I just updated itunes to before making a backup of my iphone 5. To my surprise I can't find an apps section when configuring the phone in itunes, nor can I find the apps section in the itunes library itself.

I'm confused. Have they removed that section in the update? If so, then that would make my backups useless -- there is no way to back up my apps. Transferring purchases from the phone does nothing, it just finishes immediately.

I could not find an itunes changelog.

Do I need to downgrade itunes to make a decent restore of my phone nowadays?

Update: To clarify, I have apps that are no longer available for download. There is no other option than itunes.


1 Answer 1


You can find a overview/summary of iTunes 12.7 changes on this Apple support page.

Changes include:

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.

According to MacWorld:

Where it will really hurt is if and when you need to restore an iPhone or iPad. You can still perform iTunes backups, but the restore won’t transfer apps from your Mac, but instead re-download them over the Internet from Apple. That can easily consume gigabytes of bandwidth, depending on your app choices. Many users download few apps, or those apps that are relatively modest, and this won’t be as big a hit.

There’s no way to bypass or minimize this problem. If you have any kinds of restrictions on your internet service—whether in performance or limits—you should consider using a public Wi-Fi hotspot or the Wi-Fi of a friend without those limits. You’ll need to plan ahead when you wipe and want to restore an iOS device.

So to answer your question, that section (apps) has been removed from iTunes, and restoring apps will require redownloading via the AppStore in iOS. Plan on using Wi-Fi or a hotspot to prevent large data usage when redownloading apps.

  • 1
    Thank you. I had just found this support.apple.com/kb/DL1814?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US with similar info, but your link is much more helpful. To summarize, you can transfer apps to your phone if they're already on your computer, but Apple conveniently left out information on how to transfer the apps from the phone to the computer going forward. I.e. if you care at all about apps that might not be available in the future, you need to stop updating itunes before version 12.7.
    – Andreas
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 23:43
  • For anyone else with the same problem: after navigating the Apple support maze for 10 minutes I finally found the file for windows: support.apple.com/kb/DL1814
    – Andreas
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 0:10
  • 1
    Aaand this turned everything into a complete waste of time apple.stackexchange.com/questions/206544/… since I'm on ios 10.
    – Andreas
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 1:34

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