4 Ways to Solve Problems With iTunes Purchases

Young man listening to songs on his iPhone with headphones.
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Buying a song, app, book, or movie from the iTunes Store is usually simple and worry-free. Click or tap a few buttons and in almost no time you're enjoying your new media.

But sometimes problems crop up with your iTunes purchases. If you lose your internet connection during the purchase or download, or there's an error on Apple's side, you can end up having paid and not being able to enjoy to your new content.

Some of the common problems that occur in these situations include: 

  • A partially downloaded file that can't be played or used.
  • A charge to your credit card, but no download.
  • A file that appears to have completely downloaded, but doesn't play.
  • A failed purchase.

If you're facing one of these problems, here are 4 steps you can take to get the content you want from iTunes.

1. The Purchase Didn't Happen

The easiest of these problems to solve is if the purchase simply didn't happen. In that case, you just need to buy the content again. You can check to make sure the purchase didn't happen using iTunes by following these steps:

  1. Open iTunes.

  2. Select the Account menu.

  3. Select View My Account.

    View My Account submenu in Account Menu in iTunes
  4. If you're asked to log in to your Apple ID account, do so and select Sign In.


    Sign-in dialog in iTunes, showing Apple ID and Password fields
  5. Scroll down to the Purchase History section.

  6. Select See All.

    See All link in iTunes Account Info screen
  7. Here, you'll be able to see when your most recent purchase was and what it was.

You can perform the same check using the iTunes Store or App Store apps on an iOS device:

  1. Tap the app for the kind of purchase you're checking, either iTunes Store or the App Store.

  2. In the App Store, tap your profile icon in the upper right, then Purchased.

    Next, tap My Purchases. If you have Family Purchases, tap on the individual family member you want to check on.

    Profile icon, Purchased, My Purchases buttons in App Store on iOS

    You can tap Not on This iPhone at the top of the app. This displays purchases not currently installed on your device.

    Not on this iPhone button at the top of App Store Purchased screen
  3. In the iTunes Store, tap the More tab at the bottom, then Purchased. Tap on Music, Movies, or TV Shows to see the specific media you purchased. If you have Family Purchases, you can tap on the individuals in your Family Plan below.

    More icon, Purchased button and Music, Movies, or TV Shows buttons in Purchased window in iTunes Store for iOS

In both cases, if the item you were trying to buy isn't listed, you weren't charged for it and the purchase didn't happen. Just head back to the iTunes or App Store and buy it like you normally would.

2. Check for Available Downloads in iTunes

In some cases, you may run into a download that begins and then stalls out before it completes. If that's the issue you're facing, you should be able to restart the download easily by following these steps:

  1. Open iTunes.

  2. Select the Account menu.

  3. Select Check for Available Downloads.

    Check for Available Downloads submenu in Account menu for iTunes
  4. If you're asked to enter your Apple ID, do so.

  5. Select Check.

  6. If you have a purchase that didn't download at all or was interrupted, it should start to download automatically.

3. Redownload Using iCloud

If your purchase succeeded and the item you're looking for doesn't come up when you Check for Available Downloads, there's a simple solution for getting your missing content: iCloud. Apple stores all of your iTunes and App Store purchases in your iCloud account where you can easily redownload them.

Read this article for step-by-step instructions on how to use iCloud to redownload iTunes Store purchases.

4. Get Support at iTunes

The first three options on this list should solve the problem for most users. However, if you're one of the unlucky few who's still got a problem even after trying them, you've got two options:

  1. Get support from Apple's iTunes support team. For step-by-step instructions on how to do that, read this article on requesting support from the iTunes Store.

  2. Use Apple's online help site to determine the best kind of support for you. This site will ask you some questions about your problem and, based on your answers, provide an article to read, a person to chat with, or a number to call. 

BONUS: How to Get a Refund From iTunes

Sometimes the problem with your iTunes purchase isn't that it didn't work. Sometimes the purchase went through fine but you wish it didn't. If that's your situation, you may be able to get a refund. To learn how, read How to Get a Refund From iTunes.