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How to fix Apple’s Ask to buy not working issue?

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  • 5 min read

Apple’s exclusive software experience is one of the major driving factors behind their record-breaking sales. However, as impressive and stable as Apple’s software is, it isn’t immune to random bugs and glitches from time to time. 

In this article, we’re talking about the ask to buy feature not working on iPhones and iPads, its causes and what you can do to fix the problem.

Why is Ask to buy not working?

There are a number of reasons why you’d see this error. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Internet connectivity issues.
  • Outdated family sharing settings. 
  • Incorrect Apple ID in use. 

Also read: How to refund Apple purchase?

How to fix Ask to buy error?

Here are nine ways you can try out.

Check your internet connection

You need a stable internet connection to be able to access and download apps as well as make purchases on the Apple App Store. Check to see if your device has an active internet connection. If you’re connected to a WiFi network, ensure you have enough signal strength and speed. If you’re on mobile data, check to make sure that you’ve got good network coverage and that it’s actually enabled. 

Check availability

Some apps, games and other content are geo-restricted from certain regions due to content or copyright policies. In such cases, while you won’t usually see such content in the first place, even if you do, you won’t be able to purchase it as any attempts to buy such items will result in errors like these. It’s best to check the item description to see if it is available in your region before you try buying. 

Check the Notification Center

Another possibility is that the notification might’ve been lost in the Notification Center. Modern phones often handle hundreds of notifications in a day, and it’s very easy to dismiss an important notification subconsciously. Check the Notification Center to see if the ask to buy request is there. 

Restart your iPhone 

One of the first things you should do is try and restart your iPhone to see if that resolves the issue. Restarting your device can solve many seemingly random issues that would be tricky to debug.

Also read: Visual voicemail is currently unavailable: 6 Fixes

Check Apple’s server status

Another rather popular reason for the error is a server outage at Apple’s end. Even if the servers are live, high traffic such as when pre-orders for a new iPhone open, can cause such errors. Check Apple’s Service Status site for any problems and try again later to see if that helps.

Log out and log in again to the Apple Cloud

This is a far-fetched shot, but sometimes logging out and logging back in again to your Apple Cloud can fix problems with Apple Pay. 

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  • Open iPhone settings and head over to iCloud.
  • Tap Sign out. 
  • iCloud will ask you if you want to keep your notes, Safari data and other information on your phone. Tap Delete from My iPhone.

Now, wait for some time before restarting your iPhone. Once done, log in to iCloud again and test the feature. 

Disable VPN

VPN connections can mess up Apple App Store because of the service’s geo-restrictions. Try disabling your VPN to see if that gets Apple Pay working. 

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  • Open iPhone settings and tap General.
  • Scroll down and tap VPN.
  • Disable the Status slider.

Now try using Apple App Store again. 

Also read: Prime Video download to SD card not working: 3 Fixes

Check for iOS updates

Another potential reason for this problem could be a bug in iOS. More often than not, developers realise this quickly and release patches or subsequent updates to fix such issues. 

Follow these steps to ensure that you have the latest iOS version installed on your phone. 

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  • Head over to the settings and tap on General.
  • Tap on Software Update.
  • Ensure that you’re on the latest update available. If not, update your device immediately. 

Factory reset your iPhone

Lastly, if nothing else works, you can try resetting your iPhone to check if that resolves the Apple Pay issue.  

Every year since the release of the first iPhone in 2008, Apple releases a new iteration of the device with the latest ones being iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. If you're planning to switch to a newer version of the iPhone and are planning to sell or trade your old iPhone, it makes sense to wipe off all the data and restore the device to the factory settings. This not only ensures that none of your data gets in the hands of someone else but also gives the device a fresher look if you're planning on selling.  Before you go ahead and factory reset your iPhone, you should back up its data via iTunes or iCloud, so that you're able to restore it to the new device.  In this article, we've put together a simple guide to help you factory reset your iPhone in three simple steps.  Also read: How to use your iPad in Split Screen mode?  How to factory reset an iPhone?  Go to your iPhone's Settings. Scroll down and tap on General. On the next page, scroll down to the bottom and tap on Reset. On the next page, tap on the second option from the top Erase All Content and Settings.  Once the factory reset of the iPhone is complete, it will restart from the Hello screen.  Note that if you don't want to erase your data and just wish to reset the factory settings of the device, you can do so by tapping on Reset All Settings, which is located right above the Erase All Content and Settings option. In addition to the aforementioned, users can also individually reset their Network settings, keyboard dictionary, home screen layout and location & privacy settings by tapping on the other options on the same screen.  Also read: How to switch off WiFi and Bluetooth in the iPhone?
  • Head over to the settings and tap on General.
  • On the next page, scroll down to the bottom and tap on Reset.
  • On the next page, tap on the second option from the top Erase All Content and Settings.

Also read: Apple Pencil not charging: 6 Fixes

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: