Apple Store application on iPhone 6 device display

If you’ve purchased an app from the iOS App Store or the Mac App Store and there’s a problem, you can contact Apple to get your money back. This isn’t automatic — you’ll have to provide a reason you want a refund and Apple will review your request.

This same process also works with other iTunes purchases, including music, books, movies, and TV shows. This isn’t integrated into the App Store on iOS — you’ll need to use iTunes on a computer or Apple’s website to initiate a refund request.

How This Works

Apple only allows you to request a refund for purchases you’ve made in the last 90 days. Unlike Android’s Google Play Store, which offers a two-hour no-questions-asked refund period, Apple doesn’t offer automated refunds in the same way. This isn’t meant to be a feature that allows you to trial paid apps, although Android’s refund feature can be used in that way.

To request a refund, you’ll need to “report a problem” with your purchase to Apple, select a specific problem, and explain your request to Apple. Reasons include “I didn’t authorize this purchase,” “Item didn’t download or can’t be found,” “Item won’t install or downloads too slowly,” “Item opens but doesn’t function as expected,” and “Problem is not listed here” for explaining your own situation.

After you provide a reason, Apple’s customer service will review your request. This may take a day or two, and you may be contacted for more information.

Use Apple’s Website

iTunes just takes you to Apple’s website, so you can skip iTunes entirely and use Apple’s website itself. To do so, visit the Report a Problem page on Apple’s website. You could also access this website on your iPhone or iPad.

Sign in with your Apple ID, click “Apps” and click “Report a Problem” next to the app or other purchase you want a refund for. Choose the reason you want a refund and describe the situation to Apple.

Start From Your Email

The receipt Apple emails to you include quick “Report a Problem” links you can use to report problems and request refunds, so you could start from your email. Open your email on your computer, iPhone, or iPad and search for the name of the app. This should find an email receipt for that app, emailed to you from Apple.

Open that email and tap or click the “Report a Problem” link to go straight to Apple’s website to report a problem with the purchase and request a refund.

Start From iTunes

Apple also offers this feature in iTunes on Macs and Windows PCs. As usual, iTunes is the clunkiest, slowest way to do this. You’re better off starting on the web, as clicking through iTunes will ultimately take you to the web, anyway.

To do this in iTunes, open iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC and ensure you’re signed in with the same account you use on your iPhone or iPad. Click the profile picture at the top-right of the iTunes window and select “Account Info.” If you need to sign in with a different account, select “Sign Out” and then sign in with the correct account first. Enter your Apple ID password when iTunes requests it.

Scroll down to the Purchase History section and click “See All” to see a list of your purchases.

Locate the app you want a refund for. If it’s part of a multiple-app group of purchases, click the arrow button to the left of those purchases and then click “Report a Problem.” If it’s on its own line here, you can just click “Report a Problem.”

You’ll then see “Report a Problem” links appear to the right of the each app. Click the “Report a Problem” link for the app you want a refund for.

You’ll be taken to Apple’s website, where you’ll have to log in again. Choose the reason you want a refund and describe the problem to Apple.

Apple does have a system set up to handle refund requests, but they’re far from guaranteed. If you’re just experiencing a technical problem, there’s a good chance you’ll be told to contact the app developer for technical support.

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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