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So there is no "good" way of seeing all my purchased items in iTunes (only the very cubersome "purchase history" screen). Is there, however, a way to download all my purchases to the computer? e.g. when I install iTunes on a new computer?

There is the store/check for available downloads button. However, it has no effect in my computer and I suspect that it's not intended for apps, but for music/videos purchased from iTunes (which are not available at my country).

Is there another way? Maybe even an external application?

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Check for downloads makes sure you had a chance to completely download purchases to your computer. Not to re-download them after they made it to the computer. Say you bought an album on an iPod touch and never synced it and lost it. Check for download will grab those songs in that case to protect you from that limited loss. Once you sync - the store knows it was on the computer and it can no longer be re-downloaded. – bmike Apr 22 '11 at 17:41
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Unfortunately there is no easy one-click solution to downloading all your previously purchased apps. Best you can do is look through the list of purchased apps and re-buy them (you will not be charged again).

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