iTunes Store: About In-App Purchases

Some examples of In-App Purchases are bonus game levels, maps, experience points, subscriptions, and recurring services. You must enter your password to make an In-App Purchase.

System requirements

  • iOS 3.0 or later: You can purchase extra content and subscriptions from within an app using your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  • OS X Lion or later: You can purchase extra content from within an app on your Mac.
  • OS X Mavericks: You can purchase extra content and subscriptions from within an app on your Mac.

Types of In-App Purchases

There are four types of In-App Purchases:

Type Example Description
  • Extra health
  • Extra experience points

You need to purchase these items every time you want them, and you can't download them again for free.

  • Bonus game levels
  • City guide maps

You purchase these items one time, and you can transfer them to multiple devices authorized with the same iTunes Store account.

Non-renewing subscriptions
  • One-month subscriptions
  • Location service subscriptions

You can purchase these items again after the subscription period ends.

Auto-renewable subscriptions
  • Weekly newspaper subscriptions
  • Weekly magazine subscriptions

You can purchase these items with different renewal periods. Learn more about auto-renewing subscriptions.

These conditions may apply to In-App Purchases:

  • You may see In-App Purchase in free or paid apps. No free In-App Purchases are available.
  • You can't gift an In-App Purchase.
  • If an app offers In-App Purchases, the app description page may list the Top In-App Purchases1 and describe the available In-App Purchases.

Example of Top In-App Purchases:

Example of description page for In-App Purchases:

1App developers maintain the app description pages; some app description pages may not match the current offerings.

Make an In-App Purchase

You can make In-App Purchases from within an app. When you make an In-App Purchase, you will see a dialog with the item's name and cost. Tap Buy to make your purchase and enter your iTunes Store password.


Note: Every time you make an In-App Purchase using iOS 4.3 or later, you'll need to confirm your purchase by tapping Buy. If it's been less than 15 minutes since your last In-App Purchase, you don't need to enter your password again. You can also turn on Restrictions for your iOS device to restrict purchases.

Redownload an In-App Purchase

If you lose your In-App Purchases because apps were accidentally deleted or you had to restore your device without a backup, you may be able to download some of your purchases again for free. See which types of In-App Purchases you need to purchase again or can redownload for free in the table:

Type Download for free Purchase Again
Consumable   X
Non-consumable X  
Non-renewing subscriptions   X
Auto-renewable subscriptions X  

To download an In-App Purchase again, you must download it from within the installed app using the same iTunes Store account name you used for the original In-App Purchase.

Transfer an In-App Purchase

You can't sync or transfer non-renewing subscriptions and consumable In-App Purchase to another iOS device or Mac. You can transfer non-consumable In-App Purchases and auto-renewable subscriptions to another iOS device or Mac authorized with your iTunes Store account. For example, if you transfer a game from an iPhone to an iPod touch, only the game levels will sync, and the extra ammo and experience points won't transfer.

Note: You can't transfer In-App Purchases between a Mac and an iOS device.

Learn more

Last Modified: Jul 29, 2014
  • Last Modified: Jul 29, 2014
  • Article: HT4009
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