Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to delete a game from my iPhone in order to make room for other apps. If I try to do so, it warns that all of the app's data will be deleted.

This is a game which has stages that you need to unlock in order to play them again. If I ever reinstall this game, I don't want to have to go through the entire process of unlocking stages. I want to be able to retain my progress and start from there. Is there any way to delete the game from my iPhone but have it remember my progress in case I reinstall it later?

I know that Game Center stores information about high scores and badges, but does it also save my progress?

share|improve this question
possible duplicate of… – jtbandes Mar 25 '12 at 23:31

Some developers will help you out by telling you just which files you need to copy from the bundle to keep your progress - it's worth an email. Mika Mobile is one of these - see how I was able to copy my Battleheart progress from one device to another here. If you are comfortable copying a file it's not hard.

If you delete an app then the app's bundle (and the app) will still be backed up as part of the iTunes backup if you have made one.

You could archive the backup, found in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/.

That's a really chunky approach though. It is going to restore everything, so you are going to overwrite any progress you have made in other apps since that backup.

My approach would be to use iExplorer to copy the Documents and Libraries directories from the app, and put them back later. To be sure that this is going to work you would need to backup, archive the backup, then copy docs & library directories for the app. Then delete the app. Reinstall the app, put the docs and libraries directories back. If your app retains progress like you want then you are free to proceed. If not, restore from the backup and keep thinking... maybe pick some other app to remove?

share|improve this answer

Game Center does not currently have any mechanism for saving game progress.

For games which store progress information on your device, that information will be deleted when you delete the app. However, it will be backed up in iTunes, so you can restore this from a backup (see this question for more information).

Games which choose to save progress in iCloud may do so — in which case, if it's properly implemented, simply reinstalling the app will give it access to the old data (assuming you're logged into the same iCloud account).

share|improve this answer

When you delete an app, it gives you an option about saving your data. You can choose keep or remove. If you choose to keep your data, it will be stored when you reinstall the game. When you run it, it will ask you to recover your progress or start a new game.

share|improve this answer

I'd like to comment on the answers here, since they both state that deleting an app will remove all data.

However, Supercell (creators of Clash of Clans) have apparently found a solution to this problem. Although all game data is stored on their servers, it does save account information somewhere on your phone, which will remain even after the app has been uninstalled.

First: No, this is not the Game Center Account which recovers the data, because even when I log of GC, uninstall the app, reinstall the app and start the game, it will go back to where I was before.

Second: I have been hearing about using UDID to define that it is the same device, but this is not true either. Since March 2012 (I think) Apple no longer allows applications/games to access the UDID of the device (for privacy reasons).

I guess it is possible that (probably a very limited amount of) data is stored outside of the app-bundle, although I am not sure how and where.

share|improve this answer
Can you provide links to where Supercell have done this? – Mark Mar 20 '13 at 11:45
I am assuming this is somehow tied to identifierForVendor but I am not clear how, because after the last app from that vendor is deleted, the identifierForVendor is deleted too, and changes the next time an app is reinstalled from that vendor. But from all of SuperCell's comments it sounds like they have figured something out - they state that you cannot reset game progress, period, without getting a new device. – tubedogg Aug 25 '13 at 2:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.