Over the past few weeks, many customers of the iTunes Store and App Store have noticed that they haven’t been getting the usual e-mail receipts after making a purchase.
We’ve encountered this problem ourselves, and it appears that the receipts actually stopped coming sometime in late November, and we haven’t seen one since. A discussion thread on Apple’s support website started on Nov. 14 has been growing, suggesting that the problem is fairly widespread, but it’s not yet clear if it’s affecting everybody.
Those users affected still seem to be getting other email notifications from Apple, such as security alerts, promotional emails, and even subscription confirmations — although the email receipt for the actual subscription purchase fails to appear, the “Subscription Confirmation” email comes through just fine. This suggests that the problem is with whatever back-end system inside of Apple is generating the iTunes Store and App Store receipts specifically, rather than a wider problem with Apple’s automated e-mail systems in general.
Most of the comments in the Apple discussion thread also seem to suggest the same late October timeframe, possibly around the time that Apple launched Apple TV+, although it’s hard to see why there would be any correlation there. All receipt emails for digital purchases appear to be affected, regardless whether they’re for apps, movies, TV shows, music, books, or even things like regular subscription renewals for services like iCloud storage, Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade.
Other than the lack of email receipts, everything appears to be working normally. Users are still being charged for their purchases, and you’ll still receive any notifications from credit card providers if you’ve set them up, since of course these are sent out by the banks and credit card companies themselves and have nothing to do with Apple.
The problem likely went unnoticed for so long as Apple typically doesn’t send out receipts immediately after a purchase unless it’s a particularly large amount. For smaller purchases, Apple often bundles them up into a single credit or debit card transaction once the payment amount has reached a certain threshold, after which the receipt may still take a day or two to appear, by which time most users have probably forgotten about the purchase.
How to Get Your Missing Receipts
It’s very unlikely that this is a deliberate change on Apple’s part, but rather simply a bug that Apple will hopefully fix soon. It’s not clear, however, whether this will result in a huge backlog of pending receipts being sent out, or whether Apple’s systems will simply resume correctly sending ones out for new purchases.
In the meantime, however, if you want to ensure that you have email receipts for the purchases you’ve made, there’s a fairly easy way to trigger them manually from your purchase history, and you can do it right from your iPhone or iPad:
- Open the Settings app on your device
- Tap your name at the top of the screen
- Tap iTunes & App Store
- Tap your Apple ID at the very top of the screen
- Tap View Apple ID
- Authenticate using Face ID, Touch ID, or your Apple ID password
- Scroll down (if necessary) and tap Purchase History. This will show a list of all of your recent purchases.
- Find the purchase you want to get a receipt for and tap the “Total Billed” amount at the bottom.
- At the bottom of the order screen, tap Resend to email yourself a new receipt for that order.
To request a receipt for another order, return to the previous screen by tapping Purchase History in the top left corner, and repeat steps 8 and 9.
Note that you won’t be able to get receipts for items you’ve downloaded for free; even if they happen to have been included on the same order as one or more paid items, the receipt will only show the paid items and not the free ones.
It’s also worth noting that resent receipt emails will come with the subject line “Your purchases from Apple” as opposed to “Your receipt from Apple” and will have the date and time you requested the receipt be re-sent, not the date and time of the actual purchase.
You can also use the “Date Range” option at the top of the Purchase History screen to quickly access receipts from prior years and months. Your entire purchase history can be viewed this way (ours goes back to 2004), and you can even request that receipts be sent for prior purchases, although for whatever reason it looks like you won’t be able to do this for purchases prior to February 1, 2009, but if you like keeping offline copies of all of your purchase receipts, this is a handy way to fill in any blanks you may find.