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 have an old iPhone 3G which had iOS 4.0 installed. I had apps such as Starbuck's app running on it without a problem. I just didn't get the latest incompatible updates.

I tried upgrading to iOS 4.2 a few days ago. Before the upgrade process, it backed everything up to iTunes. It performed the upgrade and then asked if I want to set up the phone as a brand new one or restore from a previous backup. I chose the latter option.

After the upgrade was complete, I had a lot of the data on there (e.g. notes, pictures, email account, music, etc.) but all my 3rd party apps were gone. Now when I try to install some apps such as Starbuck's it won't let me even download them.

Is there any way I can get these apps back onto my iPhone? I don't mind downgrading back to 4.0 (if that's even possible).

UPDATE: The phone was not set up to synchronize applications via iTunes. I was thinking that the applications were going to be transferred to the computer as part of the backup process.

share|improve this question
Why don’t you update to iOS 5? – duci9y Sep 11 '12 at 8:51
@duci9y: Woops I incorrectly referred to it as an iPhone 3GS when in fact it is a 3G. – Senseful Sep 12 '12 at 21:23

There's no way to download previous versions of apps from the App Store. The only way to install previous versions of apps is by having the IPA file. Syncing with iTunes would have backed up the IPA file. It looks like you're out of luck.

share|improve this answer

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.