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Let’s say you have a great idea for an app. The Android market will be an easy host, but you want to specifically target Apple users, so the main focus will be the Apple App Store. Unfortunately not all developers get to showcase their smarts there, and that’s because Apple has a long list of reasons to reject apps, no matter their true value. So many good ideas end up in the trash, or worse, never reach their targeted users.

To help you out I’ve compiled a list of reasons why Apple may reject your app, complete with point by point explanations.It could be used as a checklist just before submitting or a way to see what went wrong when your app got rejected.

Things to check before submitting:

  • bugs and crashes – thoroughly test your app on all type of Apple devices (especially if your app targets phones and tablets) and fix all bugs before submitting;
  • clean and lean user interface – like most Apple products, the apps they run have to reach a certain standard. They are looking for clean, refined, and user-friendly. They provide a design guide and a do and don’t list;
  • links – the app must run smoothly so broken links are not allowed;
  • all content must be in its place – placeholders that have not been replaced with images of other visual elements can bring your app review to a stop, so be very very careful with each and every single page;
  • ads – be sure if your app uses Advertising Identifier (IDFA) to serve users advertisements, that those will work properly on any of the Apple products that you are targeting;
  • inaccurate descriptions and previews – spend a lot of time on the content that will feature on you app page. The description has to be catchy but also useful to users and the images must be real screenshots of the app presented.


  • Don’t forget to provide complete information in the submit form!
  • Don’t submit multiple apps with the same (or very similar content)! Or you will find your account blocked and all of the apps revoked.

Apple also provides a App Review page with all sorts of useful info.

In August, for one week, the Apple app review center has compiled a top 10 list of reasons why app get rejected. Here are the results:

  • 14% – More information needed
  • 8% – Guideline 2.2: Apps that exhibit bugs will be rejected
  • 6% – Did not comply with terms in the Developer Program License Agreement
  • 6% – Guideline 10.6: Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good, it may be rejected
  • 5% – Guideline 3.3: Apps with names, descriptions, or screenshots not relevant to the App content and functionality will be rejected
  • 5% – Guideline 22.2: Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations or use names or icons similar to other Apps will be rejected
  • 4% – Guideline 3.4: App names in iTunes Connect and as displayed on a device should be similar, so as not to cause confusion
  • 4% – Guideline 3.2: Apps with placeholder text will be rejected
  • 3% – Guideline 3.8: Developers are responsible for assigning appropriate ratings to their Apps. Inappropriate ratings may be changed/deleted by Apple
  • 2% – Guideline 2.9: Apps that are “beta”, “demo”, “trial”, or “test” versions will be rejected

Photo by Przemyslaw Marczynski on Unsplash

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