.

    If you're using iOS 10 or an older version of iOS, you won't see that icon. Tap Purchased at the bottom of the screen, and then skip to Step 4.

  3. Tap Purchased.

    Updates, Profile picture, Purchased button in iOS App Store

    If you have Family Sharing enabled, next tap My Purchases (or the name of the person who originally purchased the app, if it wasn't you).

  4. Tap Not on This iPhone. This shows a list of the apps you've purchased that aren't currently installed on your phone.

  5. Search or scroll through the list to find the app you want to reinstall. Then tap the cloud icon next to it.

    My Purchases, download icon, Not on this iPhone
  6. The app will redownload to your device for free.

Another way to redownload purchased apps is to visit their App Store page. Even if you bought the app and then deleted it, the download button will be the same the cloud icon seen earlier.

Running into problems downloading or updating apps? We've got the solutions in iPhone Won't Download Apps? 11 Ways to Fix It.

How to Re-Download Previous Apps Using iTunes

how many apps in the iPhone App Store?

You can also download previous app purchases using iTunes. Here's what to do:

The App Store was removed from iTunes in version 12.7, released in 2017. These instructions only apply to versions of iTunes earlier than that. If you're running a newer version of iTunes, or if you're using Apple Music, your only option for re-downloading apps is to do it on the iPhone.

  1. Open iTunes and click the Apps icon in the top left corner, just underneath the playback controls (it looks like an A).

  2. Choose App Store just beneath the playback window at the top center of the screen.

  3. Click Purchased in the Quick Links section at the right.

  4. This screen lists every app you've ever downloaded or purchased for any iOS device using this Apple ID. Browse the screen or search for the app using the search bar on the left.

  5. When you find the app you want, click the download icon (the cloud with the down arrow). If asked, sign in with your Apple ID.

  6. When the app finishes downloading to your computer, sync your iPhone with iTunes to install the app on your phone.

How to Redownload Pre-Installed iOS Apps

If you're running iOS 10 or newer, you can delete many of the pre-installed apps that come with your iPhone. This can't be done with all apps, but some apps like Apple Watch and iCloud Drive can be deleted. 

If you delete these apps and then want them back, it's easy. Just search for them in the App Store and re-download them like any other app.

What About Apps Removed From the App Store?

Developers can remove their apps from the App Store. This happens when they no longer want to sell or support an app, or when a new version is such a major change that they treat it as a separate app.

Most of the time, you should be able to redownload an app you've purchased, even if it's been removed from the App Store. This isn't true 100% of the time, but generally speaking, if you've paid for an app, you'll find it through the App Store using the steps from earlier.

The apps you probably won't be able to re-download include those that break the law, infringe copyright, are banned by Apple, or that are actually malicious apps disguised as something else (you probably don't want those anyway).

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