I've got a problem. The first step, as they say, is acceptance. My problem, is apps.

I've got over four hundred on my phone, generally. It floats around that count, anyway. I think, perhaps, it comes from when I was a Boy Scout: “be prepared, zing-zing bong-bong,” and all that.

But in all seriousness: waiting two or three days, without leaving WiFi range (meaning, since I travel a lot, two or three days being phone-less while it sits at home) for all of my apps to re-download themselves … is painful, at best; and lifestyle-restricting at worst.

I'm a techie. I know quite a bit about these things, generally; and I know that there must be some way, complex as it may be, to backup the actual .app folders and restore the same, without excruciatingly-slowly re-downloading dozens of gigabytes of apps every single time I drop my phone, or update to a new iOS beta, or suffer some other data-calamity.

Anybody know?

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    You could sync it to iTunes ? – Jash Jacob Aug 9 '13 at 2:17
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    No, seriously... If you want all your apps to load quickly into your phone, then all you have to do is enable application syncing in the summary page that you retrieve when syncing. This option in iTunes saves all your apps onto your hard drive, so, when you have to restore, it will load the apps into your phone directly from the .app files stored on the computer. Good luck. – HelpingHand Aug 9 '13 at 3:13

You can backup the iphone from itunes from a mac/windows pc and the when you need to restore choose to restore from an itunes backup.


Thanks to @JashJacob and @HelpingHand for the obvious, although not to me (since I haven't used iTunes in years), answer:

iTunes can, when set up to sync with a given phone, sync just the applications down from the phone. They can then be synced back to a new phone, again with the same iTunes instance.


Absolutely no need to waste your time re-downloading the apps via WiFi. Simply transfer all app files to iTunes on your PC or mac.

Then back up the iPhone with iTunes.

The next time you need to restore your apps and app data to the iPhone, simply restore from the iTunes backup and sync the iPhone with iTunes. All apps and app data will be restored. The app files themselves are backed up to your "Mobile Applications" folder in the "iTunes Media" folder - so absolutely no need for re-downloading the apps.


You could use iFunbox to save all your apps individually or you could use iTunes to sync all your apps at once

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