How to Purchase iPhone Applications

by Diana V. Faustmann

The App Store gives you access to games, music, books, productivity tools and much more for your iPhone. There are hundreds of thousands of apps in the App Store for your iPhone, some of which are free and some of which will cost you. You can find and purchase iPhone apps directly on your device or through iTunes on your computer. The process of purchasing and installing apps on your iPhone is quick and painless.

iTunes on Computer

Launch iTunes on your computer. You'll see a sidebar pane on the left and a main pane on the right.

Click "Sign In" in the upper-right corner of the iTunes program window if you are not automatically signed in to your account. Enter your Apple ID and password and then click "OK." If you are new to iTunes, set up an account before proceeding (see Resources).

Select "iTunes Store" under "Store" in the left sidebar. Click the "App Store" tab above the main pane to browse apps or locate a specific app that you'd like to purchase.

Hover your cursor over the "Apps Store" tab to reveal a little arrow on the right side of the label. Click the arrow and then select the category of apps you'd like to browse. To search for a specific app, type the name of the app in the "Search Store" field in the upper-right corner of the iTunes program window.

Click the name of an app you want to download. Review the app's requirement information to make sure your iPhone supports the app.

Click the "Price/Buy Now" button beneath the app icon. Enter your Apple ID password if prompted and then select "Buy" to confirm that you want the app. The app will be downloaded to your iTunes library.

App Store on iPhone

Set up an iTunes account if you're new to iTunes. (See Resources.)

Tap "App Store" on your home screen. Browse apps using the "Featured," "Categories" or "Top 25" buttons along the bottom of your screen. To locate a specific app, tap the "Search" icon and then type the name of the app you want to search for in the Search bar along the top of the screen.

Tap the name of an app in the list of search results to view that app's Info page. To purchase an app, tap the "Price" button and then the "Buy Now" button.

Log in to your iTunes account with your Apple ID if prompted. Tap "OK" when prompted to confirm your purchase. The app will begin downloading directly to your iPhone.


  • check Sync your iPhone with iTunes on your computer to ensure that apps purchased through iTunes on the computer are copied to your iPhone and vice versa.
  • check Research an app carefully before buying it because you generally cannot return or refund app purchases from the App Store. Test the app you want to buy on a friend's iPhone or download a free version of the app before purchasing the full version.
  • check If you accidentally delete a purchased app, you can re-download the app again for free.

About the Author

Since 1988, Diana Faustmann has been writing on technology, business and culture. Her articles have appeared in various print publications, corporate websites and authoritative online sites. Faustmann holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of the Philippines.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera David Paul Morris/Getty Images News/Getty Images