iPhone App Store Updates Not Working?


At first I thought I was losing my mind. What am I referring to? App Store updates on the iPhone of course! I’m pretty good with keeping up with app updates, as most of the time there are bug fixes and improvements. But lately, the usual reliable process of updating apps on the iPhone has been one giant FAIL!

App updates would download and install. I would watch the process with my own eyes. Next thing you know, the update reappears in the App Store, indicating the update is still there waiting to be downloaded and installed! What gives? I commented out to my fellow twitter peeps, and it seems others are also experiencing this problem.

I’m confident Apple is already addressing this issue. It’s been this way for at least a few days week or two now. Let’s hope it gets fixed soon. My app store icon shows 8 updates that need to be installed. Some of the ones I’m eager to update are WhatsApp, GolfCard, Ping!,, and Movies.


Have you run into any problems updating apps on your iPhone? This issue seems to be affecting updates via iTunes on via your computer as well. Let us know in the comments!


  • Shorty_dammit

    This has been happening for a lot longer than a few days. I'm confident Apple is not addressing the issue.

  • mcyv

    Tried updating to no avail on my iPhone so I tried connecting and updating via iTunes. iTunes seemed to download the updates but they wouldn't install.

    Finally gave iTunes a reboot and all is well.

  • I too had been encountering similar, if not the same, issue with Apple's App Store. I noticed in most cases, the updates has x.x.x versioning. Also, this does not seem to apply to every applications that has an update. I think there may be an issue with the version checking of iTunes and App Store.

    I had seen this issue a while back, prior to iTunes 9.x, but with one of the versions of iTunes 9.x the issue was fixed. Given that there were no recent iTunes updates, may be the problem was within App Store.

  • Kevin

    This has been happening for a long time. It seems random which apps have this problem. Wait a few hours and it works. I noticed that during the download, it is actually downloading the older version.
    I have a wild guess at what is happening…. Apple updates the catalog/database with the new version, but it may take awhile for all their download servers to get the new files. So in the meantime, you just keep downloading the old files.

  • Looks like updating via iTunes works. Was just able to update my apps!

  • Chris

    Happened to me 3-4 times already. Update is shown, and when I try to download, it's not downloading the update, but the version I already have (this I know by the fact that there are multiple copies of the older version popping up in my trash). If an update shows up for me that isn't working… it'll work a couple of hours later. I agree with Kevin… their servers must not be updated with the new version as quickly as their database

  • montymon

    I've had the same problem a few times over the last few months.

    – Some download and update, but still show as needed updates.
    – Some multiple updates the first will download and update but the other ones don't.
    – Some download but don't install.

    On a separate note, the GolfCard app you have has to be updated through the US store, that might be the issue with it.

  • Yeah, this has been happening to me for a few weeks…it started when the Hockey Night in Canada app came out. Had to delete the whole app to get it fixed. Now I just wait, and eventually they sort themselves out. Lame.

  • Dusty

    I rarely use the App store, iTunes and working well.

  • Baddowman

    I have the same problem. And have for about a week as well

  • mattycraig

    Not only am I having this problem but I am constantly having to re-enter my password when even going into the App Store or sometimes even randomly when I am using my phone. This is super friggen annoying. Its even happening when I use itunes to update apps.

  • I just tried to update some apps and have the same problem. Seems to be downloading onto the phone but then tells me I have to download from my computer.
    I am in Indonesia so this is not just a Canada problem.

  • Same thing here ,,,, many times ..

  • geolocura

    I have been experiencing the same issue for quite a while… possible a couple of months. First, updated apps would still show up in the update pane of the App Store although they were up to date. Recently, they simply stopped updating.

  • I have this problem too. It usually goes away after a little while.

  • bcb

    this problem suddenly started happening for me about 1 or 2 weeks ago.

    updates would get downloaded successfully, but the update notice would remain either in iTunes or on the iPhone. and the applications listed needing updates differs on iTunes and iPhone. doesn't matter if I download the update in iTunes or directly on the phone. I've tried deleting the listed apps completely on both sides and re-downloading – the problem then seems to go away. but then another app shows up later with same problem

  • arrow

    yes, been happening for awhile now…..annoying …hope they fix it soon

  • ppival

    With me this seems to happen when I try to update multiple apps at the same time. If I update them one at a time it seems to work.

  • I’ve been having this problem intermittently over the past week or so. Sometimes updates complete successfully, sometimes they don’t. I find that it doesn’t make any difference whether I’m updating on my Mac or iPhone, so I’m assuming it’s a server-side issue.

