iTunes no longer syncs apps

Now that iTunes no longer syncs apps to iOS devices, can apps be removed from the folder that iTunes stored them in? (~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Mobile Applications in my case)

I have updated iTunes, and was surprised to see that the applications were not deleted.

2 Answers 2


Yes, the .ipa files can be safely removed/deleted, since iTunes 12.7 will no longer use them.

However, if an app is no longer available for download again, you can restore via the old .ipa file, per this TechCrunch article (includes Apple support links):

People who have been syncing apps through iTunes need to redownload them onto their devices. Previously downloaded iOS apps, ringtones and books for PC can be found in the iTunes Media folder, but if something is no longer available to download again, it can still be transferred from computer to iOS devices with a USB cable.

Also this Apple support page notes:

If you have an iOS app, ringtone, or book that's no longer available for redownload, you can move that content to your iOS device while plugged in to a computer with a USB cable.


The short answer is: YES you can delete the folder.

The longer answer is: It depends on which apps you have. If you have some apps that you no longer can download from the App Store, you still need them as a backup, so that you can drop them onto your device when/if needed. So you can delete the apps that you know you still can update/download from the App Store.

And when you decide if you still need the old app, you should also see at the app’s spec. - is it a 32-bit or a 64-bit app ?? only 64-bit will work with iOS 11

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