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iGBHow-toHow to fix "Verification Required" when installing free apps

How to fix “Verification Required” when installing free apps

You’re browsing the App Store when you see something that piques your interest. You hit “Get,” only to be stopped dead in your tracks by an annoying message.

If you want to know how to get rid of the “Verification Required” prompt when installing free apps, follow this guide.

Why does it say “Verification Required” on the App Store?

The “Verification Required” prompt on the App Store asks you to verify your payment info, preventing you from downloading apps on your iPhone.

Here are some of the potential reasons why you see a “Verification Required” popup whenever you launch the App Store:

  • You’ve never used your Apple ID to download an app on your iPhone (whether paid or free)
  • There is an error with the current payment method associated with your Apple ID, preventing Apple from charging you
  • You have an unpaid balance or insufficient funds on the payment method associated with your Apple ID
  • The saved payment method is not supported
  • Your payment method has not been updated
  • You’re under a Family Sharing account, and your Apple account is restricted

How to fix “Verification Required” on App Store

Now that you have an idea of what’s causing this message, let’s get into the solutions. Luckily, most of these fixes are quick and easy to follow.

1. Enter a payment method for your Apple ID

If you’re using a new Apple ID or have never downloaded an app under your existing ID, Apple requires you to fill in your payment details before you can download any apps on your iPhone—regardless of whether the app is free or paid.

  1. In this case, enter your Apple ID password in the text field → Tap Continue.

    Enter a payment method for your Apple ID
  2. Your device will redirect you to your billing information → Enter your payment details.
  3. Once done, you should be able to begin downloading apps.

2. Change or update Apple ID payment method

If you were able to download an app on your iPhone previously but are now getting a “Verification Required” error on the App Store, there’s a good chance it’s because of an issue with your payment method.

If your credit or debit card has expired or there have been changes to your name or address, your financial institution may automatically update your card information.

This can lead to discrepancies between the newly updated card details and the payment information associated with your Apple ID, causing a mismatch that triggers the “Verification Required” error.

In this case, add a new card before removing the old one. To do this:

  1. Go to Settings → Apple ID [your name] → Payment & Shipping.

    Go to Apple ID and Select Payment and Shipping
  2. Enter your passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID.
  3. Your current payment information might open → Tap Back to go to Payment and Shipping.
  4. Select Add Payment Method.
  5. Fill in with the details and tap Done.

    Select payment method and add details and tap done

Once you have your new payment method, you can delete the old one with outdated information. 

What to do with declined/failed payments?

The Verification Required error can also occur when a payment fails or gets declined if your digital wallet or mobile phone billing doesn’t have enough balance.

  • To check, go to Settings → Apple ID [your name] → Payment & Shipping and see the payment methods linked to your Apple ID.
  • If you see the payment method in red along with a (Failed), you need to use a different payment method.

    When your payment decline
  • If the old payment method doesn’t work, you can change the payment method by selecting from the available Payment Method options and entering all the required details.

Remember that the availability of payment methods depends on your country and region.

3. Pay any unpaid subscription dues

Your purchase may fail if you don’t have sufficient funds on your preferred payment method. In this case, a declined or payment failure will prompt your iPhone to show a “Verification Required” popup. So you can quickly update your payment method.

  • To check if you have any unpaid subscriptions, head to Settings → [your name] → Subscriptions. Check if you have any subscriptions that require payment.

    Tap Name and Select Subscriptions
  • Then go back to your Apple ID page, tap Media & Purchases → View Account → Purchase History.

    Tap Media and Purchases, View Account, Purchase History
  • If you’ve hidden them, be sure to unhide your App Store purchases first. If you’ve made purchases you haven’t paid for yet, you’ll see an Amount You Owe in red under the app download or in-app purchase you made.

4. Disable App Store Restrictions

If you’re using Screen Time, it will restrict you from making purchases and downloading apps. Thus, you can fix the Verification Required error on the App Store. Here’s how you can turn it off:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Screen Time → Content & Privacy Restrictions.
    If you don’t have this turned on, you can skip this solution.
  3. Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases.

    Go to iTunes and App Store Purchases from Content and Privacy Restrictions on iPhone
  4. Ensure that Installing Apps and In-app Purchases are allowed.
    • Further, select Don’t Require under the Require Password section.

      Allow Installing and Deleting Apps

5. Agree to Terms and Conditions for Media & Purchases

It’s also possible that you skipped agreeing to the terms and conditions for purchases on the App Store. This may stop you from installing free apps or making purchases and cause the Verification Required popup to appear on the App Store.

  1. Go to Settings → [your name] → Media & Purchases.
  2. Tap View Account. 

    Agree to Terms and Conditions for Media and Purchases
  3. If you haven’t agreed to the Terms and Conditions, you’ll see a popup asking you to review and approve them.

6. Sign out and sign in back to Apple ID

If none of the above methods worked and your payment information has no issues, the Verification Required error up may just be a glitch. Signing out of your Apple ID and signing back in can refresh it and flush out any bugs causing the glitch.

  1. To sign out of your Apple ID, go to Settings → [your name]. 
  2. Scroll down and tap Sign Out.

    Sign out and sign back in on the App Store
  3. Restart your iPhone and sign back in.

Video: How to stop “Verification Required” when installing free apps

Why can’t I download a free app without a payment method?

Apple requires a valid payment method on file for your Apple ID, even if you’re trying to download a free app. This provides another layer of authentication for your account and ensures you can pay for any in-app purchases should you want to. If the app itself is free, you will not be charged any money even if the popup appears.

Can I avoid verification when downloading free apps from the App Store?

If you don’t want to enter your password or use Face ID when installing new apps, head to SettingsScreen TimeContent & Privacy RestrictionsiTunes Store & App Store. Then, toggle Content & Privacy Restrictions on if it’s off and head into iTunes & App Store Purchases. Under Require Password, select Don’t Require.

Download apps without verification!

There you have it. Since the Verification Required on the App Store is commonly a payment method issue, using one of the fixes listed above should stop the annoying popup when installing free apps.

Which one worked best for you? Share your experience below!

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  • Nidhi

    A tech-aficionado whose superpower lies in blabbering interminably about new technologies. After 4+ years and 4500+ content pieces that helped diverse companies grow, I followed my passion and made iGeeks Media my home. When not gushing over technology, you will find me immersed in a fictional world, either reading or creating one.

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  • Marcus

    Marcus Mears III is a lifelong technology enthusiast with half a decade of experience developing prose that keeps readers in the know. With hundreds of reviews, buying guides, and how-to explainers across a number of tech and lifestyle publications like How-To Geek, MakeUseOf, and iGeeksBlog, Mears’ work helps readers around the globe learn to make the most of their devices and software. He uses a 2016 MacBook Pro as his daily driver laptop and a self-built Windows PC for gaming and productivity.

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