Use this utility and never lose a cherished app again
You used to be able to download local copies of iPhone and iPad apps by using iTunes. This meant if an essential app or favorite game vanished from the App Store, you could at least use iTunes on a PC or Mac to load it on to new mobile devices. Apple sadly removed that functionality long ago.
Fortunately, iMazing can do this. Here’s how:
1. Set things up
Download and install iMazing on your PC or Mac, and connect your iPhone or iPad to it with a cable. You may have to confirm on your device that you trust the computer, if you’ve not connected the two before.
2. Explore your apps
Select your device in the iMazing sidebar and click Apps. You’ll see every app installed on your device. Then click Manage Apps to access the app manager. It might take a few seconds to list everything.
3. Export an app
Select the Library tab. If iMazing asks you to sign into your iCloud account, do so. You’ll then see a list of apps available for download. Click the cloud icon in an app’s Download column to save the app to iMazing’s local library.
Right/Control-click any downloaded app and select Export .IPA to save a copy of it elsewhere. This allows you to move such files to an external backup or cloud storage, and manage/organize them manually.
4. Install a saved app
Back in the Apps view, click Copy to Device and locate your saved app. Select it and the app will be installed on your device.
Be mindful that this process isn’t a magic wand. Apps/games exported years ago are not guaranteed to work on the most recent devices. However, we’ve had plenty of success in using iMazing to install relatively recently removed apps on modern iPhones and iPads – and classic App Store games on a first-gen iPad Air, thereby allowing us to play them again.
Given the ephemeral nature of digital software, it’s always worth backing up your favorites – just in case they disappear!
iMazing can be downloaded from imazing.com. The app management tools covered in this tutorial are available in the free version. Some more advanced features require paid tiers, which start at $39.99/£34.99.