Does iCloud backup apps that are no longer on App Store?

Kendo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 4, 2011
2,089
585
When I back up through iTunes, I can back up apps that are no longer sold on the App Store. But what about iCloud? One of my apps is so old that it won't even show up in my purchase history. Will iCloud still save it?
 

bcave098

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2015
516
206
Northern British Columbia
No, iCloud doesn't backup apps, only app data. The apps have to be re-downloaded from the App Store. The only way you can keep the App is if it's on your computer in iTunes.
 

Kendo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 4, 2011
2,089
585
So what happens if I backup my iPhone to iCloud and I have an app that is no longer on the App Store?
 

wepiii

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2012
526
112
So the app data is just sitting on the phone taking up space in that case?
 

Cmd-Z

macrumors 6502
Nov 14, 2014
471
482
Coyote, CA
App data is always on the iPhone, if the app is installed. Some apps can routinely store data on iCloud in addition to (or in place of) storing it on the iPhone, but that is not the same as backing up the app data to iCloud.

If an app is no longer available in the iTunes store, and that app makes use of iCloud for everday use, then its ability to sync with iCloud may not be affected by it no longer being available.

Does that answer your questions?
 

wepiii

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2012
526
112
not entirely.

So if i have an app on my phone, the app data is on my phone, and backed up to iCloud.

if i restore my phone from an iCloud backup, and that app is no longer available, what happens to the data? Does the data from iCloud restore to the phone even though there isn't an app for it? And if not, does that app data just get stuck in the cloud with no way for me to delete it?
 

Cmd-Z

macrumors 6502
Nov 14, 2014
471
482
Coyote, CA
So if i have an app on my phone, the app data is on my phone, and backed up to iCloud.

if i restore my phone from an iCloud backup, and that app is no longer available, what happens to the data? Does the data from iCloud restore to the phone even though there isn't an app for it? And if not, does that app data just get stuck in the cloud with no way for me to delete it?
If you restore your iPhone via your computer, using iTunes, that would put the local copy of your apps onto your iPhone -- they would not be re-downloaded from Apple. The app data would then be loaded from either your computer or iCloud, whichever location is holding your latest backup.

If you don't have the app on your computer, or if you restore your iPhone without your computer (e.g. "Erase All Content and Settings") then the app would not be installed. Any data that was part of your backup for such an app may continue to occupy space in your backup and thus iCloud if that's where you keep your backup, but I'm not sure on that point. App data stored in iCloud as part of the app's normal use (not as part of a backup) may be removed if the app is no longer on your device, but again I'm not sure on that fine point.
 

APlotdevice

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2011
3,109
3,749
Actually apps which have been removed from the App Store can still be downloaded (unless it was taken down many years ago). Just look though your purchased apps list and tap the download link on the right when you find it. Don't bother tapping on the app itself, as its page will be gone.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,678
1,183
New Zealand
It's still a good idea to manually back up your apps onto your computer though; you never know whether Apple will change policy and actually delete "dead" apps.

One of my iBooks no longer appears in Purchases but thankfully I had a backup...