How do I backup my apps?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Perenista, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Perenista

    Perenista
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    Is there a way to assure the apps you have downloaded, free or paid, from the Apple Store, will always remain available? I mean, I always do a backup from my iPad to iCloud. And we see the cloud icon when we restore from the iCloud the backup, to a new iPad.

    However, last time I checked, the backup only contains the configs from the apps and iOS - meaning that while we are restoring from a previously created backup, we are not downloading the apps from iCloud, they aren't there, physically - they are being downloaded from Apple Store.

    And what does that mean?

    Let's say I have purchased or downloaded an app that is now removed from Apple Store - it will be gone forever in this new iPad, too.

    What I want to know is this: isn't there a way to backup the apps we have downloaded for free or paid? And the question includes purchases made inside those apps, in case there isn't a 2nd version from those apps with all paid features.
     
  2. scifan57

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    What you have to do is backup your iPad to iTunes on your computer. When you're connected you can transfer purchases from your iPad to your computer as well as backing up the iPad. Every app I've ever purchased is in the iTunes library on my computer, including several that have been removed from the App Store and my purchase history. All I have to do to install these apps on a device is to connect to iTunes and select which apps to sync.
     
  3. giradman

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    As already stated by Scifan.., using iTunes on a computer will allow a 'transfer of purchases' - I use both iCloud and iTunes to backup our iDevices; of course, an issue if you do not have a computer - but if you want to better understand the differences between an iCloud & an iTunes backup, here are some good links:

    LINK 1 - LINK 2 - LINK 3 - LINK 4

    Of course, the usual cloud or cabled backups will be a LOT smaller to reduce the time to complete backups, lessen storage space, and improve efficiency (i.e. simply making reference to the apps on an iDevice and then re-downloading from the Apple servers) - as an example, my iPad Air 2 has 40.6 GB (of 64 GB) used storage which would take a LONG time to completely backup - however, my iCloud BU is just 1.2 GB and the iTunes BU on my laptop is only 4.6 GB (several of the links explain how to find the backup on a computer) - NOW, I do not transfer my purchases, just do not feel a big need but that is obviously a personal decision. Hope these links help - Dave :)
    .
    Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 1.47.45 PM.png
     
  4. Perenista

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  5. scifan57

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    Transferring purchases, mentioned in my first post, will download the app to the iTunes library on your computer. It will then be possible to install that app on any of your devices in the future by syncing with iTunes after selecting that app to be installed. I do this all the time and have around a thousand apps stored in the iTunes library on my computer. Several of those apps are no longer in the App Store or in my purchase history. Prior to iOS 9, transferring app purchases (free apps as well) was done automatically when you backed up to iTunes, now you have to do it manually using the method described. iOS 9 introduced a feature called App Thinning that can prevent the Transfer Purchases function from working. If you're on iOS 9 follow the instructions in the next paragraph to download your app purchases to the iTunes Library on your computer. This will download the full universal version of the app to your iTunes Library.

    You can also download previous app purchases to the iTunes library on your computer without an iOS device connected to your computer. Open iTunes and go to the Apps section. Click on the App Store button, then click the Purchased button, then the Not in My Library button. The page will show all iOS apps purchases by you that are not currently in the iTunes library on your computer. At the bottom right of the page is the Download All button. Click on it to download the apps to your iTunes library. You can select between iPhone and iPad apps at the top of the page. Make sure to check both areas to make sure you download all available apps.
     
    #5 scifan57, Aug 8, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
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  6. Perenista

    Perenista
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    That's great, now I am really capable of making a backup from any app that is currently available in App Store and that was downloaded from my Apple ID. The only downside is that when creating a backup and restoring, we are still going to witness the iPAD downloading all contents from Apple-Store (skipping the missing ones). I mean, we can't instruct iTunes to add all downloaded .IPA files to our already created backup.

    Meaning that if the app is removed from Apple-Store, we will lose app data, too. For example, say FoxIt (ebook reader) is removed from App-Store, 1 day after I created an iTunes backup where it was in my iPAD and still availble for download. I can add as a brand-new app using iTunes (by syncing the data), after opening the FOXIT.IPA file from my Hard Drive, however, if I already added ebooks (meaning: app data) to FoxIt and changed a few settings from the app itself, both of these will be lost in this scenario.

    That's a minor inconvenience, compared to losing the apps themselves.
     
