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How to fix the ‘Your purchase could not be completed’ error?

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  • 5 min read

Apple is known for making quality products with impeccable attention to detail. That said, what brings these devices together is the software experience. The iPhone maker has put a lot of time and effort into making its operating systems and software experiences as seamless as possible. That said, they’re still not immune to random bugs and glitches from time to time. 

In this article, we’re talking about the “your purchase could not be completed” error when attempting to buy something from the Apple App Store, its causes, and how you can fix the problem. 

What causes this error?

Several different reasons can trigger the error. Some of the most popular reasons include the following:

  • Internet connectivity issues. 
  • Server outage at Apple’s end.
  • Outdated payment information. 
  • Issues with Apple ID. 

Also read: How to refund Apple purchase?

How to fix this?

Here are ten fixes you can try to resolve the ‘Your purchase could not be completed’ error.

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.

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 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. 

Reset network settings

Open your iPhone or iPad’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below to reset network settings.

  • Scroll down and tap on General.
  • Tap on Reset.
  • You’ll find a Reset Network Settings button there. Tap on it to reset your network stack.

Also read: How to fix ‘The operation could not be completed’ error?

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 Apple Pay. 

Disable VPN

VPN connections can mess up Apple Pay 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 Pay again. 

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

Re-add cards to Apple Pay

Sometimes just re-adding the problematic card to Apple Pay can help fix the problem. 

  • Open your iPhone settings and head over to Wallet & Apple Pay. 
  • Tap the problematic card followed by Remove this card.

Confirm the warning prompt and restart your iPhone. Once done, try adding the card again; it should start working fine. 

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: How to delete a column in Excel?

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: