I have an iPod touch Gen 3 running ios 4.2.1.

I have done a restore via itunes on my MacBook many times in the past. Usually when I do a restore, all the apps on my iPod are restored.

For example, I recently did a restore last year and all the apps were restored.

However, today I did a restore and the apps have not been restored. Worse still, when I go to iTunes and view my ipod, the Apps tab in iTunes is missing. There is only a tab that says "file sharing" but when I click on it nothing is displayed.

When I go to the iTunes directory on my Mac (under home > music) I can see all the app Ipa files but there doesn't seem to be anyway to restore them.

How can I get my apps back?

Because this ipod is so old, none of the apps are available in the iTunes App store anymore.

And yes, I know that this model of iPod is no longer supported, but I have always been able to restore in the past without any problem.

  • You can't restore apps once they've been removed from the App Store by Apple. There may be ways to side-load those apps, however. See this article to determine if that will work for you.
    – fsb
    Mar 19, 2018 at 16:43
  • What versions of iTunes and macOS?
    – IconDaemon
    Mar 19, 2018 at 16:54
  • 1
    If you upgraded iTunes past a certain point - the ability to manage apps is gone. See support.apple.com/en-us/HT208075 and I'm pretty sure it doesn't delete the files off the disk - just won't let you load them. If the apps are missing off your home folder - look to restore them from a backup and also restore the older iTunes.
    – bmike
    Mar 19, 2018 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


If you updated iTunes to 12.7 then that explains the missing app loading.

Try to go back to iTunes 12.6 and then check. If the apps are still missing, you may need to restore them from a backup before iTunes 12.7 changed the syncing of apps to your device.

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