How to prevent ios apps from reinstalling when you sync with itunes

Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She’s been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business. Read more.

When you delete an app on your iPhone or iPad, you may notice that it gets installed again when you sync with iTunes on your PC. However, there’s a way to prevent apps from reinstalling on your iPhone or iPad after you delete them.

Apps deleted on your iPhone or iPad are still in iTunes and will be reinstalled on your devices even after you delete them. There are three settings you must turn off to prevent this from happening, one on your iOS device and two in iTunes, and we’ll show you how to change these settings.

To remove an app from your iPhone or iPad, hold your finger down on the app’s icon. All the icons and folders will wiggle and you’ll see a delete badge (X in a circle) in the upper-left corner of the icon. Tap that “X” button to delete the app from your device.

To prevent a deleted app from being reinstalled on your device, first we’ll turn off a setting on the device. To do this, tap “Settings” on your home screen.

Tap “App and iTunes Stores” in the “Settings” menu on the left side of the screen.

Under “Automatic Downloads” on the right side of the screen, tap the green slider button for “Apps”. If you don’t want “Music”, “Books”, or “Updates” (from the App Store) to install automatically, turn off these options as well.

When an option is off, the slider button turns white and the change in the setting happens immediately. You can simply press the Home button to return to the Home screen.

There are two settings to turn off in iTunes to prevent apps from reinstalling on your device after deleting them. The first one we’re going to change is the “Automatic Downloads” feature in iTunes. Open iTunes and select “Preferences” from the “Edit” menu.

On the “General Preferences” dialog box, click “Store” on the toolbar at the top.

To prevent apps from reinstalling on your devices after deleting them, select the “Apps” check box in the “Automatic Downloads” section so there is NO check mark in the box.

Click “OK” to save your changes and close the dialog box.

To turn off the third option, connect your device to your PC. When your device is connected, click the icon for the device on the toolbar.

Under “Settings” in the left pane, click “Apps”.

The “Apps” screen displays allowing you to install and remove apps from your device using iTunes.

Scroll down past the list of apps and select the “Automatically install new apps” check box below the list, so there is NO check mark.

NOTE: If any of these three options are on, apps will be reinstalled after deleting them on your device. You must turn off all three options.


With its built-in 5 megapixel camera in your pocket, you can quickly amass a large collection of impromptu photographs on your LG Optimus Elite. The Camera app automatically saves images to the installed SD card — which can be expanded with up to 32 gigabytes of storage space — and you can edit and share photos directly from the smartphone’s touchscreen. For more sophisticated photo editing or to simply back up your image files, you can also transfer them to your PC using the USB cable that was originally packaged with the device.

Connect your smartphone to your computer using the USB cable.

Swipe your finger downward from the top of the screen and tap “USB Connected.”

Tap “Mass Storage” to facilitate the appropriate type of connection and then tap “Done.”

Select “Open Folder to View Files” if the AutoPlay window appears on your PC. If it does not, manually launch the File Explorer and select the smartphone. To do this, point to the top right of the computer screen, move the mouse down and select “Search.” Type “file explorer” in the search box, select “Apps,” and then select “File Explorer” from the search results. Double-click on your LG Optimus Elite’s icon, which appears as a removable storage device.

Double-click on the “DCIM” folder to access your smartphone’s stored photo files. You can then drag and drop those you wish to save to your computer.

Unplug your LG Optimus Elite from the USB port when the transfer is complete.

Change is the only constant. Nowhere is this more visible than on the App Store. Thousands of new apps and games appear every day and existing apps receive regular updates to add features and fix bugs. This will only accelerate further now that the App Store is firing on all cylinders and review times are measured in hours rather than days.

But what if you want to continue to use an old version of an app for your own reasons? Perhaps the old version has a better user interface, or the new version has some bugs? I can remember both of these issues affecting me numerous times over the years. The eBay app is the example that springs to mind.

General consensus of opinion is that the only thing you can do is switch off automatic updates in iOS and avoid updating that particular app manually, which is easier said than done.

There has to be a better way

It’s a little known fact that there is actually a way to install an old version of an app on your iOS device which will prevent it from being checked for updates. Read on to find out how this can be done. This tutorial uses eBay as the example app, but I’ve also carried out this process on Gmail, Instagram, VSCO and more.

  1. good old iTunes,
  2. the iOS device you want to install it on,
  3. the USB cable for your iOS device.
  4. a backup of the old version of the app as an .ipa file on your Mac. You’ll only have this if you use iTunes to sync your iOS device or download app updates. Have a look in your Time Machine or other backups in the following location:

Warning: as part of this process you will be required to delete the current version of the app that you have installed on your iOS device. So be sure to backup any data from the app that is not stored in the cloud!

eBay introduced a disastrous fourth version of their app back in September 2015. It was a complete rewrite of the app that made it much more cumbersome to use, and was also missing key functionality and information that were present in the previous app. It was, understandably, met with a user revolt. eBay are now up to version 5.0 and it is arguably still not as good as the old version I like to use.


The photo editing app VSCO is another app that has enraged users with an update that destroys the usability of the app. Strangely enough that is also version 5.x and users are also outraged over the change.


Yes again another disaserous version 5.x! This tim it is Gmail, the new version being very similar to the “Inbox by Gmail” app that has been bad and stayed bad for some time now. Gmail v5 is at one-star on the App Store.

To the Time Machine!

