Moving Apps Folders to new Mac

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by emuyshondt, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. emuyshondt macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    I tried to search for this, but did not find an answer.

    I had my iPhone 4S sync'd to iTunes on a PC. I recently moved to a new MacBook Pro. I don't have the PC anymore.

    I was able to recreate my music library in the MacBook, and sync the iPad to it. I erased the old music and re-downloaded what I have on the MacBook.

    My problem is now how to keep all the folders I've created on my iPhone to organize my apps. I have been able to download all the apps to iTunes on my new MacBook. I have all the app files, but if I turn on "Sync Apps" for my phone I am warned that all the apps will be erased, and I'm afraid I will also lose all the folders into which I've organized my apps. I have over a dozen folders with as many apps in each folder, all partitioned by things like Communication, Travel, Media, Games, Utilities, etc.

    Is there some way to move the folder structure I've created for my apps onto my new MacBook? I've already transferred all purchases from the iPhone to the new machine. I have also created a backup of the iPhone under iTunes.

    This issue applies to my iPad too. I suppose if a method works for one device, it will work for the other.
  2. ipsychedelic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2012
    Try recovering from that backup then, it should work just fine (and you wouldn't even lose your apps data).
    Another option is to backup to iCloud, then sync your stuff (so the iPhone is recognized by the "new" iTunes library, then restore the phone once again from an iCloud backup.
    After this you can turn off iCloud and backup with iTunes.

    I don't know if the first option is so easy (like just putting the backup folder in place, which, by the way, I am thinking is the backup of iTunes on your now gone PC) or possible since there might be a chance backups have some encrypted ID of the iTunes library and since you didn't migrate but rather started afresh...

    In short, a backup (either iTunes or iCloud's) will retain your layout (folders and app placement).
  3. emuyshondt thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Thank you for the suggestions.

    I made the backup with the MacBook. I right clicked on the phone and selected Backup. If I then click on sync, I get the message about everything being erased on the phone and getting synced with the new iTunes library.

    If I sync the phone now I assume I will lose my organized folders. If I then restore from the backup, will I be able to continue syncing with iTunes afterwards, while retaining the folder structure?

    Except for 1 app, I pretty much don't mind re-downloading all the apps, if needed. In fact, I've already downloaded all purchased apps on the MacBook. My main concern is losing the folders I've created because they took a while to put together and I couldn't just start a download and walk away until everything is back as before.

    The real answer seems to be to sync with iCloud. I did not think that would work because I have a 32GB iPhone with only 8 GB free. However I went ahead and tried anyway, based on your suggestion here, and the backup was only 157.3 MB. I'll probably just use that backup and sync process for both my phone and my iPad. I'll just keep my music, books and videos on the MacBook. I still don't know how to get everything onto the MacBook, but it really doesn't matter as long as I'm backed up somewhere.
  4. ipsychedelic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2012
    If you were jailbroken there is an easier way, BUT, I won't post it or share it now (I'll remember to PM you my reply on another topic in case you wonder) because it's a work in progress (some tests I've been doing with my iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) and once it's done I'll publish my results in an interesting topic made on the "Hacks" sub-forum here.

    Anyway, there are so much solutions to your problem but I'm just trying to give you the less complex ways to do it.

    First of all in case anything happens SAVE the backup somewhere else before iTunes overwrites it.
    /Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

    Now, iCloud should work just fine, and the reason your backup is so "small" is because a backup basically just saves settings (which will be what, 10 Mb tops?) and app data, and unless you have a lot of video editing apps or music production and the like chances are each app takes less than 1 MB.
    The rest (your videos, music, apps themselves) are obviously never saved to a backup because iOS expects to either find them on the Cloud or iTunes.

    I never did it before (your situation, but I have lost iTunes library thrice now because of HD failure and lack of backups, but that's another story) but I think as long as your device is not "associated" with iTunes you lose it all, then you restore from the iCloud/iTunes backup and it all should be there.

    Think of it as if your iCloud/iTunes backup would be the backup of your old iPhone and now you got a brand new one and will just use this one as restoration.
    Now, I don't know if you can just instead of clicking sync right now you can say "restore from backup" and have it restored instead of having to sync first.

    Check this out by the way and then the link on additional information for a better understanding of what I'm proposing.
  5. LaurenceSext macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2012
    I made the backup with the MacBook. I right clicked on the phone and selected Backup.[​IMG]

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