I own an app. I want to purchase an additional copy of that app for a friend using iTunes' gift functionality. In the iOS App Store and the iTunes store on a Mac, the gift option doesn't appear for apps that I already own. I can't believe that Apple doesn't let you purchase an additional copy of something that you already own as a gift for someone else.

App that I own
enter image description here

App that I don't enter image description here

Am I missing something, or is app gifting really this half baked?

  • never thought of this - it appears that it might really be that half-baked
    – Jason
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 0:59
  • 2
    Seems sort of ridiculous. I'm way more likely to say "Hey, this app is awesome, let me get you a copy" than "Hey, here's something I've never used before. Enjoy!"
    – MDMarra
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 1:08

3 Answers 3


The gift function is embedded in the small triangle control to the right of the Buy|Download text - almost looking like it's the same button on iTunes for a computer.

iTunes gift button

Just click the square button and select Gift This App. On iOS you will want to press the rectangle with the arrow key and select Gift.

iOS App Store gifting

  • When you search for an app, the triangle on the results screen doesn't have gift as an option for apps that you already own, but it does for other apps. Seems like you have to click through to the app itself to get it, even though gift does show up on the result screen for apps that you don't own. Not a very consistent behavior :(
    – MDMarra
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 1:13
  • 2
    I own the app being shown (as indicated by the Download text rather than the $2.99 Price and Buy Button). But if I sign out of the store, the Gift This App shows the exact same location and the exact same placement as if I already own the app and am signed in. Everything seems very consistent to me but perhaps I'm not seeing what you are.
    – bmike
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 1:17
  • If you search for an app, but don't actually click through to the app, the behavior is not consistent. Check out these two images from the same search results page to see what I mean: App I own - App I don't. Once you actually click through to the app's page, then the behavior becomes consistent, but the behavior in the search results page is really bad UX. Hope this clears up what I was seeing.
    – MDMarra
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 1:29
  • Perfect - your call if you embed the "App I own" picture in the question. It's never fun to hunt for a hidden control.
    – bmike
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 1:35

If you hit the "share" button (if I'm calling it that correctly, it looks like a square with an arrow pointing up from it). One of the options is "gift".


In the iTunes store, you can log out of our account, and then the "gift this" option will appear. You can click the option, and then it will prompt you to re-enter you Apple ID but you can still go through with the purchase.

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