I really hate syncing my phone these days because whenever I do I have to wait for all the apps I've downloaded since last sync to transfer to the computer. I download a lot of apps so this process takes for ever. So: can I opt out of backing up my apps?


Yes. You can disable app syncing.

To do this:

  1. With your device connected to iTunes select the "Apps" tab.
  2. Under the app listing, deselect "Automatically sync new apps".

Sync new apps

New apps will no longer sync with iTunes. They will still backup to iTunes or iCloud, however, so you have no need to fear losing them should your device information be lost.

Note: all instructions provided work for iTunes 11.

  • 1
    iTunes 11.1.4 doesn't have this checkbox on the Apps tab. – Robin Daugherty Feb 18 '14 at 14:36
  • iTunes 11.3 also does not have this checkbox – Zach Jul 31 '14 at 19:13
  • It appears that they have changed the wording to "Automatically install new apps". I confirmed this on iTunes 11.3. – bassplayer7 Aug 2 '14 at 1:07

iTunes sucks. The only thing you can do is change the owner of the directory where the apps are stored to "root" and change the permissions. The apps are no longer copied, however it still takes time for iTunes to process all apps.

open terminal

cd ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Media
sudo chown root Mobile\ Applications
sudo chmod 0700 Mobile\ Applications

now iTunes no longer has access to the directory, so it cant copy the apps. You might get a warning, but you can ignore this.

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