Are you getting an annoying pop-up message saying “iTunes store is unable to process purchases right now”?
It could be acceptable if it only happens once, but to get this message every minute or two can easily bend you out of shape.
Others have been furious about it, especially since they haven’t purchased anything on the iTunes store. Some of them mentioned this on the Apple Support Community page and are seeking a fix.
This issue can annoy you because it will interrupt your normal usage of your Apple device.
You will be constantly closing the message while you are sending an important text message, using your email or browsing the internet.
So how do you fix this issue?
That is what we are going to do today. Along with the fixes around the issue, you will be able to learn what is commonly causing this to happen. With that, you may be able to understand how the system works which can help you in the future in case it happens again.
Let’s get started!
- Restart the Device
- Check Credit Balance
- Check System Status Page
- Check Internet Connection
- Check Date and Time Settings
- Disable Third-Party Security App
- Log Out and Log-In your Account
- Enable Touch ID on iTunes and App Store
- Update OS to Latest Version
- Contact Apple Support
1. Restart the Device.
Devices like your iPhone, iPad, or even your Mac has a limit on how long it could work efficiently.
This is because resources like memory storage and processor can only handle enough according to its capacity. Resources tend to get full when the device runs for days and this causes problems with how the device works.
So to fix it, you need to refresh the device and offload the resources by doing a restart process.
Here’s how you can do it:
- First, go to your device’s Settings.
- Then find and tap General, then tap Shut Down.
- After about 20 seconds, turn back on your Apple device again.
- Finally, when your Apple device has fully started up, observe if the message will still prompt.
If you cannot do this, you can always force restart your iPhone or iPad.
Although restarting is a different process on a Mac, the same principles apply. You can learn more on how to restart your Mac computer. After this process, your device will be able to work correctly and the message will not prompt anymore.
2. Check Credit Balance.
If you have not purchased anything from the iTunes store, you would probably need to skip this method and proceed to the next.
But what if you are trying to purchase and this error occurred?
Well, the most common cause of this is that you do not have enough balance on your credit to pay for the purchase.
To check your credit balance, open your iTunes Store application. If you are not signed in, log in your Apple ID and check for the Account Information screen. Beneath your Apple ID, you will be able to see your credit balance.
Now you can cancel your purchase or change your payment method to purchase the item. After doing that, the message will not pop up again.
3. Check System Status Page.
It’s possible that there is an Apple system outage in your area.
When that happens, certain applications cannot connect to their respective servers. It’s either that the application will not work correctly or it will prompt an error message.
In the iTunes Store case, if the server is down, then the app cannot connect to the server and it will prompt the unable to purchase message.
To check for services outages, there is a digital status board that you can visit on the Apple support website.
Look for the iTunes Store service status, and see if the status is showing up red 🔴 (unavailable) or yellow/orange 🟡 (under maintenance).
If the system is down, you will have to wait for a few hours until Apple resolves the issue on their end. After that, you will not be able to see the message unless another cause triggers it to show.
The workaround for this in the meantime is to sign-out your iCloud account. Go to your Apple device’s Settings, then tap on iCloud, and then tap on Sign Out at the lower portion of the screen.
After the service has been restored, don’t forget to sign back in your account.
4. Check Internet Connection.
If your iPhone or iPad is connected to the Internet via ‘Cellular Network’, there is a possibility that you have poor cellular network coverage.
To be sure, connect your device to a stable internet source via a Wi-Fi network. When you are connected, you can check the stability of your internet by running a test using Speedtest.net. If your Wi-Fi connection is having issues, try to connect to another stable Wi-Fi network.
When you are using a Mac, you can also run the same internet speed test using your Safari browser.
Aside from that, you can also use the ping test using the network utility tool of the macOS. Ping test can work on both IP Address or hostname such as google.com.
If you cannot resolve the hostname, you will have to change the DNS settings of your computer to 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124. Having a good internet connection will not trigger this issue and you should not get this message prompt.
5. Check Date and Time Settings.
Another popular cause of this issue is if your device’s date and time setting is not the same as the location you are residing in.
Time zones are important to servers for it also adds another layer of security. Because of this, you will not be able to connect to the server if you have the wrong time settings.
Thus, it will trigger problems like connection problems with the iTunes store server.
To fix it, you will need to update this setting. We will show you how (step-by-step) below.
Updating Your Date/Time Settings on iPhone or iPad:
- Go ahead and tap on the Settings of your device.
- Then tap on General option and then Date & Time option.
- Finally. tap on Set Automatically option to set the time automatically according to your location. If there’s an available time zone update, your device lets you know.
Updating Your Date/Time Settings on a Mac:
- Go ahead and click on the Apple menu on the top portion of your Mac screen and click on System Preferences.
- Next, find and click the Date & Time option, then click on the Time Zone tab.
- Finally, click on the Set date and time automatically checkbox to enable the feature. This will automatically update your time according to your location.
After correcting the date and time settings on your device, your device may now be able to connect with the server and begin processing purchases on the iTunes Store.
6. Disable Third-Party Security App.
The use of security software is uncommon on smartphones but some users do download and install them.
‘Antivirus’ and ‘Firewall’ applications are the most common ones that you heard of. But if you have the wrong settings, it might block the data that you need to send to the internet.
