I have an iPhone I'm trying to restore and the restore keeps failing. Specifically, I'm asked to enter the password for family members. I must decline that for secret reasons. Also, family sharing doesn't make me enter my family member's password, so why does that happen when restoring a backup?

In order to pick this apart, I'd like to inspect the apps on my iPhone 6 with iOS 9.1 so I can determine which ones are not purchased from my Apple ID.

I have Xcode, libimobiledevice from homebrew on OS X 10.11, iTunes can back up the phone and I can inspect the files on the Mac if there's no way to access this data from iOS - which I'd prefer. Basically, how can I enumerate all apps and determine which ones will prevent me from using an iCloud backup to restore that app using solely my Apple ID and not need the password of a family member.

How can I identify the signing identity used for each app on the iPhone by hook or by crook?

  • In the first sentence you said "backup keeps failing", but in third paragraph you said you can backup the phone. I hope this helps: when you backup an iPhone (not sync), the error dialog that says backup has failed has an info pane (which expands with that little triangle) that lists the items that caused the backup to fail. I had your problem in Yosemite and older versions of iTunes, so I don't if it still applies to your situation. – Behdad Oct 29 '15 at 6:53
  • @Behdad Thank you for reading this so carefully. I neglected to explain the failure so I'll edit my post. The backup failed in that I can't reinstall it on another device without being prompted for the password of other family members. So, the backup "succeeds without any indication of error" hence my wanting to pick apart which AppleID actually sings the apps to avoid being prompted for someone else's password. – bmike Oct 29 '15 at 14:12

I had found a script that can list iTunes apps by purchase here (author: Walt Stoneburner). The link is now broken, but I had archived that page 3 years ago. This is the script:

for f in ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Media/Mobile\ Applications/*.ipa; \
 do (echo "$f" ; unzip -p "$f" "iTunesMetadata.plist" | \
 plutil -p - | egrep -i "\"(itemName|artistName|AppleID)\"" ) | \
 perl -e 'while (<>) { if (m!^/!) { chop; $fqn=$_; } if (m/"(.+)" => (".+")/) { $e{lc($1)}=$2; } } print "\"${fqn}\",$e{\"itemname\"},$e{\"artistname\"},$e{\"appleid\"}\n";'; \

The script shoud be run in the terminal and the output will be printed into the standard output. If you want to redirect it to a file, add these parameters at the end of script (after done):

1>~/Desktop/purchase_export_output.csv 2>~/Desktop/purchase_export_error.log

Now you can open purchase_export_output.csv from your desktop. Its schema is like this:


If any error occurs one line will be added to the purchase_export_error.log.

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PROBLEM SOLVED! http://dougscripts.com/apps/appsassistapp.php It runs a program that scans the entire apple app library on your computer iTunes and shows you a list, line a spread sheet, one of the tabs is "Purchaser ID", all right there it tells you all the apps by who, that way you can easily delete them from your devices and stop seeing the password request for the app.

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  • 1
    This program ends with this error: "No Apps appear to be available." It will not work with iTunes 12.4 or later. – Hamid Rohani Nov 12 '16 at 14:47

Sync your iPhone to iTunes, Select the App you want to know from which account it has been purchased, right click, go to Get info, under the File tab you will find something like below image where you can see who purchased the app. I have removed my Apple ID but the different names is for different accounts.

enter image description here

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enter image description here

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  • The purchased tab doesn't work when we both have that app. I'm trying to avoid deleting apps one by one but unless someone can help with unwrapping the actual signing code stored on the filesystem, I may be out of luck to do this programatically. – bmike Oct 27 '15 at 20:58
  • The other way to find out without deleting the app is by unzipping the app, and opening iTunesMetadata.plist > com.apple.iTunesStore.downloadInfo > accountInfo > AppleID. There the apple associated with the purchase of the app will be there. – killswitch Oct 27 '15 at 21:02
  • Can you walk me through the steps on how to do that for iOS nine? – bmike Oct 27 '15 at 21:03
  • 1
    As I just saw right now, in iTunes you can right click on the app and under the file tab you can see the id it was purchased with. – killswitch Oct 27 '15 at 21:03
  • I updated the comment please check. – killswitch Oct 27 '15 at 21:07
  1. Go to your Mac. Open iTunes.
  2. Click More in the upper-left corner.
  3. Choose Apps from the pop-up menu.
  4. If and when prompted, sign-in with the Apple ID for which you want the Apps to be listed.
  5. Under Quick Links on the right side of the App Store, click Purchased.

enter image description here

  1. Select Not in My Library to view purchased content that isn't on your computer.

enter image description here

  1. Scroll to find the item that you want to download. In your case, you might want to download all the items.
  2. Click the Download icon in the upper-right corner of the item(s) you want to download. Your app downloads to your library.
  3. If an app is already in your library, the Download icon won't appear.

This'll let you know what apps were purchased under what Apple ID.

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  • Could you add the steps that cover the apps I have on my iPhone? I have zero apps in iTunes on my Mac currently. Everything thus shows "download" so I can't figure what belong to my Apple ID and which belong to family members. – bmike Oct 27 '15 at 21:16
  • @bmike These steps are meant for your iPhone. Look at the second screenshot in my answer - it lets you choose between the iPad and iPhone apps. – RaajTram Oct 27 '15 at 21:17
  • I am confused. On my Mac, all screenshots showing apps is empty. Zero apps are on my iTunes / Mac. Similarly there is no "not in my library" setting I can see on iOS version of the App Store app. Also, step 4 has me signing in with my family member's account - I don't ever want to know their password let alone even ask them for it, hence the crux of my question. How can I tell which apps on my iPhone aren't reinstallable using My Apple ID. – bmike Oct 27 '15 at 21:26

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