How to install an app or game on your iPhone

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So you just got your first iPhone, or you’ve only used your phone for simple tasks, and haven’t installed an app before. With apps, an iPhone can do a lot more than just call, text, or take photos. Here’s how to install them.

Requirements

To download or buy apps on your iPhone, you must have an Apple ID with a payment method (such as a credit card) set up with Apple. Your iPhone must also have restrictions that may prevent downloading apps from being disabled (such as restrictions on Screen Time or Kiosk mode). And finally, you will need to have enough free storage space available on your iPhone to store the apps you are going to download.

RELATED: How much storage space do you need on your iPhone?

Types of applications: free, paid or subscription

Apple

Before you install an app on your iPhone, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the three main types of apps on the App Store:

  • Free apps: These apps are free to download at first, but usually support themselves through in-app advertising or in-app purchases, allowing you to pay for features later. In the App Store, you’ll see a button that says “Get” next to them.
  • Paid apps: Downloading these apps costs money as a one-time purchase and you get free updates as long as the app is supported by the developer. Pad apps are less likely to contain in-app purchases or advertising, but it’s still possible. These apps have a price that appears on a button next to their name.
  • Subscription Apps: These apps can be free or paid apps that support themselves through a paid subscription that regularly charges your payment method on file with Apple over time, such as once a month or once a year. Be careful, because some apps feature unreasonable predatory subscriptions that charge too much for a simple service.

RELATED: What is an in-app purchase?

How to install apps on iPhone

First, turn on your iPhone and unlock it. From the home screen, tap the App Store icon, which has a blue icon with a stylized “A” on it.

Advice: If you can’t find the App Store icon, the App Store may be disabled due to parental controls in Screen Time (see Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > iTunes & App Store Purchases). You can also search the App Store using Spotlight.

When the app store opens, you will see an overview screen. Using the row of buttons at the bottom of the screen, tap on the section of the store you’d like to visit. Here is a description of what each button means:

  • This day: This includes ads and promotions for apps that Apple wants you to see first.
  • Games: This section features games that you can play on your iPhone.
  • Applications: This is for non-game apps like productivity apps, media streaming apps, and utilities.
  • Arcade: This is for Apple Arcade, a paid subscription service that includes games without ads or in-app purchases.
  • Search: This section allows you to search the app store for a particular app.

iPhone App Store buttons at the bottom of the screen.

Find an app you want to install by browsing the store or performing a search. To download and install it on your iPhone, tap the “Get” button next to it. Or if it has a price (like “$4.99”), tap the price button to buy the app and install it.

In the iPhone app store, tap "Get".

You will then see a pop-up asking if you want to install or purchase the app. Tap “Install”, then confirm that you want to download or purchase the app with your Apple ID, Touch ID, or Face ID password.

Play "Install 'in the App Store.

After that, you will see a circular download progress indicator next to the app name as the app downloads and installs on your iPhone.

While the app is downloading, you will see a circular progress indicator.

When the download is complete, go back to the home screen and swipe left or right until you see the app icon. Touch the app icon to launch it.

If you don’t see the app on any of your home screen pages, your iPhone may be set to push new apps directly to the App Library. In that case, swipe left until you see the App Library and you can launch it from there. Or you can open Spotlight Search, type the app name, and quickly open the app.

If you want to delete an app you downloaded, you can remove it from your iPhone by holding your finger on the app icon until a menu appears. Select “Remove App” from the menu and the iPhone will uninstall the app. You can download it again later on the App Store at any time. Happy downloading!