If you have installed antivirus software, try temporarily disabling it or uninstalling it and see if the iTunes store message still prompts. When and if it does fix the issue, you can try to contact the support of the antivirus application to give you the proper configuration so that you can use it without disrupting your usage of the iTunes Store.
If you want to disable the Firewall on your Mac by yourself, here’s how you can do it:
- Go to the Apple Menu and select System Preferences.
- Then, select the Security & Privacy option and click on the Firewall tab.
- After that, click on the lock icon in the bottom left corner of the window and enter your administrator password.
- Finally, click Turn Off Firewall.
Lastly, try to test by accessing your iTunes Store to see if it is able to process purchases.
7. Log Out and Log-In your Account.
If your account credentials on your device are corrupted, then it can cause any purchase that you make on the iTunes Store to fail.
The cause of your account credentials getting corrupted usually happens when your device gets interrupted abruptly and results in a premature termination of the app. Such abrupt interruptions can be caused by failed updates or even sudden shutdowns of the machine.
To fix it, you will need to rebuild the settings by signing out and signing back in your account.
Here’s how to do it on iPhone or iPad:
- Go ahead and open iTunes Store app on your Apple device.
- Now scroll down and tap your Apple ID and tap on Sign Out. Restart your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
- After your device has restarted, go back to the iTunes Store app.
- Then, tap Sign in to your [device] to log in your account.
- Finally, enter your Apple ID and the correct password of your account.
Here’s how to do it on Mac:
- Go ahead and click on the iTunes or Apple Music app on your computer.
- Then, click on the menu bar, click your Account and click Sign Out option. Restart your Mac.
- After your device successfully started up, go back to Step 1 and Step2 to Sign In your account.
- Finally, enter your Apple ID and password to sign back in.
After rebuilding the corrupted file that handles your iTunes Store credentials, you will be able to connect successfully to the iTunes server. Try it and let us know down below if this method has stopped any messages regarding failed processing payments on the iTunes Store.
8. Enable Touch ID on iTunes and App Store.
If you are having issues with your iTunes credentials, there is another way for the authentication process. Instead of username and password, you can use your fingerprint for the process.
This will avoid the failure of authentication using your account credentials when you purchase or download apps.
To do this, go to the Settings of your iPhone or iPad. Find and tap the Touch ID & Passcode option and then tap the iTunes and App Store slider to enable it. With this, you can make purchases with the use of your fingerprint instead. After that, the message regarding purchases should not prompt on your device.
This is an alternative and it may or may not work. It is certainly worth a try, so do test and try it if none of the methods have proven to have worked so far for you.
9. Update OS to Latest Version.
In case nothing in this guide has helped to fix the issue, then chances are that the reason you’re unable to process any purchases on the iTunes Store could be due to a bug or glitch on the operating system of your device.
This is normal for any system that is being constantly developed and upgraded. To fix the issue, you should download the latest bug fixes. These are included in the latest version of the operating system together with the additional features and upgrades.
Updating your iOS and iPadOS on your iPhone or iPad:
- First, be sure to back up your Apple device using your iCloud or iTunes. Learn more about backing up your Apple device.
- Then, plug in your device into power and connect to a stable Internet connection via Wi-Fi to avoid interruption.
- Next, tap Settings, then General, then Software Update.
- Now tap Download and Install. If a message asks to temporarily remove apps because iOS needs more space for the update, tap Continue or Cancel. Later, iOS will reinstall apps that it removed.
- To update now, tap Install. Or you can tap Later and choose Install Tonight or Remind Me Later. If you tap Install Tonight, just plug your iOS device into power before you go to sleep. Your device will update automatically overnight.
- Finally, enter your passcode if applicable.
If you need more space for a wireless update, you can update using iTunes or delete content manually from your device. Whether you use iTunes or update wirelessly, you’ll have the same amount of free space on your device after you update.
Updating Your macOS on Your Mac
- First, click the Apple logo on your Mac and then click on the System Preferences option.
- Then, if an update is available, you will be able to click the Software Update option.
- Finally, follow the step-by-step instructions so you may complete the download and installation process.
Upon doing this, you have fixed the bugs on your OS and should be able to fix the issue with the iTunes Store.
10. Contact Apple Support.
Finally, the last resort (if you are still encountering the “iTunes Store is Unable to Process Purchases at This Time” error message) would be to talk to an Apple representative.
They should be able to help you out on how to do advanced troubleshooting procedures since iTunes is part of one of their services. Assuming you’ve tried everything in this guide, you now have an idea of where exactly the issue resides.
Additionally, it helps to make the process quicker by letting them know of all the solutions you’ve already tried from this post so that the Apple Support team can try out solutions from their end which we may not be able to.
But if you feel you can’t do it over the phone, feel free to visit the nearest Apple Store.
The Apple-certified technicians will be able to resolve the issue for you. Just make sure that you check your device after the repair process before leaving the Store.
We also advise that you get the contact details of the store so you can call them back if the issue returns.
We hope that we have helped you to fix the iTunes store is unable to process purchases at this time issue. If you have questions related to this topic, please feel free to leave a comment below.
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