How can you prevent ios from updating apps to newer versions which are incompatible with the version of ios running on the device? I have an iPhone 3Gs running ios 4.3.5. Some apps that show updates available, do not work with this version of ios. I accidentally updated Stanza and it stopped working. I had to find an older version of Stanza in my Time Machine backup and reinstall it on my iPhone.

My iPhone 3Gs has limited battery life, so I don't want to impact is further by updating to ios 5. I would buy a new iPhone, but 3 year contracts are standard in Canada, so it would cost too much to upgrade my phone.

  • Consider encouraging developers to properly support iOS 4 by posting reviews to the software that no longer works. There's no good reason they can't support iOS 4 (via week linking and runtime detection of available frameworks and functions). Leave reviews suggesting that they do so, and they will listen. Also, I have a 3GS with iOS 5 and after the most recent iOS 5 updates there is no battery problem - I have as much battery life as I had on 4. You might want to revisit your decision, because I think the reason you are holding out is no longer an issue.
    – Adam Davis
    Feb 21, 2012 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


Sadly, the developer is the one who will have to fix this, and you cannot do anything without jail breaking it and (if you know code) making changes to the firmware.

However, read the release notes and take care to make sure it works on iOS 4. Usually the developer will put something in it about compatibility.

  • +1 for "Read the release notes." You can also check the compatibility of the app in the App Store. Jan 16, 2012 at 22:08

Apple has fixed this problem systematically in September 2013 by letting developers maintain older versions of their applications on the iTunes store to support OS that are older than the current version.

When you go to update an app and the store detects that your OS isn't the required OS and there is also an older version, you will see an alert and be able to select the older app for your older OS.

Worst case, you can review your past purchases and find download links if you haven't hidden that download. Even then, you can go to your account and un-hide any hidden purchases.

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