Why Won’t GarageBand Download and How to Fix It

Garageband might not download on your Mac or iPhone if you aren’t running the latest OS. You can update your software to fix this. You also might not have enough storage to download the entire app if you are short on available space. 

My name is Donovan, and I’ve been making music for most of my life. I have years of experience using GarageBand, and I know how to deal with many common issues that come up when using the app. 

This post will explain why GarageBand won’t download and how to fix the problem. I’ll highlight some potential causes for this and provide you with some steps to take to get the app downloaded onto your Mac or iPhone. 

Let’s get started. 

Key Takeaways

  • Software compatibility issues are the most common cause for GarageBand not downloading. You should make sure you are up to date on software if you run into this problem. 
  • A lack of storage space is another possible cause for GarageBand not downloading. You might need to remove apps or files from your Mac or iPhone to make room. 
  • Another related problem involves not being able to download extra software instruments or Apple loops. The solutions to this issue are similar to the app not downloading. 

Why Won’t GarageBand Download? 

There are two main reasons GarageBand won’t download on your Mac or iPhone. The app should be preinstalled on any new Apple device you buy, but if you delete it, you might run into issues when you want to reinstall it. 

The first issue that causes this problem happens if you run an older version of macOS or iOS and try downloading the most recent version of GarageBand. There are compatibility issues if this is the case. 

Because the latest version of the app is designed to work with the newest operating system, you might not be able to download it until you update your software. This is easy to do, and I’ll walk you through the steps in the sections below.

The other common reason GarageBand won’t download is that you don’t have enough storage space on your device for the app. Every device only has a certain amount of space, and once that fills up, you can’t download or install more apps, photos, or other data. 

Running out of storage space isn’t as common as it used to be because iPhones and Macs come with increased storage than they used to. But it can still happen if you download a bunch of apps or have a lot of videos and other data that takes up a lot of space. 

GarageBand Won’t Download Because of Software Update: How to Fix It

The quick fix for GarageBand download issues caused by the need for a software update is to update your software! This is easy to do on your Mac or iPhone, and you should manually update your device right now by following the steps below. 

How to update the software on your Mac. 

1. Move your cursor over the Apple icon in the top right corner of your Mac’s display. 

2. Select About This Mac

3. Make sure the Overview tab is selected. 

4. Click Software Update.

(Screenshot taken on my Mac) 

5. The system will check for available updates. Click install update or follow any other prompts to update your software. 

Follow these steps to update iOS on your iPhone. 

1. Tap the Settings icon. 

2. Tap General

3. Tap Software Update.

4. Your phone will look for any available updates. Select the most recent iOS version or follow any prompts to install it.  

GarageBand Won’t Download Because of Storage Space: How to Fix It 

If you are running into issues with downloading GarageBand caused by storage space, you’ll need to get rid of apps, photos, videos, or any other files that you don’t need or want to open up enough room for the app. 

You can drag files into the Trash to get rid of them on your Mac. Once you have the unwanted or unneeded files in the trash, make sure to empty it to free up room. 

You can drag apps, photos, videos, text documents, and just about anything else into the trash to get rid of it. I typically start by looking at all of my photos and videos to see if there are any I don’t need. This will probably clear up enough room to download GarageBand. 

And if you get rid of a few apps that you don’t use or don’t want anymore, that will most likely free up enough space as well. 

The process for freeing up space on your iPhone is slightly different, but it’s still relatively easy. Start by looking in your camera reel for any videos or photos you don’t need. 

Then tap the Trash icon on the bottom right corner of the screen. You’ll see a prompt appear, and tap Delete Photo or Video to get rid of it. 

To delete an app, long press it. You’ll see a few options appear in a window. Select Remove App from the window to remove it. 

(Screenshot taken on my iPhone)

After you have deleted a handful of videos and pictures or a few apps, attempt to download GarageBand again. If you’ve removed enough items, it should download without any issues. 

Other Fixes to Consider

It’s always a good idea to cross out a few basic causes for any problem before attempting complex fixes. One of these with downloading GarageBand is ensuring you have enough cell service or Wi-Fi to download apps. 

Check your Wi-Fi connection on your Mac to make sure you are connected to the internet. If not, reestablish a connection and then attempt to download again. 

For your iPhone, check that you either have a Wi-Fi connection or enough cell service to download. If you don’t, connect to a good Wi-Fi signal or wait until you have better cell service.  


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to why GarageBand won’t download. 

How do I reinstall GarageBand? 

You can reinstall GarageBand from the App Store. Simply search for the app in the Store and then download it onto your Mac or iPhone. Make sure that you have the latest operating system installed to allow for proper use of the app. 

Why is my GarageBand not working? 

If the GarageBand app is installed on your Mac or iPhone but not working, try closing the app and restarting it. If that doesn’t work, try restarting your device and opening the app again. And make sure you have the latest software update to ensure compatibility. 


If you are having trouble downloading GarageBand on your Mac or iPhone, make sure you have the latest software update and enough storage space to install the app. If you don’t, perform a software update or delete some apps and other files. 

GarageBand comes preinstalled on any new Apple device you get, so you shouldn’t run into issues downloading it unless you remove the app from your computer or iPhone. The easiest way to avoid the issue is not to delete it in the first place. 

Have you ever deleted GarageBand from your Mac or iPhone? Why did you do this? Let me know in the comments below.

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