I just discovered that one of my apps X "disappeared" for whatever reason from my iPad. It contained MBs of valuable data, and luckily I have an iCloud backup dated a week ago or so which have it all. However, I installed two dozens of new apps since then and likely created some amount of user data that I'd like to keep.

How do I restore that single app with all its data from iCloud while preserving all the other apps and their data installed since the date of iCloud backup?

I've read the related question, but it doesn't directly help in my situation:

  1. I disabled backup to iCloud to prevent overwriting the X data in iCloud with an "empty" copy of X. Will simply "disable backing up to iCloud" for X and than backing up all the rest to iCloud (followed by reset and restore from iCloud) solve my entire problem? If so, how to run it properly?

    • when I try to enable backup to iCloud, it needs an Internet connection--which creates a risk that X will be overwritten before I deselect it
    • when I try to disable backing up of X, iOS says that all of my data for X in iCloud will be deleted:

      Do you want to turn off X backups and delete the backup data from iCloud?

  2. I've already re-installed the X hoping it will bring all of my user data--but of course it's didn't. Now the question is whether it's better to keep it -- to avoid risk of losing its data in iCloud,

    Do not delete the app if its data are in the iCloud. Deleting the app, will also delete the app data and its preferences

    --or to remove it, to merge the iCloud data of X with latest data of all other apps from iTunes backup that I create today, right before restoring from iCloud, per this:

    Now restore your iPhone to the latest backup you just made which is as per Step 3. This will not erase or replace the apps you installed and restored via iCloud. It will only merge.

  1. Alternatively, is it possible to manually "merge" backup of X from iCloud into/with current-moment iTunes backup per SafeHarbor knowledge from this answer?

  2. Any other how-tos will be greatly appreciated.

Update: After restoring from iCloud, the X app is not restored; App Store shows an icon to download it from the cloud (which will not restore its data, as I've seen before the reset). Any suggestions?

3 Answers 3


I ended up purchasing a third-party piece of software for this... iMazing (https://imazing.com/) was able to back up and restore the application data for an app from one device to another. They have a blog post that describes how to do this: https://imazing.com/guides/how-to-export-backup-and-transfer-ios-apps-data-and-settings

I was glad that it worked, basically I had something that my daughter produced when she was little in a kids app and I wanted to make sure that it was preserved, the app itself has been discontinued and does not have any sort of export/import functionality.

  • Connect the source device to iMazing
  • Go to "Manage Apps" and then the "device" tab
  • Select your app and click the "Back up" button
  • Connect the target device to iMazing
  • Again, go to "Manage Apps" and click on the "device" tab
  • Select your app, click the "down arrow" drop down, and then the "Restore App Data" option

For some reason, it made me shut off "Find my iPad" for the restore procedure (I was able to turn it back on afterwards without any hassle). Also, you can download iMazing for free, you have to purchase a license when you get to the "restore app data" part.


My own answer will be not applicable to every situation, but here is how I solved the problem.

All the data I needed from app in question (X) can be easily extracted once the app (with its data) is installed on the device.

So I did the following:

  1. Backup the latest state to iTunes (saving a previous backup with "Archive" just before doing that)

  2. Restore to the previous iCloud backup where the X app was still installed and had data

  3. Extract all the data I need from X (I'm my situation, via iTunes > (my device) > Apps > Documents section

  4. Restore back to the latest iTunes backup made in step 1

  5. Re-install the X app in question from the scratch.

  • Can you explain the step 3., please ? Is it on a Mac ? Is there Safari in Apps ? Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 13:31
  • @NicolasBarbulesco It's entirely dependent on the app in question. In my case, it was VoiceRecordPro which allows to retrieve its data through iTunes > Apps > Documents. Yes, on Mac. No, I don't see Safari in Documents--but hope Safari allows some way to download its data (didnt' research how exactly).
    – yurkennis
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 15:19

You can just drag and drop the .ipa from your Mobile Applications folder to the Applications page listed for your device in iTunes, provided you keep the .ipas that iTunes now auto-Trashes. Check your Time Machine backup, if you don't make a habit of removing these from the Trash. However, there is a checkbox within the iTunes device settings that specifically asks if you want to delete files associated with an app when you delete an app and, if you have that checked, those files will be gone. If you backup to iCloud rather than to your computer, you would need to restore the device to a backup made prior to the app deletion.

  • 2
    Trash has gone a day or two ago, and no TimeMachine backups for more than a week. But even if I had .ipa, how it could help to restore the data for the app that I have already re-installed and which is now with empty data?
    – yurkennis
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 11:20
  • 3
    Just clarified the question title: I need to restore app data, not an app itself.
    – yurkennis
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 11:45

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