Can I delete apps from the iTunes library?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ImperialX, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. ImperialX macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    One day I looked at my MacBook Air and realized that I was running out of space on my 128GB SSD. Booting up DaisyDisk, I had a look at just what is taking up all that room. Turns out the 216 apps I have for my iPhone/iPad are big culprits.

    Here's the question. Is there any way for me to remove these apps from my iTunes library, while still retaining them on my iPhone/iPad? I have iOS 5 on both of them so they have iCloud. Can I remove the apps on my Mac without removing them on the iPhone when I sync? It will save a lot of space if I can do this.

    None of my apps are pirated - never jailbroke the iPhone before. All the apps were purchased from the App Store.
  2. psejcf macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I haven't tried this, so have a backup before you proceed.

    In iTunes, you can choose to backup your phone to iCloud (in your case it would be currently chosen to backup to your computer). Once you do that, iCloud will maintain a list of your apps and will store your data and settings too. You can then remove all the apps from iTunes. You'll still need iTunes to sync songs, videos and other content that you haven't bought from the iTunes or iBooks or App stores and to sync content from non-iCloud devices. You'll need a good Internet connection if you ever want to restore everything afresh since all the apps would have to be re-downloaded.
  3. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    I would think so, you can have music on your phone that's not in your iTunes library, and the same goes with apps if you don't transfer them over. Just toss them on a backup drive or whatever (I'm not sure where the app data is stored though, probably with the backups) and if you need them again just drop them back on the phone.
  4. k.i.t.t.o. macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
    I've been looking for a solution for this very same problem. I've changed the settings to back up on iCloud instead of the computer (although the old back up is still sitting on the Mac somewhere, along with a brand new back up in the cloud), but iTunes still wants me to sync all apps to it. As a test, I deleted the USPS app from iTunes but left it on the phone. When I started to sync my phone, iTunes asked me to transfer the app to it. I denied it, and iTunes deleted it from the phone.
  5. tctony macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    I wish I could delete apps from my iTunes account.

    I don't care about this free app that I used one time and will never use again.
  6. HazyCloud macrumors 68030


    Jun 30, 2010
    You can hide them so they don't show up under "purchased".

    From the purchased section under the App Store, swipe to hide an app.
  7. doboy macrumors 68000

    Jul 6, 2007
    Yes, you can go to the actual folder containing the apps and move it to an external HDD, but DON'T delete the app from iTunes. iTunes don't update the app list automatically so it won't know that the actual app is missing from the folder. Afterwards you can sync it normally and the apps that were moved should still be on the idevice. I would suggest trying this with a non-important app to test it out. This works fine for me with apps like Navigon that take up a lot of space.
  8. DirtySocks85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    I would highly recommend keeping any apps that you think you might ever want again EVER, at least on an External HDD. You never know when Apple or a developer are going to remove an app from the store, but if you still have the .ipa you will always have access to it.

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