Thanks to the appshopper.com RSS feeds, I've downloaded a lot of free apps: some good, many forgettable. Is there a simple way to see a list of uninstalled iPhone apps so I can re-evaluate and delete a lot of the duds?

I've seen programs that scan my iTunes library for apps (though some of them miss a lot of results), and IIRC it's possible to read an iTunes-managed iPhone backup to see which apps are installed there.

So, are there any existing utilities that do this? Failing that, I'll upvote/accept an answer that points me in the right direction to create such a utility myself.


Two possible answers...

Assuming you've not actively deleted them from iTunes as well as from your iPhone...

  1. Upgrade to iTunes 10.x if you haven't already
  2. Plug your iPhone into your Mac, open iTunes, sync it.
  3. Click on the iPhone in the side bar and go to the Apps tab

You'll see that some apps are checked and others are not. This is an indicator of whether or not they're installed on the device.

Pretty sure this got introduced in iTunes 10.x (hence the first step)

Assuming you don't delete your old emails... (e.g. Archive in GMail)

The iTunes store should have emailed you summaries of the apps you've purchased (even the free ones) shortly after their 'purchase', so, if you have an email account where you've kept those emails, you could search through them to get a list of each app you've purchased from the iTunes store.

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  • I was actually hoping for a file to read, but that's probably better asked on StackOverflow. – Ed Brannin Feb 21 '11 at 13:47

drfrogsplat hit the nail on the head. Some other things of note are:

  • If an App in is iTunes but not on your iPhone, you can delete it from there without ever having to bother your iPhone. As far as the iPhone is concerned, that app already doesn't exist.
  • If an App is synced to your iPhone, if you delete it from either one when not connected for syncing, then it will be copied back across during the next sync. I've had a lot of apps "come back from the dead" in this fashion. If you want to delete apps that are synced the easiest way to be rid of them for good is to connect the iPhone to iTunes and then delete it from the App tab, then sync.
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