Allow Free App Downloads Without Password Entry in iOS

May 24, 2015 - 31 Comments

Apps You have likely noticed that downloading a free app from the iOS App Store triggers the ‘Enter Password’ dialog screen on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. While this is a valid precaution to prevent unauthorized users from installing apps onto an iOS device, it’s not always desired, particularly for shared iPads and iOS devices used by multiple users and kids.

With the help of a simple settings adjustment, you can prevent iOS from requesting a password to download a free app, while still maintaining the password requirement for downloading paid apps.

How to Stop Password Requests to Download Free Apps in iOS

The iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch must be on the newest version of iOS to have access to this feature:

  1. Open the Settings app and head to “iTunes & App Store”
  2. Under the Apple ID username, choose “Password Settings” *
  3. Under the ‘Free Downloads’ section, toggle the switch for “Require Password” to the OFF position
  4. Exit Settings as usual, users can download free apps with the “Get” button in the App Store without having to enter a password

Require password to download free apps in iOS

Require a password for free downloads in iOS

This has no impact on downloading paid apps or making in-app purchases, which should always be password protected to prevent unauthorized transactions on an iTunes Account (you can also just turn off in-app purchases in iOS too).

* For devices configured with parental control restrictions, you will find these options as part of the General > Restrictions settings.

Note this settings option is not available if you use Touch ID for password entry and device unlocking. It becomes available if you disable Touch ID, but Touch ID is usually a much better security mechanism than a simple password entry, so for iPhones that would not be recommended, though it could be valid for some shared iPads.

How useful this is likely depends on how the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch is used, and for some situations this can be incredibly helpful, particularly for devices shared by families and kids.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

31 Comments

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  1. Mohamad S says:

    Hi
    Its in Restrictions under General not in “iTunes & App store”

  2. mike sanders says:

    poor article as per previous comments, please research all of the alternatives before sending readers on a wild goose chase.

    • Toodles Wallace says:

      mike did you actually read the article or are you complaining because you have no idea what you’re doing, probably the latter huh? yea, just like an adult mag, didn’t read the articles.

      states pretty clearly that you have to have TOUCH ID TURNED OFF or not have touch id at all to find this feature. i like touch id so there is no way i would disable it just so i can download free apps without putting my thumb onto the reader. tough stuff.

    • Sean Gonzales says:

      @mike, per the article:

      * you must have the newest version of iOS installed

      * you must have Touch ID turned off, or no Touch ID at all

      Then you will find the feature in your iPhone or iPad settings, where it will be in one of two mentioned locations depending on what your Restrictions are set at. I am literally giving you the cliff notes version of the article, which you obviously did not actually read.

      Please read the article before sending commenters who did read the article on a wild goose chase of replying to commenters who did not actually read the article.

  3. Dave says:

    Any way to do this in OS X for the App Store?

    • Ron says:

      Not at the moment, at least without saving the password to keychain, but then someone could buy apps from there too. Maybe a feature in next OS X release.

  4. Rivegauche610 says:

    Why does my favorite thing always ask me for my password TWICE?

    • GJ says:

      Because you entered your password wrong the first time? Type your password properly if you want your password to work.

  5. Peggy says:

    IPod touch, parental controls off, no Touch ID and this doesn’t work. We have the latest update.

  6. Cuteflower says:

    I have ios 9.1 and I do not have the password setting thing

  7. machanda says:

    I want free app store

  8. Jordan says:

    I like music

    • Jordan likes music says:

      Jordan, I am glad you got your free app downloads without having to enter your password, because you like music and your burgers are the best.

  9. Kittymomma says:

    This is not working for my iPhone 6s. All settings match the article but it still requires a password for free downloads :(

  10. What if the switch is grayed out?

  11. Ian says:

    I have an iPod touch 6th generation. I did this, and it STILL makes me sign in for free apps and updates. Anybody know why?

  12. Rajkishor says:

    Hi while I am try to downloading it’s so purchases.so I ask possible without purchases download application. Anybody know.

  13. adriel says:

    Montegobay

  14. David wong says:

    When I turn off password required , They said they need password to off the button.

  15. Brayan says:

    It won’t work idk why

  16. Michelle p says:

    The new update of iOS will not let you turn on free downloads without entering your password, many complaints hopefully will change this in next update!

  17. Eric says:

    Oh so you can’t do it all anymore? I mean the option is still here it just won’t work. Btw I have the thing on the grey side. It doesn’t work. Do I have to move it to the green?

  18. Sam says:

    Same thing is happening to me. It works fine, until I add restrictions for my kids. Like restrict adult content, explicit music, and so on.

  19. SafeSax says:

    Here we are in Mar 2017 and the free apps STILL require a password with iOS 10.2.1 with the settings set as instructed way up above. We will all have to be patient until the end of time perhaps. lol

  20. Schmee says:

    Tried everything as stated above and still have to enter a password for everything including iCloud apps.

  21. MommaKnows says:

    Same here, July 2017 and I’ve been through every setting and help forum I can find. I have it set up to allow but it will NOT allow free app downloads without a password! Apple needs to fix this!

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