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How to Gift an iPad or iPhone App



If you have an iPhone or iPad user on your gift list, you could get them an iPad or iPhone accessory to with their device, or you could give them an app. Doing so is easier than you’d think, so I thought I’d show you how to do it.

[See our other 2011 Holiday Gift Guides and How to Gift Music, Books, Apps and Videos to the Kindle Fire Owner]

You may have a favorite game that you know someone on your list would love. That expensive app they’ve been wanting but can’t afford could make a great gift. Here’s what you have to do.

You can gift an app one of three ways, depending on whether you want to do it from your computer, your iOS device or you just want them to get it on their own. Starting with the last one: just buy them a gift card. They can enter the code on the card in the App Store, or in iTunes, and the amount is added to their account so that they can get the app themselves. But we’re sure you knew that already.

The other two ways let you say, “I was thinking about you specifically” by choosing an app that the person would really love. It’s a little more personal and probably cheaper than a gift card for 90% of the apps in the App store.

From iTunes on the Computer

From a computer, open iTunes and find the app you want to give. You will see a drop down arrow below the app icon where the price shows up. Just so you know, this doesn’t work with Free apps.

Click on the arrow and you will see a list of options. The first one says, “Gift This App.” Click on it.

Gift app

You will then see the Give a Gift page which explains that you can either send it via email or by printing the gift certificate yourself. Click the appropriate choice, depending on whether you know their email address or not. You might also want to print the app if you wish to hand the person a gift yourself.

Gift App Screen

Fill in the appropriate details. If you want to give the app to multiple people, then add all of their email addresses and you will be billed the amount of the app times the number of addresses chosen. Click Continue at the bottom of the window.

Sign into your iTunes account. On the next screen you actually make the purchase by hitting the buy button. For those who chose to print, you will be given a chance to print a certificate that looks like the one below. You can put the certificate in a card, or just wait for Apple to send the recipient their code via email.

Gift Certificate

The recipient will then enter the redeem code into iTunes.

From iOS Devices

On an iOS device, you open the App store and find the app. At the bottom of the screen will be a button which says Gift This App. Tap it and sign into your account.

Gift an App from iOS App Store

The next screen explains details about the app. Choose Next. Enter the Recipient’s Name and the Recipient’s Email. If you want, put a personal message in the last box and then and choose Next. The last page shows you the message and provides a button which says Buy Gift. Tap it to send the gift.

The only way to have something to actually give the recipient is to print a certificate. I think this is the most personal way and the best way to give the gift on the right day.



  1. Cassandra

    12/06/2011 at 6:20 am

    Thanks for the nice article and try to use Make apps easy and fast, without programming experience.

  2. A Khanna

    10/24/2012 at 5:21 pm

    I am trying to gift the same App to more than one recipient. I understand that the recipient emails can be included in the email section separated by commas. How should I deal with the recipient’s name– if I enter all the recipient names separated by commas, then gift is going to each email with the full name string separated by commas!!! And, iTunes will not allow me to skip that information. Any inputs will be much appreciated!!!

  3. Tim Morsanuto

    07/18/2014 at 4:02 am

    does gifting an app to another remove it from your system… or can you both use it

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