I want to delete a game from my iPhone in order to make room for other apps. If I try to do so, it warns that all of the app's data will be deleted.

This is a game which has stages that you need to unlock in order to play them again. If I ever reinstall this game, I don't want to have to go through the entire process of unlocking stages. I want to be able to retain my progress and start from there. Is there any way to delete the game from my iPhone but have it remember my progress in case I reinstall it later?

I know that Game Center stores information about high scores and badges, but does it also save my progress?


6 Answers 6


Some developers will help you out by telling you just which files you need to copy from the bundle to keep your progress - it's worth an email. Mika Mobile is one of these - see how I was able to copy my Battleheart progress from one device to another here. If you are comfortable copying a file it's not hard.

If you delete an app then the app's bundle (and the app) will still be backed up as part of the iTunes backup if you have made one.

You could archive the backup, found in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/.

That's a really chunky approach though. It is going to restore everything, so you are going to overwrite any progress you have made in other apps since that backup.

My approach would be to use iExplorer to copy the Documents and Libraries directories from the app, and put them back later. To be sure that this is going to work you would need to backup, archive the backup, then copy docs & library directories for the app. Then delete the app. Reinstall the app, put the docs and libraries directories back. If your app retains progress like you want then you are free to proceed. If not, restore from the backup and keep thinking... maybe pick some other app to remove?


Game Center does not currently have any mechanism for saving game progress.

For games which store progress information on your device, that information will be deleted when you delete the app. However, it will be backed up in iTunes, so you can restore this from a backup (see this question for more information).

Games which choose to save progress in iCloud may do so — in which case, if it's properly implemented, simply reinstalling the app will give it access to the old data (assuming you're logged into the same iCloud account).


When you delete an app, it no longer gives you an option about saving your data. You can't choose keep or remove anymore.


I'd like to comment on the answers here, since they both state that deleting an app will remove all data.

However, Supercell (creators of Clash of Clans) have apparently found a solution to this problem. Although all game data is stored on their servers, it does save account information somewhere on your phone, which will remain even after the app has been uninstalled.

First: No, this is not the Game Center Account which recovers the data, because even when I log of GC, uninstall the app, reinstall the app and start the game, it will go back to where I was before.

Second: I have been hearing about using UDID to define that it is the same device, but this is not true either. Since March 2012 (I think) Apple no longer allows applications/games to access the UDID of the device (for privacy reasons).

I guess it is possible that (probably a very limited amount of) data is stored outside of the app-bundle, although I am not sure how and where.

  • Can you provide links to where Supercell have done this?
    – mmmmmm
    Mar 20, 2013 at 11:45
  • I am assuming this is somehow tied to identifierForVendor but I am not clear how, because after the last app from that vendor is deleted, the identifierForVendor is deleted too, and changes the next time an app is reinstalled from that vendor. But from all of SuperCell's comments it sounds like they have figured something out - they state that you cannot reset game progress, period, without getting a new device.
    – tubedogg
    Aug 25, 2013 at 2:01

I too have an apple device, After one of the recent updates, I have not been able to save data it says "Deleting this app will delete its data" In the past you pressed delete, and it asked you if you will remove the apps data. But now, You have no option. It just deletes it with its data.

I tested this out on my app, redownloaded it, and opened it, and my data was gone.

I did it because I have the same problem I don't want to lose my Minecraft worlds, so I tested out iCloud, it wont work, so don't risk it. Game Center only saves achievements. Not data or progress.


Some games ask for you facebook account and they use it to save the player progress. For example Tap Titans, Real Racing, Candy Crush...etc. check that out.

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