Recently, when attempting to make a purchase (or free download) on the App Store iTunes was requesting I update my security info. This is not the 3 digit code on my credit card, but the 3 security questions and a backup email that help with account recovery; as referred to in: Is this "Security Info Required" prompt legitimate?

I tried entering new security answers and a backup email but repeatedly (across an iPad, iPhone and iTunes on a Mac) got the following error:

"Your request is temporarily unable to be processed."

It is impossible to download new apps until it works. What is the trick to make this pass successfully?

  • Short version: try it without an email included worked for me. I'll post a longer version when I can (8hr limit).
    – owenfi
    Commented Apr 22, 2012 at 7:34

2 Answers 2


Eventually, I gave the same answers but left the backup email blank. That was accepted by iTunes and I was able to finish up and continue downloading new apps.

Next, I went to https://appleid.apple.com and chose "Password and Security" where I entered answers to 2 of the 3 questions I just generated. Then I was able to update all the 3 answers and add a "Rescue Email Address".

I'm not 100% sure if omitting the email was what got it to work or if it was just a matter of timing but I wanted to post this in case it helps anyone else get past the issue.

  • Incredibly it worked!! I had tried so many other suggestion and spent several hours on this problem. I cannot beileve that they asked us for an alternative email and that fouled everyting up. Now I even have to remember a new password.
    – user22213
    Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 8:32
  • Glad it helped and wasn't just a fluke. Particularly irksome as a developer wondering how many sales are lost due to this. Now that I know it wasn't just me I'll file an Apple Radar bug.
    – owenfi
    Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 22:12

That solution didn't work for me but here's what did:

  • Visit the Apple Web Site -- www.apple.com
  • Click on "Store"
  • On Store Main Page you'll see 'Account' on the far right... -- There are several choices in the Account pull-down, choose "Account Home Page

  • If prompted to login, do so...

  • Click on: "Change your default shipping or billing info"

  • In my case, I entered the same (new) card number I had been trying via the App Store but here it seemed to accept it. I will just add that I turned on "Express Check-Out" here but I strongly doubt that had any effect as I believe that's strictly for the Apple.com site (?).

  • Leaving the web site and now back at the App Store, I attempted to purchase the same App as I had previously and was presented with exactly the same request to update my Credit Card Security Digits.

  • This time however I could see that it had accepted my AMEX Card Number (last 4 were correct/new) - previously of course over the past several hours it had instead presented the Error Message we're all gathered here talking about (Unable to process...)

  • Indeed I entered the proper security digits and bingo - back at cruising altitude, all systems green. Phew, that wasn't fun.

Hope this helps someone, altogether frustrating experience -- not even a satisfied feeling once fixed, just exasperation fatigue!

FWIW, having been through this a couple of times in the past two years and previously just giving up for a few days or more I do wonder whether this might have a measurable impact on Apple's bottom line. Doubtful it's much in the big scheme of things but as any business person knows it's the little things adding up that often make all the difference in achieving your projections.

Good luck all, and Apple you too.

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