Similar questions have been asked by Developers in regards to availability on the store. My question is, if i buy an app today, 2 months later, the App's developer decides he's not making enough revenue from his app, and doesn't renew his yearly subscription, what happens to the app i bought?


2 Answers 2


Your copy of an app will never be taken from you.

This applies to both free and paid apps. Of course, it will no longer be updated, so if any compatibility issues or bugs arise in the future you will be on your own.

What I don't know, though, is whether or not Apple keeps a copy of the app on its servers for redownload/restore purposes, so if it's an app you really care about I suggest keeping a backup of the .ipa file so that you can restore it manually if you ever need to.

If you have a Mac, here's how to make a manual backup (instructions for iTunes 12.5):

  1. Open iTunes and choose Account → Purchased from the menu bar.
  2. Click the Apps tab on the top-right corner if necessary.
  3. Find the app you want to keep a backup of and click its download button if there is one. On this screenshot, I have already downloaded a copy of Tiny Wings and do not have a local copy of Super Mario Run.
    If you don't see the app in the list, try switching between "All" and "Not In My Library."
    There's also a handy "Download All" button in the lower-right corner.
  4. Once it's downloaded, it will be captured and saved in the next Time Machine backup.
  5. If you want to get to the actual .ipa file, it's saved in ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications.
  • 3
    I've lost apps that way, expecting them to still be on the servers & they're not. You need to have your own local copy to preserve that 'right to always use it'.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 25, 2017 at 18:32
  • Can you tell me how to locally backup files?
    – BioPipeRex
    Jan 25, 2017 at 18:34
  • @BioPipeRex Edited to include specific instructions.
    – Bob
    Jan 25, 2017 at 18:52
  • I believe that even this will not work, once the developer's certificate expires
    – bobby
    Jan 26, 2017 at 6:32
  • 2
    IPAs that originally come from the App Store servers carry Apple's official production signature, granting them permanent authorization to run on iOS devices. IPAs that come from anywhere else must use a file called a provisioning profile to get that authorization. Provisioning profiles do have expiration dates, so these installed IPAs cannot be used indefinitely as production-signed apps can. Recently, Apple has released a feature that ensures that apps you compile will be able to run indefinitely on your devices, but you need provisioning profiles in order to do more than this.
    – Bob
    Jan 27, 2017 at 14:19

According to Apple's developer site, the developer's apps will be removed from the App Store but you can keep it if it's already installed.

If your Apple Developer Program membership expires, your apps will no longer be available for download and you will not be able to submit new apps or updates. You will lose access to pre-release software, Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles, and Technical Support Incidents. However, your apps will still function for users who have already installed or downloaded them, and you will still have access to iTunes Connect and free development resources.

If you delete the app then you won't be able to re-download it because it would've been removed from the store.

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