Buy an iPhone App Once and All Following Downloads of the App are Free

Feb 7, 2011 - 13 Comments

buy-once-iphone-app-download-many If you purchase an app from the iTunes App Store, as long as you use the same iTunes account again, all subsequent downloads of that app are free. This means that if you bought an iOS app for an iPod touch, but you just got a new iPhone, iPad, or Mac you do not need to buy the same app again.

Buy Once, Download Many
All you need to do is login to that same iTunes account and re-download the app to your new iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

If you want to bulk transfer a large amount of apps to a new device, use the ‘Transfer Purchases’ option in iTunes.

There is two exception to this rule, the first being some iOS apps are sold in two versions, say as an iPad “HD” version and a standard iPhone version. The main difference here are the apps resolutions, but most developers will simply bundle the two in a single app and sell a “plus” version (marked by the + sign in the App Store). The other exception are iPad only apps, which are designed to run at a higher screen resolution and can not scale down to the smaller screens of the iPod touch and iPhone, but since they won’t run on smaller screens you won’t have to pay for them again anyway.

Common Knowledge?
I often wrongfully assume what is common technical knowledge, but over the past few weeks I’ve ran into several friends and family buying the same apps again that they already paid for, simply because they want the app on a new device (I’m sure the makers of AngryBirds love them for this). To make things even more complicated, they had setup different iTunes accounts for the different iOS hardware. If you see someone doing this, correct them!


Related articles:

Posted by: Jeff Hurst in iPad, iPhone


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  1. Barbara phifer says:

    I had the what’s app on my phone. I accidentally deleted it. How to get it back

  2. Darren says:

    Does anyone know how to choose NOT to redownlaod an app?
    Some one in my family has dowloaded garageband and I would also like it, but the redowload symbol is there and when I click it it says I can’t redownload it. I don’t see anyway of buying it with da moneys so can some one help??

  3. Denisia says:

    If I buy an app from iTunes and I don’t like it . Is there anyway I can get my money back?

  4. Kiera says:

    Note: I got the app for free, and accidentally deleted it, and when I went to reinstall it, it cost $4.99 and I really don’t want to pay that much for an app.

  5. Kiera says:

    What if I got the app as a limited time special offer price, where I downloaded it for free, and accidentally deleted it. Can I still do this process without being charged?

  6. […] any point for free either on the same iOS device or a different one attached to the same Apple ID without purchasing again, the same way you would with an accidentally deleted […]

  7. […] app will redownload and reinstall itself. You will not be charged for redownloading apps that you already own as long as the Apple ID is the […]

  8. […] get a new iPhone or iPad 2, you can download it for free now to reserve it on your account, because each additional download will be free from the iOS App Store too. stLight.options({ publisher:'fe5e0a84-1fac-40de-8014-9f89fc1cbe6a' […]

  9. […] Promotional codes usually have an expiration date. It’s a good idea to redeem the promo-code within two weeks ofΒ receivingΒ it. Remember, once you have redeemed a code or bought an app,Β any subsequent downloads of that same app are free. […]

  10. […] Remember, once you have redeemed a code or bought an app, any subsequent downloads of that same app are free. […]

  11. Nihar says:

    Oh my goodness, and I thought the App store was so popular because everyone knew that you had to buy just once!

  12. […] ε…ƒθ¨˜δΊ‹: Buy an iPhone app once and all following downloads of the app are free. […]

  13. Parakeet says:

    As a small improvement, they updated the App Store to say “Install” instead of “Buy” if it’s already owned but the key is to be logged into the same iTunes purchasing account

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