    Seems like we’re not the only ones. There’s an active thread on Apple Discussions that references this issue:

  • Randy

    Yes, it have been happening to me as well for the past couple of weeks. I look forward to it being fixed.

  • bobbitybob

    HI, My iphone 3G with latest software would not update for 4 months? 6 months? I lost track of time. Anyway, it didnt really bug me to much but I would keep trying every so often. Yesterday, Dec 10 09 it finally updated. I am wondering if it had anything to do with me signing on with mobile me a few days before???

  • niltu

    Me, too but only in the past day? Does it matter if the update is downloaded from ITunes?

  • johnkneematrix

    I had the same issue with respect to constantly having to re-enter my password every time I enter the App Store. As of today, the issue is no longer happening. Chances are you probably have Navigon installed. It started happening when I purchased the Live Traffic add-on (during updating to v1.3).

    Yesterday, I was trying out an add-on extension on WinterBoard and it messed up my power settings. I decided to reset my global settings. After reconfiguring my settings, today I notice Navigon was updating/reinstalling after entering the App Store. Once it was completed, the issue about re-entering password upon entering the App Store disappeared.

    I hope this helps!

  • msumar

    I have been having the same problem with updating not only via iTunes, but also my iPhone 3G, which displays the same behavior. It would show pending updates; when you choose to update it all, it only updates one app, then quits. It's rather annoying. Please let us know when Apple fixes this issue.

  • Try downloading updates on iTunes on your PC/Mac, then syncing your iPhone.
    That worked for me.

  • Brian

    I am from the US and am having the exact same problem. I Googled the problem and came up on this page. So, it may not be regional at all. I hope they do fix it soon!

  • nathanphotographer

    This is exactly what is happening. The developer of CC terminal explained that the App store reports the update when the developer sends in the update, but that sometimes it takes a while for the apps to flow through the apple servers, so you keep redownloading the old version, until the servers catch up. This is why it happens both in iTunes and directly on the iPhone. I do notice that the problem is much worse lately, but with 100,00 plus apps, it is easy to see why. Personally, I'd rather wait to be notified of an update for an extra day, and download the app once.

  • John

    This has been happening to me for the last couple of weeks. It's extremely frustrating. I'm sure most of the fellow commenters will be submitting this to Apple, as will I. I'm going to provide them with a link to this particular blog post as well, to show that this is indeed a far-reaching problem.

    WhatsApp seems to be a pretty consistent offender. I managed to get version 2.3 on my phone after restarting both iTunes and my iPhone, but now version 2.4 won't download at all.

    I'm happy to see I'm not the only one with this issue, though.

  • Mike

    I'm experiencing it too!

    I can't update Whatsapp to 2.4 no matter how many times I tried!

    this is the first time i got fed up with iphone

  • Mike

    I'm experiencing it too!

    I can't update Whatsapp to 2.4 no matter how many times I tried!

    this is the first time i got fed up with iphone

  • Danny Harris


    In iTunes 10.1 with an iPhone 3G or iPhone 4 using iOS 4.2 …..the App Updates badge continued to show 18 updates available. I had already downloaded the updates for all my apps….. “for this iTunes Store ID”.

    But I actually have two or more iTunes Store ID’s on my computer. The store doesn’t differentiate between iTunes Store Accounts when it calculates how many Apps have updates. And it only downloads the Updates for the Apps attached to the currently open Account ID.

    So I logged out of the one account and checked the other account…and sure enough….there were 18 updates listed as available for that account. I downloaded all the updates and “Voila”…..the 18 badge was gone….because updates for all my accounts have now been downloaded.

    Problem solved.

    MBP Mac OS X (10.6.5) iOS 4.2

  • anniebluesky

    Each time I’ve checked into the App Store and check for updates it says all apps are up to date. This has been happening for at least a week…and I KNOW out of all the apps I have, at least one of them would have an update by now. I’m becoming a little concerned.

  • Kenpokarate2

    ya I am having the same problem. Tried restoring my ipod but nothing seems to work

  • Kenpokarate2

    ya I am having the same problem. Tried restoring my ipod but nothing seems to work

  • Mehdihoodfar

    I am having problem with updating the apps on my I phone. when I want to update from my I phone
    it ask me for caredid card info, when I type new info it would not take it.
    I only want to download Free aps why they want my credid card. I am realy fedup with I phone

  • Go edit your account details within iTunes instead.

  • Heather L.

    When I try to update apps I keep getting the message, “You’re account is not valid for use in the U.S. store. You must switch to the Canadian store before purchasing”. What is going on here?