How to purge iTunes apps without uninstalling.

Discussion in 'iOS 9' started by dancj, May 3, 2016.

  1. dancj macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2012
    Before iOS 9, I would intermittently delete every app from iTunes and then plug my iPhone and iPad in and "transfer purchases" to pull back in the ones I still have installed - just to keep down the size of my library.

    Since iOS 9, you can no longer transfer apps from the devices into iTunes. My collection of apps in iTunes is now sitting around 200gb - most of which I probably haven't still got installed. As I understand it, if I remove the apps and then sync my iPhone and iPad it'll uninstall them.

    It would take me hours or days to go through them all and remove just the ones I don't have installed, so does anyone know a safe way to purge these apps without removing them from my devices? I don't mind if I'm also removing the ones I've got installed.

    --- Post Merged, May 3, 2016 ---
    Never mind. I found the answer here:
  2. gsmornot macrumors 68030


    Sep 29, 2014
    I was not aware you could not copy apps from your device to iTunes. The only restriction I knew about was making sure your desktop is authorized with the same account as your device.
  3. dancj thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2012
    As I understand it, because of App Thinning, your iOS device can't be relied on to have all of the assets that another iOS device would need so they've removed the whole concept of local copies of the apps and apps will always come from the App Store directly.

    Kind of sucks if you want an app that's been removed.
  4. sbailey4 macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2011
    So whats the point of having the apps in iTunes? Why do they update constantly?
  5. dancj thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2012
    Good point. I guess it can still install from a local copy, but doesn't do it by default any more - and it never pulls the app off the iOS device.

    See here:
  6. zorinlynx macrumors 601


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    This can speed up restoring from a backup if all your apps are in iTunes.

    It also allows you to archive a copy of an app in case it's ever removed from the app store. This is how I can keep Flappy Bird on my phone through a restore, much to the annoyance of people I play it around. ;) (though not often anymore)
  7. dancj thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2012
    Oh yeah. I'd better dig Flappy Bird out of my recycle bin.
  8. venividivigor macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2013
    Apple allows purging once a year around June. So eventually you will
  9. Shirasaki macrumors 603


    May 16, 2015
    The most benefit of keeping local copy is in case remote source pull them.
    So I still keep my mini app library, and always keep all apps up to date.
  10. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    i use auto download on my macbook now so if i get a new app on my phone it will be downloaded the next time i open iTunes on my computer.

    i also make sure they r all up to date before a complete wipe of my iPhone / iPad. this way it will just sync the apps from my mac instead of downloading them all on the device itself which takes forever
  11. Shirasaki macrumors 603


    May 16, 2015
    I do the same. But during a few recent restore attempts, Apple now try to pull apps directly from App Store rather than pulling them from local library, as my app is purchased from three markets, and Apple only pull apps from the current store I am in.

    Maybe I am wrong.

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