How to purge iTunes apps without uninstalling.

dancj

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2012
277
14
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.

Thanks
[doublepost=1462293935][/doublepost]Never mind. I found the answer here: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/can-i-just-delete-all-ios-apps-from-itunes-without-them-uninstalling-from-devices.1877031/
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,065
2,463
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.

Thanks
[doublepost=1462293935][/doublepost]Never mind. I found the answer here: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/can-i-just-delete-all-ios-apps-from-itunes-without-them-uninstalling-from-devices.1877031/
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.
 

dancj

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2012
277
14
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.
 

sbailey4

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2011
3,601
1,789
USA
So whats the point of having the apps in iTunes? Why do they update constantly?
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
5,529
6,467
Florida, USA
So whats the point of having the apps in iTunes? Why do they update constantly?
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)
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,421
3,434
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.
 

bushido

Suspended
Mar 26, 2008
8,070
2,746
Germany
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
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,421
3,434
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
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.