After the iTunes version 12.7 it seems impossible to install an app from iTunes and sync it to the iPhone: https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/12/16298988/apple-itunes-desktop-update-removes-app-store

However, there still exists the option in settings of iOS 9.3.5 on my iPhone 4s. Is it redundant?

iPhone 4s iOS 9.3.5 automatic downloads sync settings for remote app install from iTunes

Is there any way at all to install an app in my iPhone from my MacBook Air? From web browser, iTunes or otherwise?

  • btw, your image shows the pref to download OTA, not via iTunes.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 14, 2018 at 13:51
  • The automatic downloads settings mean that items purchased on other devices will download to that iPhone as well. For example, if you also had an iPad and purchased an app on it, the same app would download to the iPhone (assuming it’s logged in with the same Apple ID, of course).
    – leanne
    Apr 14, 2018 at 21:36

2 Answers 2


You can browse the App Store on your Mac/Windows PC and install apps on your iOS devices by installing iTunes 12.6.3 with App Store support. More information and download links are available in the Apple Support article, Deploy apps in a business environment with iTunes.

As far as the options shown in the screenshot are concerned, it enables automatic installation of apps purchased on other devices which are logged into with the same Apple ID as this device.

To further clarify, using the mentioned setting enabled, your iPhone will only download any new apps purchased either on any other iOS device linked with the same Apple ID or Mac/PC with iTunes 12.6.3 or older installed and logged in with the same Apple ID. It can't be used to install any previously purchased app not already installed on your iPhone.

Installing iTunes 12.6.3 is the only resort for the time being if you wish to manually sync apps from your iTunes library.

  • Not applicable in this instance from the OP on iOS 9, but 12.6.3 will not install iOS 11.3, it demands to be updated - so you're down to Configurator or OTA updates in future.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 14, 2018 at 14:16
  • If I understand right, iTunes 12.6.3 support iOS 9. And OP is using an iPhone 4s, which anyways won't be updated to iOS 11.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Apr 14, 2018 at 14:25
  • Sure - but answers are supposed to be canonical & cover all eventualities. It's not hugely important as this one is a clear dupe anyway, but just to cover all the bases.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 14, 2018 at 14:35

If you buy an app, it will automatically be downloaded on all the iOS devices, signed in with the same Apple ID that have that box checked.

  • Can I buy an app from MacBook? I'm not able to browse the iOS AppStore from the iTunes Apr 15, 2018 at 15:27

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