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How to get a refund for iTunes or App Store purchases

How to get a refund for iTunes or App Store purchases
(Image credit: Future / iMore)

If you experience a problem with music, movies, TV shows, books, or apps you purchase from iTunes or the App Store, you can request a refund directly from Apple. Of course, you'll need to have a valid reason for the request — it's not meant to be a way to get free trials, etc. 

The iTunes and App Store refund process is similar no matter what device you start on or what app you start in, but we've outlined your options below for iOS, macOS, and the web. If you fail to get a refund through Apple's official channel, your next best bet is to reach out to Apple Support.

How to get an iTunes or App Store refund via the web

Apple's refund system is web-based rather than being built directly into any of Apple's in-app storefronts, so you may as well start your refund process directly at the right website.

  1. Go to Apple's Report a Problem page (opens in new tab).
  2. Log in with your Apple ID user name and password.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Request a refund.
  4. Select the reason for your refund request from the list in the drop-down menu.

(Image credit: iMore)
  1. Hit Next.
  2. Select the item you wish to request a refund for from the list of purchases.
  3. Hit Submit.

This process is the same regardless of whether you use the browser on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. You should hear back from Apple within a few days about whether your request for a refund is approved.

How to get an iTunes or App Store refund on iPhone or iPad

Though Apple hasn't built a way to request a refund directly into apps like the App Store or iTunes Store on iOS, you can at least start the process there if you prefer. The below steps show the process for the App Store specifically, though the process is much the same in Apple's other digital stores.

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Tap on your photo in the top right to view your account. If you don't have a photo set, this will be your initials.
  3. Tap Purchased. If you have Family Sharing enabled, you'll then need to hit My Purchases or the name of the person in your family who made the purchase you wish to seek a refund for.

(Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap on the app you want to claim a refund for.
  2. Scroll down the app's listing and tap on Report a Problem. You'll then be taken to Apple's refund site in Safari.
  3. Sign in to Apple's site with your Apple ID user name and password.

(Image credit: iMore)
  1. From the drop-down menu, select Request a refund.
  2. Select the reason for your refund request from the list in the drop-down menu.
  3. Tap Next.
  4. Tap Submit.

(Image credit: iMore)

You should hear back from Apple within a few days about whether your request for a refund is approved. Note that if you are not eligible for a refund for the item you have selected, the final button to submit your claim will be grayed out.

How to get an iTunes or App Store refund on Mac

If you're on your Mac or Windows PC and want to seek an iTunes or App Store refund, you can do just that. Like on iOS, the process will boot you out to a web browser to complete the claim, but you can at least start the process in one of Apple's storefront apps. The steps below apply to the Mac App Store, though you can also start the process via the Music, TV, or Books apps.

  1. Open the App Store app.
  2. Click on your photo to view your account. If you don't have a photo set, this will be your initials. In the Music and TV apps, a faster way to get to your account is by clicking Account in the menu bar and selecting Account settings... from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on the app you wish to claim a refund for.

(Image credit: iMore)
  1. Scroll the app's listing and click on Report a Problem. You'll then be taken to Apple's refund site in Safari.
  2. Sign in to Apple's site with your Apple ID user name and password.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Request a refund.
  4. Select the reason for your refund request from the list in the drop-down menu.

(Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Next.
  2. Tap Submit.

Again, you should hear back from Apple within a few days as to whether your refund has been approved.

A note on refunds

As we said at the outset, Apple's function for requesting refunds is for cases where a genuine mistake was made, or the content you bought was not as advertised — not just for checking out the best iPhone and iPad apps on a trial basis.

It's best to get your refund request in as soon as you realize something is wrong, as the timeframe for a refund being granted can vary by region. If your reason for the refund isn't valid or you're too late to claim one, your claim may be denied, or you might at least have to have a more in-depth conversation with Apple Support.

However, iTunes and App Store refunds typically take a day or two to process, save for any extra checks Apple Support needs to do. You can check the status of any refund claims by logging back into Apple's Report a Problem site.

Updated July 2022: Minor updates made.

Bryan M Wolfe
Bryan M Wolfe

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.

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