I recently updated my iPhone 6s to iOS 11 and, as expected, some apps became incompatible with the software. There is one app in particular that I'm desperate to recover (the thumbnail is still there and when I click on it, I get a 'keep' or 'delete' option).

I'd like to move this app to my iPhone 5 that's still got iOS 7. I can't recover it under Apps in iTunes because iTunes 12 got rid of the Apps section.

I do have a lot of backups from various points over the past year, so the app has to be recoverable somehow.

I've also got iExplorer, but it only shows me the .app file of the currently connected phone (6s running iOS 11 that doesn't read the app) and I can't find the app file under Browse iTunes Backups.

Any advice?

2 Answers 2


Downgrade iTunes to 12.6.3 (which will install over 12.7) and use it to download and install the app.

If you already had the app downloaded from iTunes or a backup, you can also reinstall apps that are no longer available for download.

  • I've managed to back it up to my computer, thanks. I can't seem to sync it to my iPhone 5 tho b/c of a persistent 'computer not authorized' error. Any way an ipa file can be opened on a Mac? (It's a pretty old dictionary app.)
    – samizdat
    Oct 16, 2017 at 0:24

The .ipa app files are stored on the Mac at ~/iTunes/Music/Mobile Applications. The app you're looking for should still be there.

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