There is an older question on here about removing mobile applications from iTunes. On my Mac, 5.73 GB is used by the iTunes Media/Mobile Applications folder. I would like to remove that folder, and from what I've seen in the other question I should be fine removing the mobile applications from iTunes. However I can't seem to find those mobile applications anywhere in iTunes anymore. Maybe in the redesign they removed or moved it? What is the proper way for me to remove the applications?

For more details, I used to have an iPhone 4S on iOS 7 that I no longer use, and I would update apps on iTunes and sync them to the phone. I also have an iPad 2 on iOS 9 which I may have occasionally used iTunes to put or update apps onto the the iPad but I don't need to do this and generally don't. (In fact, I don't even know anymore how it is possible to update or install apps with iTunes for the iPad... is it?) I also have an iPhone SE on iOS 9 (will probably be iOS 10.1 in a month or two), and I don't use iTunes to sync apps on that either (at least not practically, for that and my iPad I don't know if there is some setting somewhere that says to sync some apps), but when I first set up my iPhone from a backup of the 4S in iTunes I think it may have included apps that it copied over via iTunes.

Which also leads me to a followup question: If I remove the folder via Finder or somehow via iTunes, and I need to restore the iPhone from a backup, would the phone need to re-download those 5 GB of apps online? As it stands it doesn't seem that new apps I put on my iPhone SE are saved in iTunes so maybe I'd have to do that either way.

1 Answer 1


If you sync a device with the computer, and the apps don't already exist on that computer, they will be transferred from the device onto the computer. (This may only apply to apps newly downloaded since your last sync.)

If you're using iTunes 12.5.1, it's now accessible through the drop-down menu that allows you to switch between Music, Movies, Podcasts, etc., as Apps. If it's not visible on that menu, choose the Edit Menu item on the menu and check the box next to Apps, hit Done, and then click on Apps.

Once in Apps, you can remove them by right-clicking on an application (or selecting several and then right-clicking) and choosing Delete, then Delete Apps, then Move to Trash.

You can set your computer to automatically download new apps that you purchase on your device under Preferences > Store tab > Automatic Downloads and check the box for Apps.

If you restore a backup from iTunes, it does the restore and then does a separate sync step where it loads the apps back onto the device. I don't know what would happen if the apps weren't on the computer to be put back on, though. If you restore from an iCloud backup, the apps are re-downloaded over the internet.

  • Thanks. To amend your answer, it does not appear to be the case that you can transfer apps from iOS 9 and up to iTunes, only the other way around. Also, thank you for explaining how to find the apps, that worked, and I deleted them. (I backed up the actual files though to another drive if I ever need them again though.) And someone told me in another question that iTunes and iCloud restore are the same and that the device will download the apps automatically.
    – kal-al
    Sep 30, 2016 at 1:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .