How to fix “Cannot Connect to App Store” on iPhone or iPad

Written By Rachel Reviewed By How-to iPad iPhone 10 Min Read

Whether you’re looking for new trendy apps or plan to update an existing app, the App Store is where to go. However, you can’t access apps if you see an error message “Cannot connect to App Store” on your iPhone or iPad.

In this guide, I’ve outlined several fixes to rid you of the error and get the App Store working again. But before we delve into the solutions, let’s look at the problems causing this error.

Why does the App Store say it Cannot Connect?

First things first, there’s no need to panic. App Store servers may experience occasional downtime due to technical glitches or some regular maintenance.

Now, since the App Store is a vital part of its ecosystem, Apple will never let it stay down for long. So, if you can’t connect to the App Store for an extended period, it’s probably because:

  • Your iPhone is not connected to the internet.
  • You are running an outdated version of iOS.
  • The Date & Time settings are incorrect.

Below, I have listed the fixes you can try to begin downloading apps again!

13 ways to fix “Cannot Connect to App Store” error on iPhone

1. Check App Store servers

Before you blame your Wi-Fi connection or your iPhone for the issue, it’s best first to check if the error is in Apple’s servers. There are rare instances where the App Store error is due to server issues.

To be sure, head to Apple’s System Status page and check if the App Store’s server is available (with a green circle beside it). If you see the status indicator in any other color, the App Store may be suffering from some technical glitches.

Check App Store server

In this case, there’s nothing you can do but wait for Apple to resolve the issue.

2. Retry connecting to the App Store

The “Cannot Connect to App Store” error message also contains a Retry button below it. You’ve probably tried it already, but just in case you haven’t, try tapping it several times to see if it would connect your iPhone or iPad to the App Store.

Try changing your App Store location before doing so. It might just be a minor delay in the connection. If not, read on.

3. Check your internet connection

This is a no-brainer, but be sure to check that your internet connection is working. Connecting to the App Store requires an internet connection, either through Wi-Fi, cellular data, or via hotspot.

You can check by simply launching Safari and checking if you can browse the net. If you’re connected to Wi-Fi, ensure that it’s enabled, stable, and configured properly.

While you are at it, toggle off and on Airplane Mode to refresh your internet connection. Then, try accessing the App Store again.

Enable and disable Airplane mode

4. Allow App Store to use data connection

If you’re using a cellular data connection, you may be seeing the “Cannot Connect to App Store” error because the App Store isn’t permitted to use your data connection. To fix this:

  1. Open Settings → Cellular.
  2. Scroll through the apps and toggle on App Store.

This allows the app to use your cellular data to perform actions like updates and downloads.

5. Force quit and relaunch App Store

Temporary glitches may also cause the App Store to crash like any other app. The best way to resolve this is by force quitting the app and relaunching it. 

To force quit the app, open the App Switcher and swipe up the App Store card. How you can open the App Switcher varies depending on your handset. Once done closing the app, relaunch it. 

6. Check Date & Time settings

If you travel often and forget to change the date and time settings according to your time zone, the App Store might fail to work.

To avoid this situation, I’d recommend setting the date and time to automatic.

Go to SettingsGeneralDate & Time. Toggle on Set Automatically.

Tap on General and Select Date and Time and Then Enable Set Automatically on iPhone

7. Turn off your VPN

If you have a VPN (virtual private network) on your device or use VPN apps, you may want to turn it off for a while. Different countries have different access to the App Store.

So, if your VPN is in a different country than your App Store’s location, it may prevent the App Store from loading. To turn it off, go to SettingsGeneral → VPN & Device Management. Tap VPN, then toggle it off.

Turn off your VPN on iPhone

8. Update to the latest iOS or iPadOS

An outdated OS can lead to many errors, so it’s a good idea to keep your iPhone or iPad up-to-date whenever a new update gets released. Updating your device’s software helps fix bugs and glitches, and the “Cannot connect to App Store” is a system bug on your iPhone or iPad.

To update your device’s OS:

  1. Go to Settings → General.
  2. Tap Software Update. Your device will check for any available updates that may be available for your iPhone or iPad. If there’s an available update, tap Update Now.

    tap on general and then tap on software update in ios 14 settings on iphone

9. Sign out and sign in to Apple ID

Sometimes, signing out of your Apple ID can troubleshoot issues on apps related to it, like Apple Music and the App Store. 

Note: Before you sign out of your Apple ID, be sure that you know your Apple ID password. Remember that your Apple ID is your only way to access Apple services and all your Apple devices. 

To sign out, head to Settings, then tap your name at the top. Scroll down at the bottom and tap Sign Out. You’ll be asked for your password to confirm your action.

Sign out of Apple ID on iPhone

After this, head back to Settings to sign back in.

10. Sign out from App Store

If the above method doesn’t work, you may want to try a similar method that signs out the App Store. To do this,

  1. Go to Settings → [your profile] → Media & Purchases.
  2. Tap Sign Out, then sign in again.
Sign out from App Store on iPhone

11. Turn on your location

Sometimes, the App Store may not work as smoothly if your location is turned off. Turning it on may help it work. To do this:

  1. Go to Settings → Privacy & Security.
  2. Tap Location Services and toggle on Location Services.

    Turn on your location on iPhone
  3. Scroll down and look for App Store and choose Ask Next Time Or When I Share or While Using the App.

    Select Ask Next Time Or When I Share in App Store Location

12. Force restart iPhone

Force restarting is another way to refresh your iPhone or iPad. This may help the App Store load properly if it’s not working due to a minor bug or software glitch. Rebooting your iPhone or iPad may also solve issues related to its network or software.

The method to force restarting your iPhone or iPad depends on the model you have, so be sure to check the instructions for your device. Once you’ve force restarted, you can open up the App Store again and see if it works.

13. Reset Network Settings

Resetting your network settings may also help fix the “Cannot connect to App Store” issue. This method only erases your Wi-Fi and cellular network settings but doesn’t delete any of your data.

Just be sure you know all your passwords before you begin, as this will erase any existing network settings. To reset your network settings:

  1. Go to Settings → General → Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  2. Tap Reset → Reset Network Settings.
  3. Enter your passcode if needed and select Reset Network Settings again.
  4. Finally, tap Reset Network Settings again to confirm the reset and restart your device.

    Reset Network settings on iPhone and iPad

Once done, you can open the App Store and see if it’s working. If it still doesn’t work, you may want to reset your iPhone or iPad.

Wrapping up…

I am quite sure one of the fixes provided above has helped you fix the “Can’t connect to App Store” issue. If you are still facing issues, you may need to contact Apple Support for further assistance.

If you have any other issues pertaining to the App Store, let me know in the comments below. I’d be happy to help.

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By Rachel Contributing Writer
Rachel, an experienced Apple technology writer since 2021 and a long-time user since 2003, began her journey with a silver iPod Classic. Currently, she owns an array of modern Apple gadgets. At iGeeksBlog, her expertise shines through in the crafting of comprehensive how-to articles, informative guides, and well-curated roundups.
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