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I have an app on my iPhone 4S called 7 Second Diet. It is no longer available on the app store. Luckily, it is still available on my iPhone 4S.

Two days ago, I bought a iPhone 6S. The transfer process was relatively painless. Everything copied across, and all the apps started downloading, except 7 Second Diet.

I still have the app on my iPhone 4S. I am looking for a way to transfer it to my new iPhone 6S.

iTunes used to let you save your apps to your Mac, but they have removed this feature in iTunes 12.4.1.

With iOS 9 or later, apps will not sync or transfer to iTunes via Transfer Purchases. If you would like to download your apps to your iTunes library, make sure to turn on Automatic Downloads for your iTunes purchases. You can also download past purchases. Source.

I tried a third party solution called iMazing and while this allowed me to copy the 7 Second Diet app off my iPhone 4S and onto my Mac as an .imazingapp file, it was unable to copy the app to my iPhone 6S. It gave a message saying I had to download the app from the app store to the phone before restoring it.

I also tried the download your past purchases technique in iTunes 12.4.1, but the app does not show up there either.

Does anyone have any solutions? Most solutions I can find only, including here on the Apple Stack Exchange, are out of date and not compatible with iTunes 12.4.1.

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So after about an hour research I came up with this:

iTunes on Mac doesn't show previous purchases where iPhone does. BUT, it will only show if the developer is still active, if he has renewed his license or has other apps on the AppStore. So if he is active, you should still be able to download this app from AppStore -> Updates -> Purchased. But after a long research, I found out that it was developed by Aaron Block, and he is currently not active on AppStore, and his website has also expired. So you won't be able to redownload this app.

My source: I am a developer with expired license and can't find my own apps in previous purchased items where I could find apps like Downloads by Hian Zin Jong, and Trapster by Trapster.com which is removed from the AppStore but the developers are active (or renewed their yearly license).

Solutions:

  1. Backup your iPhone 4S, then restore it onto your iPhone 6S via cable on iTunes.
  2. Contact the developer and ask if he has the ipa, or project to build or to bring it back.

I can't think of anything else. Don't know if an earlier version of iTunes would work?

  • Thank you for the detailed response. I think option 2 is the most viable now. Option 1 is no longer possible as apps are now downloaded fresh from the app store rather than from a backup. I will look into a previous version of iTunes, but I'm believe I may need to roll back my iOS version too. Contacting the developer for an .ipa may be my best option. – pappy Jul 15 '16 at 16:18
  • Never heard about this? Did you tick Backup to "this computer"? or did you select iCloud? Double check! Backup/restore from your computer will never be removed in my opinion. – emotality Jul 15 '16 at 16:21
  • imgur.com/F0d3BNz – emotality Jul 15 '16 at 16:24
  • I selected "this computer". I also encrypted the data. – pappy Jul 15 '16 at 16:24
  • Then you clicked Apply at the bottom before you clicked back up now? What the heck.. It states there "A full backup of your iPhone will be stored on this computer." :/ – emotality Jul 15 '16 at 16:26
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After a hideous amount of time and effort, I finally found a way to get my apps that are "no longer available on the App Store" and do not show up under "Purchased" from my old iPad to my new iPad Pro.

It requires that you have backed up your computer over the past few years, or at least one year.

Ensure that your iPad is not plugged into iTunes. Close itunes. Find your backup. In Finder, search ".ipa". (Note: just searching for the app name.ipa does not always work, nor will searching for the iTunes mobile applications folder always display the .ipa files within it. No idea why.) Locate the .ipa file for your missing app or apps. Copy them to a new and accessible folder. Open iTunes. Click Library. "Drag and drop" your .ipa file INTO the field of app icons. They should copy over. Now plug iPad in to your computer. Click on the little device icon to open up your device in iTunes. Click Apps. The list should now include your missing app. Either drag it onto your Homescreen on the righthand panel, or change the app's button to "Will Install". Click DONE. Dialog appears: "You've changed settings... apply?" Click APPLY. Apps should now be installed on your device!

If only a few of your apps install, and you get an "Could not sync xx number of apps" error, disconnect and do a hard reboot of your device (hold both buttons down), restart and reconnect. Check in iTunes that things have not been reordered; reposition if necessary, then click DONE-APPLY again.

Related things I have discovered, to my dismay:

Apple is culling older apps off the App Store at an alarming rate - three times as many last month than ever before. Back up your apps now, separately! Itunes no longer saves your full app, so it is up to you to do so manually.

In Setting-About on the iPad, a list shows on the left supposedly of all the apps installed on your device. THIS IS NOT ACCURATE. I did a spotlight search and found dozens of other apps that were actually installed, but not showing in that list! Some of them had icons on the screens, too. Further, when I did a restore from the older iPad to the newer one, the newer iPad not only did not list every app that ended up installed, but some apps that did NOT SHOW IN THE LIST AS INSTALLED on the old iPad DID install on the new one, verified by Spotlight search! The moral: do NOT rely on that list!

Some older apps that started with a symbol of digit have been renamed with it spelled out. Adjust your search to that. Example: #photos is now Hashphotos.

Some older apps were discarded and started anew by the developer, with a similar but not identical name. Find the name of the developer for your app and search as to what other apps they have made. You may find the newer version, and if it requires payment, sometimes contacting the developer and telling them you have the old one that won't work now will result in them sending you access.

Some older apps do things that Apple is not allowing anymore. In some cases, by installing the oldest .ipa version you can find in your backups restores its original functions... if you are lucky.

If you do manage to install some very old apps on your new device, they may not work well, or may just plain crash. No guarantees.

No app icon showing up on the device, yet Spotlight Search finds it? You may have all your Homescreens filled up to capacity. There is a limit (20 pages, I believe; do not quote me on that). If this is the case, apps WILL install, but the icons themselves are "hidden". Once you group apps into folders and free up spots for icons, they will one by one appear.

I hope this helps someone, and you do not have to go through what I did to learn all of this from scratch!

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Actually iMazing software saved my day and for free!

I was successful at retrieving the app, which was no longer available in AppStore, from an iOS 11 iPhone via Mac and installing the same app via another PC remotely using .amazingapp saved file.

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