I recently installed VLC on iOS 10 and noticed that there is play history in it on a fresh install.

How does this app preserve data between installs? Should it even be able to?

It doesn't matter whether I restart the phone before reinstall or not.

I forgot to mention that it doesn't have an entry on iCloud in the settings app.

2 Answers 2


Being an app developer myself, I know that it is possible to store data on the cloud, or in the phone's keychain. Either way, the data is not deleted even if you delete it and reinstall it. Deleting the app makes the data inaccessible, however it is still there. Reinstalling it just makes it accessible to the user once again. Hope this helped:)

  • Hm, I thought I had left a comment here. If VLC turns out to go out of its way to store play history in the keychain I'll be surprised. Same goes for the cloud, unless we talk about iCloud, which I have since ruled out. Obtaining a persistent device ID just to transparently sync unimportant data sounds way over-engineered. I suspect another mechanism is used. I was thinking more along the lines of a shared app container cookie storage or something, if that exists. I've not had the need to come in contact with something like that, but Google's apps seem to share cookies at least.
    – Andreas
    Aug 17, 2017 at 23:00

iOS apps can retain data after uninstalling if data is stored on iCloud if the app supports it(see here).

Apps can also keep data if they store data in the keychain, which you can never clear unless you reset the device.

  • Thanks. I checked that VLC did not store anything on iCloud. The keychain is a possibility, but sounds like misuse.
    – Andreas
    Aug 14, 2017 at 0:49

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