Can’t Access Purchased Section in iPad App Store: Apple Says It’s a Known Issue with ‘Extensive Purchase History’

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iPad App Store Purchased section

Have you had problems getting the App Store Purchased section to load on your iPad? Spent time staring at a screen like the one shown above just saying ‘Loading’ for a long while and then the App Store app crashes back to the home screen? Me too. On both my iPad mini and my iPad 3 for at least several weeks now.

I’ve rebooted the iPads more than once, hard rebooted them, and signed out and back in to my Apple ID account in the App Store. I’ve also searched and noted that there are numerous threads on this issue – here’s just one example: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4313321?start=15&tstart=0.

So today I decided to call Apple Support about it. I’ll offer full details below, but the short story is that Apple’s Engineering team is aware of the issue and is working on a number of reported cases. Mine was ‘escalated’ and added to those cases this morning. The issue appears to be with those of us who have what an Apple senior advisor called an ‘extensive purchase history’ when it comes to iPad and iOS apps. My purchase history shows 1,212 iPad apps and 1,276 iPhone apps – so it looks like I qualify.

The only suggested workaround right now is to open up iTunes on a PC and sync any apps you previously purchased and want to get back onto your iPad or other iDevice.

For anyone who’s interested, here’s a little rundown of how my call to Apple support on this issue went:

I described the issue to the first agent I spoke to. I mentioned that I have the issue on two iPads and that I have seen numerous other users reporting the problem on Apple’s discussion boards. I verified that both iPads are running the current latest version of iOS. She started by asking me to reboot my iPad mini. Then she had me sign out and back in to my Apple ID account via Settings. And just as when I had tried these things before, there was no change and the Purchased section of the App Store app would not load.

I confirmed that I was not trying to load the App Store page over a cellular connection, but rather on my home WiFi connection which is solid and fast.

This first agent said she was unaware of any known issue on this. We then opened the iTunes app on my iPad mini and found that the Purchased section loaded successfully – but this is no help since the iTunes app’s purchased section does not show apps.

At this point the agent asked me to do a restore of the iPad mini connected to a PC. I said I was not willing to do this as I saw nothing to indicate an individual device problem and again mentioned the numerous reports on Apple discussion boards. I was put on hold for a bit and then transferred to a senior advisor.

The senior advisor agreed that this does not appear to be an individual device issue and asked me whether I have an ‘extensive purchase history’. I said yes and mentioned that I run an iPad focused site and review apps. He then had me check my purchase history in iTunes on my Mac. That revealed the numbers of apps I mentioned above.

He then told me that this is a known issue. He said the Engineering team is already working on a number of cases for users having the same problem and who also have extensive purchase histories. He gave me a case number and said my case will be escalated to the engineering team along with the others already being worked on.

He told me about the workaround mentioned above (sync apps via iTunes on a PC) and said that there is no estimated timeframe for a fix from the engineering team – though I should expect some sort of update email within 4 days.

One odd and unsatisfying portion of the call was the final part of it once I knew all of the above information and was confirming my case number and the senior advisor’s contact info. I asked whether I could receive an email with the case number and a summary of the issue and a statement that it was being worked on. Apparently this is not possible – I can only get an email with the case number, while all the notes about the case are held as ‘internal’ to Apple’ The gist seemed to be that this was to protect my ‘privacy’.

That seems wrong and more than a little stupid to me. I wasn’t asking for an email with my Apple ID details or notes on purchase history. I just wanted a pretty standard ticket or case history summing up what the issue is, the fact it is being escalated, and details on which team is handling it etc. It feels a little like Apple not wanting to acknowledge this issue.

Anyway, if you’re experiencing this problem you may want to make Apple aware of your case too. Presumably the more of these they get, the faster we might see a solution.

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Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

5 thoughts on “Can’t Access Purchased Section in iPad App Store: Apple Says It’s a Known Issue with ‘Extensive Purchase History’

  1. Good luck! I’ve had the issue for 3 months and Apple has been working on it for 2 months. They even replaced my iPad 3 before figuring out that it’s a known issue. Said I would hear back within 4 days and that call consisted of them telling me it’s a known issue and there is no known timeframe to get it fixed. They’re working on it. I can’t access the Purchased section of the App Store on either my iPhone 4S or iPad, iPad 2 or iPad 3.

  2. OK, I reported this issue to apple about 5 months ago. I could not see purchased apps on both my iPad & iPhone. I have over 1500 apps and ios6 tries to load all the apps so you can scroll through, but both iPhone & iPad run out of memory, so the app crashes. The way to get around it so you can see your purchased apps, you need to hide all the apps that you don’t need and can be done in iTunes on your PC or MAC. IOS5 don’t have this problem as it loads the apps in pages. I have hidden about 60% of my apps and I can now view purchased apps on both iPhone & iPad.
    Hope this helps

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