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How To Get a Refund From the App Store In 4 Simple Steps

Have you ever made a mistaken purchase in the App Store, or downloaded an app that didn‘t work as advertised? Getting a refund is a hassle-free process if you follow these steps. With clear instructions and visuals, this guide will walk you through requesting App Store refunds so you can get your money back.

Why You Might Need a Refund

Getting a refund from the App Store is useful in many situations:

  • You or a family member accidentally tapped the wrong button and purchased an app unintentionally. This happens more often than you‘d think – one slip of the finger leads to an unexpected charge on your card.

  • An app already on your phone was used to make unauthorized purchases. Maybe your kid went on an in-app shopping spree, or someone else got ahold of your unlocked phone and bought a bunch of apps.

  • An app simply doesn‘t function the way it was advertised. Crashes, missing features and false marketing claims are all good reasons to want your money back on a disappointing app.

  • You made an in-app purchase but never received the item. Game upgrades, virtual currency and other in-app content should be delivered instantly. If not, ask for a refund.

  • You didn‘t mean to sign up for a subscription or forgot to cancel a free trial before being charged. Monthly app subscriptions can drain your wallet if you‘re not careful.

According to a 2021 survey, nearly 40% of U.S. iPhone users have requested App Store refunds in the past. With over 100 billion total App Store downloads to date, that‘s a lot of refunds!

The good news is, Apple makes it straightforward to get your money back – if you know the right steps…

Step 1: Report The Problem

The first step is simple: go to Apple‘s Report a Problem website at http://reportaproblem.apple.com.

You‘ll need to sign in with your Apple ID – this is the same one used to purchase the app you want to refund.

Apple report a problem page

Reporting the problem through your account ensures Apple can quickly find the purchase and process your refund correctly.

Step 2: Request a Refund

Next, use the dropdown menu on the Report a Problem page to select "Request a refund."

Request a refund option

You‘ll also see options to report other issues, but choose this one specifically for a refund.

This signals to Apple that you want your money back rather than reporting a bug, illegal activity or other App Store problem.

Step 3: Choose A Refund Reason

The next step is picking the reason you need a refund from the list Apple provides:

  • Accidental purchase
  • Unauthorized purchase
  • App doesn‘t work as expected
  • Didn‘t receive in-app purchase
  • Unintended subscription/renewal

Or choose "Other" to provide your own explanation.

Pick a refund reason

Try to match your reason to Apple‘s suggested categories when possible, as deviations can potentially lead to refund denial.

But if your situation is unique, the "Other" option leaves room for explanation.

Step 4: Identify The Purchase

Finally, you must identify exactly which app, in-app purchase or subscription needs to be refunded.

A list will pop up showing your App Store transaction history – find the specific item and select it.

Choose the purchase to refund

Double and triple check you are requesting a refund on the correct app or purchase before submitting the request to Apple.

Once submitted, your refund request will be processed within 1-2 business days in most cases. Refunds go back to your original payment method.

And that‘s it – by following those steps, you can get a hassle-free refund from the App Store for any apps or purchases that don‘t work out.

When Refunds Get Denied

While Apple aims to satisfy valid refund requests, some do end up getting denied. Here are some potential reasons:

  • You missed the 90 day cutoff – refunds typically need to be requested within 90 days of purchase

  • The app was already downloaded or used – Apple is less likely to refund apps that have already been accessed

  • It‘s a non-refundable purchase like donated funds or newsstand issues

  • Too many recent refunds – multiple refunds in a short time period raises abuse concerns

  • Fraud or abuse suspected – deceptive refund activity violates App Store policy

If you receive a denial but believe you deserve a refund, you can contact Apple Support and have them review your request again. But repeated denials will likely lead to account limitation or investigation.

Avoid Needing Refunds Altogether

While getting a refund is reassuring, avoiding the need entirely is ideal. Here are some tips:

  • Use restrictions or passwords to limit unauthorized purchases

  • Read descriptions carefully and research apps before downloading

  • Disable auto-renewal on subscriptions until you‘re sure about continuing

  • Check your statement routinely for unknown App Store charges

  • Confirm free trial end dates for any app memberships or subscriptions

  • Turn off in-app purchases in app settings if you want to disable them entirely

Exercising some caution when shopping in the App Store goes a long way towards preventing refund situations down the road. But rest assured that if you do need your money back, Apple makes it easy to get an App Store refund – just follow the steps in this guide.