How to backup applications in iOS 8/9/10

There used to be simple ways to back up your applications in iOS, but with the introduction of  ‘app thinning’, this is no longer possible unless you restore from a phone backup. This method may not be convenient to some, but it works for me. Whenever, I download an application, I also keep a local copy on my computer for backup purposes. By storing a local copy on your PC, you can easily go back to a previous version if an update does’t sit well with you. This is especially useful for those applications that become incompatible due to software upgrades. Maybe you just don’t want to upgrade to the newest and shiniest iOS update.


An iTunes account. (The one you use for your iDevice)

iTunes (Windows)
The first step is to launch iTunes.exe and sign into your iTunes account. Having your iDevice is not required, so simply move to the ‘App Store‘ tab. In the search bar, type the application name of the app you want to backup. In this case, I intend to backup the ‘ Handle ‘ application for iOS before it suffers from an update mishap. It has become my simple yet powerful daily tool to manage to-dos and I can’t afford the loss. Make sure you download the application for the correct device. In this case, I’ll be downloading Handle for iPhone/Ipod Touch.



When you click ‘download‘, the application will start downloading and an icon with a downward facing arrow will appear on the top right side of the screen, beside the search bar.


If you click on the ‘arrow’, it will show your current downloads, and then vanish once it is finished.
Once it is finished, it’s time to switch tabs. Move to your ‘Library‘ tab and you will see your downloaded applications. Now, I like to take it a step further. I like to know where the applications are stored, so I can move them somewhere else if needed. Right-click your downloaded application, and a menu with options will pop up. Choose ‘Show in Windows Explorer‘ and it will take you to the directory where the application (.ipa) is stored.





Now, I don’t know about you, but I like to keep my backed up applications stored elsewhere. iTunes has not done this yet, but in the future, it might automatically update your locally stored apps.


Who is to say? Anyhow, I don’t like taking chances. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!