Restoring iPhone Apps to an iTunes Backup

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by MacPerforma, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. MacPerforma macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2008
    Hi everyone.

    I've run into issues with restoring iPhone apps to/from my phone backup in iTunes, so I thought I'd see if someone might be able to help. For reference, my iPhone is a 5s running iOS 9.0.1, and I'm using iTunes on a MacBook Pro running Yosemite.

    I noticed that there were a number of apps in the Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Mobile Applications that I no longer have installed on my iPhone, so in the interest of freeing up a little extra disk space on my MacBook Pro, I wanted to rebuild my app archive from scratch. I deleted all of the apps in the Mobile Applications folder, then the plan was to use the File > Devices > Transfer Purchases from [my iPhone's name] function to re-copy all of the apps from my phone to my iTunes archive, thereby leaving me only with the apps I'm currently using.

    Unfortunately, after deleting all of the apps from the Mobile Applications folder then re-connecting my phone and using the "Transfer purchases" function, only a few items seem to transfer (a few songs I've purchased on iTunes), and that's about it. For some reason, I can't get the apps on my iPhone to copy back to the iTunes archive, and the Mobile Applications folder remains empty. To make things worse, I have a brand new iPhone 6s that I'd like to start using, but whenever I try installing the backup of my 5s to my new 6s, almost all of the apps are missing.

    I think the key is for me to restore all of the apps on my iPhone 5s to the Mobile Applications folder. Once that's done, I should be all set to successfully restore the backup of my 5s to my new 6s. So, any suggestions would be appreciated.

    On a side note, am I correct in assuming that iPhone backup file(s) don't contain apps? In other words, it seems like restoring a backup is contingent upon having all of the apps in the Mobile Applications folder, in which case the apps aren't stored within the backup file itself.
  2. broadbean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    I'm having the same problem with mine when running on El Capitan and the same version of iTunes - none of my apps are copied over.

    I can probably backup my files to an older computer with Snow Leopard and an older version of iTunes, but then that doesn't support the iPhone 6s.

    Last resort would be to back up to the old Mac, then copy my phone's backup folder over to the new one and then hope for the best...
  3. Beeray macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2011

    I can't retrieve a backup of my husbands iPhone 6. How can I retrieve the folder and copy it to a new computer. Thanks for any help.
  4. broadbean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    On my Mac's iTunes, under iTunes > Preferences... > Devices, I can see various "Device backups". If you do a Control-Click on the backup, you should be able to find the location or path in the Finder (Show in Finder?). What I did was to copy this folder (over 20GB) over to the equivalent folder on the new computer.

    If successful, iTunes on my new computer should be able to offer that as a backup I could restore my iPhone with.

    I'm also copying my folder called "Mobile Applications" over to hopefully transfer some of older apps I didn't want to update.
  5. Beeray macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2011

    Thanks. I'm going to look now
  6. Beeray macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2011

    I found the folder, copying to a folder. But, I have to save as a jpg. At least, the pictures are there. Thank you!

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5 October 2, 2015