I own both an iPhone (4S) and an iPad (mini), running iOS 5 and 6 respectively. The two of them are quite filled with large apps (roughly 40GB in total) and thus my Macbook is getting crowded. This is because iTunes stores all downloaded apps, PLUS all apps from all devices, so there are three copies of many apps saved (downloaded app + 2 iOS backups).

I would like to exclude stuff which can be reinstalled from the iTunes store from my iOS backups, just like iCloud does - only without using iCloud (I prefer my backups being physically at home).

Is there a way to do this? If so, how?

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


I just had the same question and found a solution here:

I do not want to sync apps in iTunes11.

iTunes > Preferences... > tab "Store" > section "Automatic Downloads" in the middle, there is a check box "Apps"

  • 1
    The Automatic Downloads setting doesn't (or shouldn't) affect whether apps sync to iTunes. It just affects whether iTunes downloads new purchases made on other devices.
    – tubedogg
    Nov 17, 2014 at 4:09

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