I have several games that, combined, use up a pretty good chunk of my iPhone's flash. I haven't played some of them for a while, and would like to remove them. However, at least before iCloud, deleting an app also deleted its data. Since I may go back and play them again, I'd rather not lose said data.

After backing up to iCloud, can you delete an app, and (possibly much) later reinstall it and restore your data from the iCloud backup?

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    I don't know the answer, but that is a fantastic question. Hoping for a resolution! Oct 14, 2011 at 23:50
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    I too am interested in seeing a definitive answer to this. It would be nice if it could. Perhaps someone that's got the service enabled could test this. Download a free game. Play it for a bit and then remove it. See if it's also removed from iCloud storage.
    – user10355
    Oct 15, 2011 at 1:11
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    Unfortunately there is no definitive answer. It depends on wherever or not the game supports iCloud.
    – voidStern
    Nov 1, 2011 at 23:10

4 Answers 4


The answer is yes and no.

What happens quite easily after a restore (for example after an update) is that iTunes restores the save data for all applications, but not the applications themselves. Therefore as soon as you install them, the old save games will be available (this applies to all apps, not just games). Just by itself nothing will be saved without backup.

BUT: If the application supports iCloud sync and stores it's data in iCloud (which has to be explicitly supported), your data will be still available after deleting and reinstalling the app.

In short: You should be really careful and unless you're absolutely sure the application in question does support iCloud for your saved data, don't delete it without backup.


There is no general answer to this question as each game app is highly specific with regards to where the game progress is stored. On some games such as Candy Crush, the score is stored locally on the iPhone unless you connect to Facebook at which point, the game progress is automatically transferred and saved to a cloud account associated with your Facebook profile. I think the case is similar for Clash of Clans.

Having said this, if your game(s) happen(s) to store the game progress locally on the iPhone, you can back up the progress like instructed here (using a free PC iPhone-app explorer): How to backup iPhone games and transfer game scores to another iOS device

You can also restore the game and the progress to another iPhone when you feel the need to play.


i had Hobbit KOM and I deleted it because it was going slow and i do this about 2 times a month and I lost all of its data i played for a year and now all my work is gone. So...no.


And the answer is Yes! Before I upgraded to iOS5, many games I didn't play had been deleted.

I reinstalled those games from the cloud after the update (I did not sync with my Mac's iTunes) and I had all my scores saved! That data was not backed up anywhere on my Mac (How do I know this? iTunes was eating a lot of space on my HDD, so I obliterated all the apps and games I had backed up in it pre-iOS5 a few days ago).

That tells me my data was in the cloud even before I went down the iOS5 lane.

BTW, these apps that you install and delete, I don't think they take up extra space in the iCloud. Correct me if I'm wrong.

But I'm sure of one thing - go ahead, delete your games, your scores will be recovered when you re-download the app.

  • I would treat the comment 'That tells me my data was in the cloud even before I went down the iOS5 lane.' with extreme caution, as I don't believe such a mechanism existed. There may be other explanations, such as settings having previously been synced to your desktop. Oct 15, 2011 at 9:03
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    I believe some games save scores and progress via GameCenter, which is why this might have worked.
    – Lizzan
    Oct 16, 2011 at 8:41
  • I don't think there is nothing else to save in games other than scores and points won, all of which go to the gamecenter anyways. (Oh, I hope his game center is ON!). So in that case, don't you all agree that the 'data' will be there? Oct 16, 2011 at 22:06
  • Deleting apps from iTunes, DOES NOT delete their data from your backup.
    – voidStern
    Nov 1, 2011 at 23:08
  • @NitinKhanna Data doesn't include just scores and achievements: It also includes things such as upgrades and level progress, which are not stored to or restored from in GameCenter (they are only reported to GameCenter for display purposes).
    – Max Nanasy
    Feb 28, 2013 at 9:40

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