How to Fix the Cannot Connect to App Store Error on iPhone

Are you having a problem connecting to the App Store and getting a “cannot connect to App Store” error? Here’s how to fix it.

Sometimes, when you try to download an app from the App Store on an iPhone or iPad, you’ll get a connection error message. The error is vague and frustrating—you’ll want to fix this “cannot connect to App Store” problem. There are several causes of the error; most are due to network connectivity issues. There can be other reasons, however, like an outdated system or incorrect time and date adjustments.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to fix the problem so you can get the apps you need on your device.

Check Your Internet Connection

One of the first places to start troubleshooting is by checking your internet connectivity. There are a few simple settings to check on iPhone or iPad.

Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to bring up Control Center and ensure the Wi-Fi and cellular buttons are toggled on. You can do an easy reset by toggling Airplane Mode on for a few seconds and toggle it back off.

After that, check to see if you can reach a website from Safari or another browser.

Cannot Connect to App Store - Check internet connection

Turn off VPN on your Device

If you use a VPN on your iPhone, like our fav service Private Internet Access, Apple might consider the traffic suspicious and block your access to the App Store. When you check and it’s on, you can turn off the VPN on your iPhone or iPad and try accessing the Store.

If you don’t want to turn the VPN off, try switching servers to a different location and try the download again. But overall, it’s a simple fix to test if this is your root cause.

turn off VPN to fix app store connection

Check Apple’s Servers

There’s nothing magical about technology. In the end, it’s just software engineering and gigantic data centers. Sometimes, something breaks at those giant data centers, so if you’re pointed at one of them, there’s nothing you personally can do to fix it—except wait. So before you go crazy and wipe your device, you should check to see if the App Store servers at Apple are all healthy.

To do this, head to the Apple Systems Status page and check if the App Store or other Apple services are up and running. If the problem is on Apple’s end, you’ll need to wait and try again when it’s back up and running.

Apple Service Status Page

Turn Off or Restart Your iPhone

Like a computer, shutting down or restarting your iPhone or iPad can fix minor glitches and glaring problems.

If your device has been up and running for several days, and you can’t connect to the App Store, try restarting it to fix the problem. If you don’t want to restart, you can shut down the phone for a few seconds and turn it back on.

The way you shut down or restart your phone varies slightly between models. If you’re unsure, check out how to turn off or restart iPhone or higher or turn off or restart iPhone X, 11, or 12.

volume up and down to reboot iphone

Check Time and Date Settings

If the time and date aren’t set correctly on your iPhone or iPad, it can interfere with your connection to the App Store. Making sure that it’s set correctly is straightforward using the following steps.

  1. Open Settings.iphone settings app
  2. Select General > Date & Time.set date & time on iPhone
  3. Toggle on the Set Automatically switch.Cannot Connect to App Store

Update iOS on iPhone or iPad

In addition to getting new features and security patches, iOS updates include bug fixes that can help with problems with connecting to the App Store. This is especially true for older devices running outdated software – also if automatic updates are disabled. Recently, my iPad refused to send or receive iMessages/Text Messages. I checked, and sure enough, an iOS update was available, and that fixed my device.

To check for iOS updates, head to Settings > General > Software Update and install any pending updates it finds.

Cannot Connect to App Store

Reset Network Settings

If the problem persists, you can reset your network settings on your iPhone or iPad. This option will restore DNS and proxy settings to factory defaults and remove the Wi-Fi credentials you’ve configured.

To reset network settings on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.iPhone Settings Menu
  2. Navigate to the General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset menu.
  3. Tap the Reset Network Settings option from the menu that appears.Cannot Connect to App Store
  4. Type your passcode and tap the Reset Network Settings button to confirm the reset.reset all settings on iPhone or iPad

Once you complete the steps, your network settings will return to their defaults, and you’ll need to reconnect to Wi-Fi and try to connect to the App Store.

Pro Tip: If you’re still having issues after resetting your Network settings, there’s a chance the problem is your Wi-Fi network. Try disabling your Wi-Fi and only use your data plan. If it works after disabling Wi-Fi, you’re found your issue. Now it’s time to reset your Wi-Fi network if you have access to it.

Change DNS Server

Another option is to change the Domain Name System from your ISP to a third-party option like Cloudflare, OpenDNS, or Google Public DNS. Using an alternative DNS can be faster and more reliable than the one from your ISP and help establish a connection to the App Store.

Changing DNS on iPhone or iPad is an advanced troubleshooting step, and results will vary. Navigate to Settings > Wi-Fi > Network Name > Configure DNS and select the Manual option.

configure iPhone and iPad DNS settings to Auto or Manual

Select Add Server and type in the DNS server address you want to use.

Manually update DNS settings on iPhone or iPad

Reset Your iPhone or iPad

If you’ve exhausted all the above options, as a last resort, you can reset your iPhone or iPad to resolve the problem. This option is extreme, and chances are you won’t need to do it.

Still, it remains an option, and you can reset your device without losing your data, which is probably the best option. Or, if you want a fresh start, you can reset your device to factory settings.

reset your iPhone or iPad

Fixing Problems with iPhone and iPad

If you’re getting a “cannot connect to App Store” error while trying to download an app or game on your iPhone or iPad, using one of the troubleshooting steps above should get things working smoothly again. If nothing else, hopefully, we’ve helped you identify the problem through some basic troubleshooting.

Did we miss a step, or did you fix the problem by doing something else? Throw an assist to the community and post what you did in the comments.



  1. Chima

    May 26, 2024 at 9:05 am

    This is an iPhone 6s my App Store is not working is their any way I can get WhatsApp on it

    • Jeff Butts

      May 28, 2024 at 1:52 pm

      Hi Chima,

      What error are you getting in the App Store? The 6S is still supported, but likely won’t be for much longer. Its supported version of iOS is already 2 versions back, and support for that device will likely end when iOS 18 comes out this fall.

      Jeff Butts

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