I recently reinstalled Windows 7 and I just didn't bother about iTunes (anymore). Now I luckily found a way to transfer all my apps "back" to iTunes (see here), but now when I don't want to keep downloading the updates with my phone, but instead in iTunes, the sync activation leads to one being forced to overwrite the iPhone data. Three questions:

a). Will iTunes be so smart to recognize that the apps are basically identical, or will it just takes ages to stupidly overwrite all the existing apps?

b). Will this have an effect on the app settings (or e.g. favorites in my dropbox app)?

c). As I (now) only sync the apps, I assume this won't affect any data or music?!

Thanks for your help in advance!

Kind regards

2 Answers 2


When using the standard iTunes/iPhone sync mechanism:

a) iTunes won't copy over an app to the iphone unless the app in iTunes is newer
b) It won't have an affect on app settings
c) If you only sync apps then it won't touch data/music

  • Thanks for the clear answers! I will report back on how long it took iTunes to sync my 270 apps. ;) Commented Apr 20, 2011 at 9:05

Rob, basically I don't think your a) and b) answers are right.

a). As far as my iTunes Pop-Up says (it's in German), my whole iPhone gets wiped and the stuff replaced. Replaced in this case seems not to be "add to"/"overwrite existing".

b). iTunes 10 helped me put this to the test. Actually it "previews" the whole process it seems, before I click "Apply". Which I won't (yet), as it obviously wipes my existing 33 folders and only leaves 10 folders! I wonder why?

Screenshots: Before and After.

Now that doesn't look like what we all want. I assume Apple just offers no way. I just wonder is there no way to backup the phone now and use this backup? I frankly never occupied my mind with the backup files created. Sadly I just reinstalled Windows 7 a few weeks ago - and I frankly didn't backup those "backup" files...

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