Is there a way to revert back to the old version of an iOS app after having it upgraded? I like the older version of the app than the new version and as a friend of mine is still using the old version, I think it mustn't be an absolute requirement from the app developers' end.


Yes, but only if you prepare for the downgrade before updating or catch it quickly after updating.

  1. Before upgrading, find the app in question in iTunes.
  2. Right/Control/2-finger click on the app.
  3. Select "Reveal in Finder"
  4. Copy and archive the .ipa file to another location.

Now you have a copy of the current version.

To downgrade...

  1. Find the app you want to downgrade in iTunes.
  2. Right/Control/2-finger click on the app.
  3. Choose "Reveal in Finder"
  4. Delete the .ipa file.
  5. Navigate to your archived copy of the old (previous version) .ipa file in the Finder.
  6. Drag the old .ipa file into iTunes.
  7. The old App version is now in iTunes and ready to sync to devices.


  • Be sure to delete the newer version of the app from your iOS devices before syncing, otherwise the new version will overwrite the old in your iTunes library during the sync process.
  • You can catch the old version immediately after updating. Look in your Trash. Old versions of updated apps are moved to the trash. Of course, you can't have emptied the trash since updating for this to work.
  • Be sure automatic downloads are turned off (iTunes preferences, Store tab on a computer; Settings app, Store option on an iOS device).
  • On a Mac the replaced .ipa files are in the iTunes Media/Mobile Applications/Previous Mobile Applications folder. – afragen Jan 17 '12 at 23:05
  • I have never seen this on a Mac, and I can't find any documentation references to it or options in iTunes preferences related to retaining old apps. Do you have any references or details on this? – Miles Leacy Jan 18 '12 at 10:00
  • It may be on my installation because my iTunes Media folder is on a NAS AFP mounted drive. I don't know for sure if that's the explanation as it's been like that on my end for several years. – afragen Jan 18 '12 at 18:38
  • I was about to say the same thing, @MilesLeacy. Whenever my iOS apps are updated, the old ones are placed in the Trash. afragen, it might be best to avoid such comments as this scenario seems to be specific only to you. – Patrick McMahon Jan 30 '15 at 13:18

Unless you have a backup of your iTunes library, there isn't an official way to obtain old versions of ipa files.


The catch with trying stop an old app from being upgraded is that it's all or nothing - you can either switch off automatic updates or you have to manually select the apps you want to upgrade every time. A work around for this problem is change the permissions on the app so that it's can't be deleted (nor upgraded) by iTunes - first locate the app (e.g. /Users/me/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Media/Mobile\ Applications/OpenDoor\ 2.27.ipa ) Then you set the immutable flag on the app:

chflags uchg  /Users/me/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Media/Mobile\ Applications/OpenDoor\ 2.27.ipa

Now when iTunes tries to update the app it tries to delete and replace it with the newer version but it fails ('Saying the original file can't be found'). But you can ignore that warning provided you've managed to install the older version on your device before iTunes tried to upgrade it.

If you want to upgrade it at another point you'll need to just delete it and rerun iTunes so that it fetches the new version.

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