How To: Revert to Old App Versions

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How many times have you updated your Apps and found that the latest build just doesn't work? It crashes, it has bugs, or it doesn't even work on your old iPhone anymore. It happens. Luckily, there's a way to go back to past Apps if needed. The best part? It's not very hard at all.

Every time you update your Apps, OS X throws the old .ipa files in the Trash. As long as you still have those files, you are set. Let's take a quick look at how you can get your old Apps back.

After an update, your Trash bin will look something like this:

This image described by App Store, how to, revert to old apps, bring back old apps, Screen shot 2011-01-28 at 1.50.03 PM

Let's assume our NPR update didn't work for some reason. 

1) We would open the Trash

2) Launch iTunes

    - Delete the App you don't want anymore (Our broken NPR App) and tell iTunes to delete it completely.

    - Remove the App from your iDevices as well to make sure that they don't sync to iTunes and reinstall the App.

3) Grab the NPR 1.5.ipa file and drop it in the Library section of your iTunes window. This will give you back your old working App.

It may also be a good idea to keep some of your old .ipa files in case you later discover a problem with one of the features in an updated App.


If you have more than one iDevice, you may simply be able to delete the old App from iTunes and sync the other device to put the working App back in iTunes.


Commenter NormM Adds A Time Machine Solution (Thanks!): 

NormM said…

If you use Time Machine on a Mac you have access to old versions of apps. After you've deleted the bad version of an app from iTunes and from your devices, go to the apps tab in iTunes and right click on any app to show the apps folder in the Finder. Then enter Time Machine to get an old version of the deleted app. I haven't tried it lately, but I think double-clicking on the restored app in the Finder is enough to add it back into iTunes.

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