When you attempt to download an app that costs money, you will not be charged if you already bought the app. After you press buy and enter your iTunes password, it will say "You have already purchased this item. To download it again for free, select OK."

The problem is that I deleted hundreds of apps from my phone, some of which were paid for. Later on I might find an app I like but notice that it costs money. It might be an app I had already paid for, or an app which I got when it was free.

How can I know if I tap the buy button if I will be charged for the app or not?

In other words, how can I know if I owned a previous version of an app before?

4 Answers 4


To see a listing of all the apps you have purchased or downloaded, do this :

  1. Go to Store > View My Account
  2. Login
  3. Click on "Purchase History"

You should now see all the apps you have downloaded before.

Stolen from caliban's answer here.

  • This seems to be the most correct answer, but wouldn't it be better to put the text rather than just a link?
    – bentford
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 18:47
  • 1
    I've rewritten my answer to provide the facts rather than the link. (Thank you caliban!) Note: Free apps are included in the purchase history because they are also purchased, at cost $0.00. Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 6:42

Update: The easiest way to do this is to open up the App Store on the iPad, and search for the app. If you see it say "INSTALL," rather than showing a price, it means that you have purchased the app before, and can download it again for free.

One way to do this is to archive all your iTunes receipt notifications in your email account. This way you can search your email account for the application's name and see if it exists in any of your receipts.

The downside to this is that if the application's name changed it won't find it since your receipt will contain the application's old name. You could try searching for the seller's name, but that might change as well.

Another way to do this is to look at your iTunes purchase history. While this will have the application's current name (unlike in email archiving), there is no easy way to search through it.

Another difference between the two methods is that the Purchase History will contain app updates you downloaded, while the receipt emails will not.

Update: It seems that as of May, I no longer get receipts for free items via email.


Apps that you delete on your iPhone are still in your iTunes. You should see there wich Apps you already payed for.

  • 2
    Not if bought some on the phone and some at your desk.
    – bmargulies
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 11:36
  • 3
    Apps that are bought on your phone will show up in iTunes after syncing. Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 21:22
  • Unless you delete them from iTunes.
    – g .
    Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 13:10

Yeah, there are apps that I remember what they did and want to try it again but forget the name, so instead of trying to search for category, it's easier sometimes to go through the iTunes Account download history.

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