How Do I Fix The "This App Cannot Be Downloaded At This Time" Error in iOS 9?

Immediately after I updated my iPad and iPhone to iOS 9, the updates started coming in. Most of them downloaded smoothly, but some got trapped in an endless download loop. Here’s one way to bypass that problem.
In my case, the updates for 1Password and Twitter started downloading, reached a point and then threw up a dialog box indicating that “This App Cannot Be Downloaded At This Time”, along with the choice of Retry or Done.
Retry did try again, and fail again, repeatedly. Done paused the download, but left me with apps that just wouldn’t work; tapping on them just tried to reload the update and fail every time. A little research revealed that this wasn’t a unique iOS 9 problem to speak of, but it was the first time I’d hit the problem.
Uninstall and reinstall on the device didn’t help, and neither did a hard reboot or signing in and out of the App Store on the device, which was most of the advice I could find online to fix the problem.
What did work was going back to basics, and downloading the apps on a Mac running iTunes — this should work for the PC version as well, but that’s not what I did — and then performing a manual sync, choosing to install the apps anew from the fresh source. That got the latest version of each app, with iOS 9 optimisations, onto the devices and jumped over the endless download loop with a minimum of fuss.
Yes, I did have to re-sign into Twitter, and I had to synchronise my 1Password vault anew, so there’s some capacity for data loss depending on the app and where it stores its information, but it is at least a solution that may work for you.
How Do I? covers the basics, because we’ve all got to start somewhere.

Author: Alex

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology writer, former editor at Gizmodo, CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet, PC Mag, APC, Finder and as a contributor to the ABC, SMH, AFR, Courier Mail, GadgetGuy, PC & Tech Authority, Atomic and many more. He's been writing professionally since 1998, and his passions include technology, social issues, education, retro gaming and professional wrestling.

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