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Can I just delete all iOS apps from iTunes without them uninstalling from devices?

mgpg89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 31, 2008
970
16
Belgium
I'm currently in the process of cleaning up my iTunes library and I was wondering ...
Can I just delete all iOS apps from my library?
Or will they also be removed from my iPhone/iPad the next time I sync?

Seems kinda pointless having them sit in iTunes, taking up space, while I always install & update my apps straight from the device.

Thanks for your help
 

adamhenry

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2015
1,616
607
On the Beach
Good question. I don't know but my WAG would be that the next time you sync your phone the missing apps would be removed. For sure they would be missing if you had to restore for some reason.
 
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steve knight

macrumors 68030
Jan 28, 2009
2,691
7,148
Just change the sync settings first so apps are not synced then it is fine that's what I do
 
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mgpg89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 31, 2008
970
16
Belgium
OK, thanks guys.
Went ahead and gave it a shot.
Everything seems to be just fine.
No deleted apps.
 
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brilliantthings

macrumors 6502a
Feb 13, 2011
537
104
So just to clarify:
You deleted iOS apps from your desktop and then turned off a setting to sync apps to the desktop and everything has gone fine since?
Where is that setting?
 
Last edited:
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richard2

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2010
236
51
England, United Kingdom
Devices with iOS 9.0.2 or later installed don't synchronise apps with iTunes. If all of your devices have iOS 9.0.2 or later installed, then you can safely delete all of the apps in your iTunes library.
 
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brilliantthings

macrumors 6502a
Feb 13, 2011
537
104
Devices with iOS 9.0.2 or later installed don't synchronise apps with iTunes. If all of your devices have iOS 9.0.2 or later installed, then you can safely delete all of the apps in your iTunes library.

Wow. I missed that. Did Apple release a guide or explanation about that?
 
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brilliantthings

macrumors 6502a
Feb 13, 2011
537
104
I didn't; I found the answer on Apple's community support forum. :)

Nice one
[doublepost=1459439391][/doublepost]Found the answer here:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205099

"
If your apps aren‘t transferred from iTunes to your device after updating to iOS 9
With iOS 9, apps no longer need to transfer or sync with iTunes when you restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Instead, the apps download directly to your device.


iOS 9 includes a new feature that allows you to download just the parts of an app needed for your device. This saves storage space on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch when you install an app that supports this feature. After you update to iOS 9, iTunes isn't used to restore your apps when you restore your device. Instead, optimized versions of your apps download from the App Store directly to your device.

If you can see the apps on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and they appear to be waiting to download, make sure you're connected to Wi-Fi or the Internet. After you're connected, optimized versions of your apps automatically download to your device.

Similarly, apps that you add to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch don't sync or transfer to iTunes on your computer. If you want to download apps to iTunes, turn on Automatic Downloads in iTunes Preferences. You can also download previously purchased apps from iTunes.

Last Modified: Oct 7, 2015"
 
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dancj

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2012
288
15
I just tried this and now every time I try to sync my iPhone it wants to uninstall the apps and I quickly have to abort the sync.

Does anyone know how I can fix this?
 
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richard2

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2010
236
51
England, United Kingdom
I just tried this and now every time I try to sync my iPhone it wants to uninstall the apps and I quickly have to abort the sync.

Does anyone know how I can fix this?

Firstly, what is the exact message presented by iTunes?

Secondly, what version of iOS is installed on your device?
 
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dancj

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2012
288
15
I don't get a message from iTunes, but once the phone has finished backing up and goes onto the next stage, the Apps section bars at the bottom of the screen which show the storage on the phone shrinks down to nothing to show that they'll take up no space - and then I quickly abort to stop that happening.

My phone is on iOS 9.3.1
 
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dancj

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2012
288
15
Ah, you're right.

I just restored everything back into iTunes and synced. Then I removed some of my biggest games that I haven't played yet and synced again. When I deleted it it reassured me that the apps wouldn't be deleted from my devices - and then when I did sync, the bar shrank down to show the apps gone and the quickly grew back again and the apps stayed installed.

Thanks.
 
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