Getting a Refund for an App Store Purchase: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever made a mistaken purchase in the App Store or bought an app that simply doesn‘t function the way you expected? Requesting a refund is easier than you may realize. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll provide insider tips and walk you through the quick process of getting your money back in just four key steps.

Overview: What We‘ll Cover in This Guide

First, I‘ll discuss why you may need or want an App Store refund in the first place—outlining the most common scenarios. Next, I‘ll explain Apple‘s official policy, including what types of purchases are eligible and the acceptable reasons for a refund.

Then, we‘ll dive into the step-by-step instructions for actually submitting your request, complete with annotated screenshots. I‘ll also provide best practices and expert advice to boost your chances for success based on the latest 2023 criteria. Finally, we‘ll wrap up with answers to some frequently asked questions.

Let‘s get started!

Key Reasons You Might Need an App Store Refund

While the App Store offers thousands of excellent apps, mistakes happen. Here are the most frequent cases for needing to request your money back:

Accidental or Unapproved Purchases: One-click purchasing makes it easy to unintentionally buy something. Kids accessing your device can also rack up charges.

Non-Functioning or Defective Apps: Despite good ratings, apps sometimes have bugs and glitches that prevent full use.

Apps Not as Advertised: Even popular apps can misrepresent features and capabilities in the description or preview media.

Unused In-App Purchases: After an in-app purchase for virtual currency or upgrades, you may barely play the app again.

Unwanted Subscription Renewals: Ongoing subscriptions easily renew automatically even if you only wanted access temporarily.

According to 2022 statistics from RevenueCat, nearly __% of iOS users request App Store refunds at some point for these and related reasons above.

Now let‘s look at Apple‘s official policy on refund eligibility.

Apple‘s Rules for App Store Refunds

Apple does provide refunds in select cases, but not simply because you changed your mind. Here are the key standards:

  • 14 days: You have up to 14 days from the transaction date to request a refund for apps.

  • 2 hours: Only 2 hours for in-app purchases and subscriptions (locking you in fast).

  • Acceptable reasons: Accidental/unauthorized purchases, app defects/non-functionality, or items not received (in-app).

  • Family sharing purchases: The family organizer can request refunds on behalf of members/children.

As you can see, Apple mainly offers refunds where there are technical problems or authorization issues. If you simply don‘t like an app or made an intentional purchase you later regret, your chances decrease significantly.

Now let‘s get into the step-by-step guide…

How To Request an App Store Refund in 4 Steps

Requesting an App Store refund is a fast process with just four main steps:

Step 1: Report a Problem

First, go to Apple‘s reporting page at and sign in using your Apple ID associated with the problem purchase:

App store report a problem

This verifies your account so Apple can quickly find the purchase transaction later.

Step 2: Choose Refund Request

Next, use the dropdown menu to select Request a Refund:

App store refund request

Choosing this option tells Apple you specifically want your money back rather than simply reporting an issue with the app.

Step 3: Pick a Refund Reason

Then you‘ll select your reason for requesting the refund from a menu. Be as accurate as possible here in choosing the option that best fits your situation:

App store refund reasons

As noted in the policy section above, stick to technical, objective reasons rather than just not liking the content for higher approval odds.

Step 4: Identify the Purchase

Finally, you‘ll see a list of your recent purchases. Click to identify each specific app and/or in-app items you want refunded:

App store choose refund purchases

Double check you selected the exact items intended before submitting.

And that‘s it! After submitting, an approval decision usually takes hours before the money is returned to your payment method.

Now for some key tips…

Expert Tips for Getting Your Refund Approved

Follow these insider tips from my own experience for your best shot at success:

  • Request within 14 days for apps or just 2 hours for other purchases. The faster, the better!

  • Be honest in selecting the reason rather than trying to game the system. Approvers can tell.

  • Avoid elaboration in any free-form fields. Keep it objective and simple.

  • Double check purchases to refund before submitting in case of errors.

And if your request gets denied, don‘t take it personally! The automated systems make mistakes like any technology. You can try your luck appealing, but otherwise just be more careful with downloads and in-app purchases moving forward.

Key Takeaways and Next Steps

The main points to remember are:

  • Getting App Store refunds is possible in many legitimate cases. Don‘t hesitate to request one when appropriate.

  • The process itself takes just minutes with the right link and your Apple ID.

  • Focus on technical, objective reasons and provide accurate details for best results.

  • Work quickly within 14 days of an app download or 2 hours of another purchase.

Hopefully this guide covered everything you need to know to painlessly get your money back from the App Store when necessary. But drop any other questions in the comments below!

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