How to fix “iTunes Store is unable to process purchases” error?

by Lucia Danes - -
12

Question

Issue: How to fix “iTunes Store is unable to process purchases” error?

Hello. What does “The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time” message mean and how can I fix it? Currently, my iTunes credit exceeds $100, so what the hell does that mean?

Solved Answer

At the end of March 2018, Apple iTunes Store[1] users from all around the world started reporting an outage of “The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time” error message.[2][3] It's a regular iTunes Store warning, which usually appears when the user attempts to purchase something when the credit is insufficient.

However, the current “The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time” error message on iTunes emerge when Apple users want to open apps, so practically all apps are rendered useless by the current iTunes Store error.
Soon after Apple customers and iOS users tweeted at Apples Support, the company officially approved an outage for the Apple TV, the iBooks Store, the iTunes Store, iTunes U, the App Store and the Volume Purchase Program.[4]

The issue approximately started at 3:04 p.m. Users are not only disallowed to make the purchases but block most of the apps downloaded from iTunes. Apple Support changed the System Status page to resolved at 4:49 p.m, but people keep reporting “The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time” error.

“The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time” error

Although this time the “The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time” error is at Apple's end, your device might also be the culprit, so you should also try to fix your device. Follow these tips:

Tips on how to fix “The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time” error

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Massive Apple's outage for iTunes have been registered in 2016 and 2017, so there's nothing surprising. While in most of the cases the problem is at Apple servers' end, sometimes the issue may be resolved by merely resigning your account or resetting your Apple ID.

IMPORTANT: do rush to sign out from your account if you can't remember its password.

Check Apple System Status

Each time you encounter problems with Apple TV, the iBooks Store, the iTunes Store, iTunes U, the App Store, the Volume Purchase Program and other services based on Apple servers, open the official Apple System Status website and check what the status of the needed system is.

Check Apple System status

Check your credit

If you attempt to make a payment, but can't do that because of “The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time” error, check your credit balance.

Open App Store or iTunes and sign in using your Apple ID. You can also use Touch ID. If you have a credit balance, the sum will be indicated below your Apple ID.

Check your balance

Resign to your account

This method should work if you see an error message saying that “Credit card processing is temporarily unavailable.”

  • Open Settings and tap on iCloud.
  • Scroll down and select Sign Out.
  • After that, try to resign to your account and check if iTunes started to work again.
  • Sign out from your account

Install the latest version of iOS

If it turns out that the “The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time” pop-up shows up due to the problems on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, follow these steps:

  • Tap Settings and open General tab.
  • Click Software Update to check whether there's a new version of your iOS available.
  • If you received an update, click Install button.

Check Date and Time settings

  • Click on Apple menu at the top left corner of the screen.
  • Open System Preferences and select Date & Time.
  • Check if the time, especially Time Zone, is set correctly.
  • Enable the Set date and time automatically option.

Disable Firewall

disable Firewall

Firewall might be the reason why you can't access or use iTunes as usually. This applies to devices provided by employers in particular since they may have a network firewall enabled, which blocks iTunes Store by default.

  • Click on Apple menu at the top left corner of the screen.
  • Open System Preferences and select Security & Privacy.
  • Click on Firewall tab.
  • Type in administrator's password if required.
  • If the firewall is set to block incoming connections, change it. Allowing incoming connections should fix “The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time” error and similar iTune problems.

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About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Security researcher

Lucia Danes is the news editor at UGetFix. She is always on the move because the eager for knowledge makes her travel around the globe and attend InfoSec events and conferences.

Contact Lucia Danes
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