  7. scifan57

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    When you download iOS apps to iTunes on your computer, they're stored in a folder called Mobile Applications. When restoring from an iTunes backup, the apps are copied from there and downloaded to the iPad. The app data itself is stored in the iTunes backup file for your device and is added back to the app during the restore. New data added to an app after the last backup can be saved by making a new backup. There are no easy ways to extract individual items from an iTunes backup.
     
  8. Perenista

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    This is never happening with me. Even if I save all my apps in the Mobile Applications folder, and create a new backup from the iPAD to my Hard Drive, the restored backup is using the internet to restore every single app. Meaning that the skipped and missing apps need to be added after all this process has been completed, manually, and using iTunes again.

    Meaning that after a iTunes backup restore is completed, I always need to wait for the app downloads from Apple-Store to finish, no matter what. And if I do not insert my iCloud credentials, the iPAD removes the apps that attempted to "phone home" (download themselves from Apple-Store).

    That means what I said, if the app was removed from Apple-Store, by adding manually I need to reconfigure its settings and insert the external data I had in it, again.
     
  9. scifan57

    scifan57
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    I've never had to go back after an iTunes restore and add any missing or skipped apps. What you're seeing is not app downloads over the internet from the App Store but transfers from the Mobile Applications folder on your computer. The backup and the app files are stored in different locations on your computer, that's why they're installed separately. A similar process occurs when movies and TV shows are restored to your iPad. If you pay close attention, the apps and other content are transferring at a much faster rate than if they were downloading over the internet from iTunes or the App Store. For example, in my case, an app that takes over an hour to download from the App Store takes a couple of minutes to transfer from the Mobile Applications folder during a restore. It can take a couple of hours to finish downloading everything during a restore.That's how it works on my iPad. This is what allows me to install apps from the iTunes library on my computer on my iPad which are no loner available in the App Store.
     
    #9 scifan57, Aug 10, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  10. Perenista

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    Either you are wrong or I am not doing things right.

    Here's what I did (pay attention to all steps):

    1) Enabled the option "Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically" in iTunes.

    2) Saved a backup from the iPAD. Not automatically, but a manual backup, which is stored at \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

    While the iPAD had over 6 GB of wasted disk space, the backup only has 1 GB. Meaning that no apps were saved anywhere.

    3) Disabled "Find My iPhone".

    4) Erased all contents from iPAD (option to restore to factory settings)

    5) Configured as a new iPAD.

    6) Connected the iPAD to the USB port and iTunes. Now I select the option "Restore from a backup", which has 1 GB.

    7) Backup restored. The iPAD now begins to download all apps from the Apple-Store. You can see that will always happen because if you turn the internet off (airplane mode) no apps are downloaded.

    *********

    Now, what I want to emphasize is this:

    About step 2) - you already explained how we may transfer all our purchases, paid/free, to the Hard Drive. You explained this is stored in the Mobile Applications folder, as .IPA files. What you are failing to understand is that the backup we save in iCloud or iTunes does not include saved IPA files. Meaning that the only behaviour from iPAD would be to keep asking for an internet connection to download all apps again. If you want to include the saved apps from the Mobile Applications folder, the .IPA files, you need to do this after step 7) is completed, and manually.

    What that also means is this:

    Let's assume this app:
    Foxit PDF - PDF reader, editor, fill forms, sign document na App Store

    Was removed from the app-store. We will also assume this ebook reader had 100 PDFs in it when you did the backup.

    What will happen in step 7) is that a) the app won't be added to your iPAD. and b) After you add the app manually, it won't have any app data you had in the past, which are the 100 PDFs. You will also lose the configurations you did for FoxIt, all of them also saved in step 2).

    This is what I am trying to explain: there's no way to make a backup as mentioned in step 2) with all our desired apps only being transfered from the Hard Drive, and skipping what happens in step 7).

    We can also try to do step 2) by, insteading of selecting "DO A MANUAL BACKUP" the iTunes option to sync the iPAD device. I think that will work as you intended, so step 7) won't happen at all (even though it didn't work for me - the apps were not downloaded to my Hard Drive after I clicked this). The problem is that if you try to do this after formatting your computer and installing iTunes for the first time, no app will appear here:

    https://s10.postimg.org/3q32ihc2h/image.jpg

    It's hard for me to explain in words how this doesn't work as you claim, but trust me, it doesn't. At least I am not seeing working here.

    What I want is simple:

    1) Do a full backup from the iPAD and save in a specific folder. Then I simply copy the folder to my pendrive/host service;
    2) Do the same for all apps (only .IPA files) I want to save.

    And then, restore the iPAD with both of them. So far, I haven't been able to do this in the best way I intended. It is possible, not as it should.
     

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