Problems with in-app purchases
With some apps, you can buy additional content or services within the app. We call these "in-app purchases." Examples include a sword that gives you more power in a game, a key that unlocks more features of a free app, or virtual currency that can be used for purchases.
If your in-app purchase is not showing up, is not working, or won’t download, you can:
- Troubleshoot the issue on your own.
- Contact the developer for support.
- Request a refund.
Troubleshoot the issue on your own
In app purchases can take up to 24 hours to be delivered. If you have made an in app purchase and don’t see it added in the app or game, wait 24 hours and check again. If it’s still not there, try the troubleshooting steps below. If the steps don't solve the problem, contact the developer for help.
Check that you have a WiFi or mobile data connection which is active and working. A simple way to do this is by searching the web. Click on this link to search Google for cats. If you see information on cats, your internet connection is probably not the issue.
If that search doesn’t work, connectivity might be a problem. Try to fix your connectivity issues.
If you haven't received an in-app item you bought, try closing and restarting the app or game you’re using.
- On your device, open the main Settings app .
- Tap Apps or Manage applications (depending on your device, this may be different).
- Tap the app you used to make your in-app purchase.
- Tap Force stop.
- Re-open the app you used to make your in-app purchase.
- Check if your item has been delivered.
If your payment didn’t go through properly you won’t receive the in-app purchase you tried to buy. Check if it went through using the Play Store app or Google Play on the web:
Use the Play Store app:
- On your mobile device, open the Google Play Store app .
- Tap Menu Account.
- Tap Order history to review your orders.
Use a web browser:
- Go to your Google Play account.
- Scroll down to Order history.
- Look for the in-app purchase.
Sometimes restarting the device can help fix in-app purchase issues. To restart:
- Hold down the power button.
- Tap Power off or Restart (depending on your device this text may be different).
- If needed, hold down the power button again to turn the device back on.
- Wait for the device to start back up.
- Re-open the app or game and check if the in-app purchase has been delivered.
In-app purchases work best when you are running the latest version of the Play Store. To update the app:
- Open the Google Play Store app .
- Tap Menu Settings Build version.
- Build version is usually at the bottom of the settings list.
- The app will update, or notify you that your version is up to date.
If you have recently changed the date and time on your device, make sure the date and time are correct:
- Open your device Settings app .
- Tap Date & time.
- Look for "Automatic date & time" and "Automatic time zone" and check if they’re switched on or off. Then follow the relevant steps below.
If "Automatic date & time" and "Automatic time zone" are turned off
- Turn on both the date & time and time zone settings.
- Wait a few minutes, and check to see if your problem is fixed.
- If it’s not, try restarting your device and check again.
If "Automatic date & time" and "Automatic time zone" are switched on
- If both of these settings are on, the date and time probably isn’t your issue. Check your connectivity and restart your device, or try the other troubleshooting steps.
Contact the app's developer for support
If you're still having issues with an in-app purchase and want to give feedback or get help, you can contact the app's developer.
The app developer is the best place to:
- Get help to fix an issue with an app or game.
- Learn more about using an app.
- Get an in-app purchase added to your account.
- Get a refund for an in-app purchase which wasn’t delivered.
Request a refund
Depending on the details of your purchase and issue, you may be able to get a refund. Find more information on returns and refunds on Google Play.
Dan is a Google Play expert and author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about the page.