One of the biggest hurdles faced by developers is getting onto an App store. Whether you’re developing for Android, iOS, or both, you need to get onto one of these stores to get downloads and make the most of your big app idea.

Both of these stores aim to create the best experience possible for their users. This means that they have strict rules about the apps that they will allow on their store to be downloaded. Failing to meet these guidelines will mean that your app will get rejected. This rejection can be heartbreaking after all of the time, effort, and resources put into developing your app.

So, how can give yourself the best possible chance of getting into the store? By avoiding the common mistakes made by other developers in the past.

To help you, we’ve put together the most common reasons that apps get rejected from the store.


Store Guidelines

One of the best things that you can do is to thoroughly review the guidelines of your app store of choice. The guidelines for the Play Store and the AppStore will differ slightly, so it’s essential that you understand these as best you can.

As a general rule of thumb, the iOS and Android stores will focus on the following key areas:

  • The experience that users will have in the app. Basically, the stores want users to have the best experience possible. If you aren’t providing this, it can harm your chances of approval.
  • The features of the application. How well do the features work, are they functional, do they deliver as promised, etc.
  • The user interface.
  • The overall functionality of the app. The store wants to know that everything is working as it should.

More often than not, an app will be rejected because it fails in one or more of these key areas. Some reasons will fall out of these, but your app must deliver on these key areas.


Privacy Policy (or lack thereof)

After recent data breaches and the introduction of legislation such as GDPR, app developers and app stores have strict legal requirements when it comes to privacy. Apps must have an up to date privacy policy, which is a legal document that outlines what data an app will gather and how this personal information will be used.

Both app stores will require a privacy policy in order for an app to be published on the stores respectively. If you don’t have a policy, or you are in breach of the policy that you have outlined, your app will be rejected and/or removed from the store.


Bugs, Issues, and Crashes

In short, the Play Store and App Store expect that your app will work. This may seem self-explanatory, but you may be surprised to learn that around 8% of apps submitted to Apple are rejected for bugs.

If users are downloading dodgy apps, it reflects on the quality of the store that they downloaded it from. So, before submitting your app for approval, test, test and test again. This will help you to pass the review process and experience greater success once your app goes live.

It’s worth noting that things like broken links, and long load times can also harm your chances of going live.



Just as you can’t copy someone else’s product and sell it, you can’t copy and paste someone else’s idea and attempt to sell it as your own. Whilst it’s understandable that you may be similar to some of your competitors (like Pepsi and Coke), you still need to have a clear point of difference.

The obvious solution here is to make your app as unique as you can. This could be a unique design, specific branding, special features, or a different experience from that of your competitors.

You should be researching your competitors anyway to see what they do well and what your audience wants. This research should also be used to ensure that your app isn’t a copy of theirs.


Inappropriate Content

If your app is deemed to have inappropriate content, it will be rejected automatically. It doesn’t matter how good your user experience is, your app must comply with the content standards of your store of choice.

Apps that contain excessive or realistic violence, pornographic content, anti-social behaviour such as abuse, racism, or criminal activity will be rejected.


Poor User Experience

As we touched on earlier, the app stores want their apps to be of the best possible quality. If the experience that your app offers is clunky, or simply doesn’t work, your app won’t make it into the store. As part of your testing process, make sure that you thoroughly review your user experience.


Unfinished Apps

Again, this may seem like a given, but not everyone submits a finished app for review. If the words “beta, “demo”, or “test” appear anywhere in your app, the store will flag this as a sign that your app isn’t finished. If your app isn’t finished, it won’t pass the review process.


Final Thoughts

There are a number of reasons that your app may be rejected from either iOS or Android store – many of which we haven’t covered in this article (don’t worry, they’re less common). Don’t let this frighten you.

In fact, you should view this as the chance to make your app as competitive as possible so you can pass the review process easily and smash your competition. The best advice we can give is to review the guidelines of your chosen store as thoroughly as you can before submitting your app for review. Good luck!

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