Due to the fact I frequently do a manual update of all my apps through iTunes on my Mac, I had a backup of eBay 3.6.1 for iPhone and VCO 4.6.1 sitting in my Time Machine backup on my external drive.

How to install an old app and prevent it from updating

Before we begin, remove the app you want to downgrade from your device by tapping and holding on it. Make sure to backup any data you need from it!

This example uses the eBay app, but applies equally well to VSCO.

by Jenefey Aaron Updated on 2022-01-04 / Update for Fix iPhone

Recently, a lot of users complained that their iPhone app waiting after restore from iTunes or iCloud backup. Some even encountered app stuck on downloading or installing and cannot be deleted. Luckily, we’ve gathered some useful tips to help fix the issue on iPhone 13/13 Pro/13 mini/12/11/XR/Xs/X/10/8/7/6s/6/5s completely.

Read first: Why Do All My iPhone Apps Say Waiting after A Restore

Before talking about the solutions, you may want to know why do all my iphone apps say waiting after a restore? There are several different reasons and we list some most possible ones for you to check:

  • Poor network connection
  • Lack of storage
  • System conflict

1. Solve iPhone Apps Stuck on Loading after Restore with Recovery Mode Restore(Free ReiBoot) – Highest Success Rate

When iPhone app update hangs on waiting or installing, you can try to put iPhone into recovery mode and then get it out to fix this issue. Using free iPhone recovery mode software -Tenorshare ReiBoot to put iPhone into or out of recovery mode with only one click is the best choice.

Download and launch Free Tenorshare ReiBoot on your PC/Mac and connect your iPhone to computer. Click “Enter/Exit Recovery Mode” on the main interface once your iOS device is detected.

On the following step, click on One-Click to Enter Recovery Mode. After that, you’ll see iTunes logo on your iPhone screen.

Then, click “One-Click to Exit Recovery Mode” to reboot the device forcibly.

  • Now, you can choose to delete the dark apps or continue downloading the waiting apps.
  • Note : If recovery mode does not fix the problem, you can try to use ReiBoot Pro which supports fixing 150+ types of iOS problems without data loss, including iPhone stuck in recovery mode, iPhone keeps restarting, iPhone frozen, etc.

    2. Check Your Network Connection

    Bad and unstable network condition may result in iPhone apps in waiting mode. Check your network connection and make sure it is stable and well. And you’d better choose a strong Wi-Fi instead of cellular data.

    3. Check Your iPhone Storage to Fix iPhone Apps Waiting after Restore

    iPhone apps greyed out after restore could also occur when there is not enough storage on your iPhone/iPad/iPod. You can delete some apps you rarely use. Go to Setting > General > Usage& iCloud Usage> Manage Storage, select the app and tap Delete App.

    4. Close Running Apps in Background

    Usually, we open up many apps on iPhone at the same time. When we’re using one app, the others will keep running in the background, which will slow down the iPhone and may result in iPhone app waiting stuck.

    To remove all running programs in background, you can double press the home button and then slide all the programs off. After that, you can try again to download and install apps.

    5. Restart Your iPhone for Apps Stuck on Loading after Restore Issue

    If your iPhone apps still say waiting after iTunes restore, you can restart it to turn off unknown background programs and release temporary memory caches. Restart iPhone: Hold Sleep/Wake button > Slide to Power off >Hold Sleep/Wake button again.

    After the reboot, you can resume updating the dark and waiting apps by tapping one app at a time to update each app.

    If you have no idea about how to restart your device, please check How to Reboot iPhone.

    6. Resume Downloading iPhone Apps

    If iPhone app waiting forever, you can go to App Store on your iPhone/iPad/iPod not PC/Mac to download and install them again. Go to App Store > Update > Purchases, and you will find all those Apps, just click the iCloud icon with arrow to download apps again.

    7. Update Apps in iTunes Library and Sync Your iPhone

    If you see your Facebook, email, Messenger and other apps frozen on installing, you can update them in iTunes library follow the steps below.

    • Open iTunes on computer and go to the Apps in your Library.
    • Make sure you’re in the “icons” view and click Update All button.
    • Once all your apps in your iTunes library are updated, click Sync to sync your iPhone.

    8. Change Another Language on Your iPhone

    Here is a way I saw on a forum that has helped some Apple owners get rid of iPhone apps waiting after update. Go to Settings > General > Language & Region > iPhone Language, selecting another language, which will force Spring Board to restart.

    Once the home screen appears again, you can tap on one of the apps that previously failed to restore. And these apps will start loading and installing without needing to tap on them individually.

    9. Resign into Your App Store

    Some Apple users encountered apps greyed out and can’t delete after restoring from iTunes or iCloud backup. They eventually fixed the issue by logging out of App Store and then logging back into it. When you resign into your App Store, the waiting apps will be downloaded again.

    10. Fix iPhone Apps Not Downloading after Restore via Resetting iPhone

    As is well known, resetting iPhone can fix various stuck issues, but it will wipe all the data on your iPhone and become unrecoverable.

    Reset iPhone: Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings.

    You can try this way if you don’t mind data loss. After the reset, you should fix iPhone apps black out waiting.


    In this article, we’ve shown you how to fix iPhone apps stuck in waiting mode after restore from iTunes backup or iCloud. Tenorshare ReiBoot is the top recommended method as it will surely fix the problem without erasing data. If you have other methods, please do let us know by leaving a comment below.

    Updated on 2022-01-04 / Update for Fix iPhone

    Users who wonder how to restore iPhone apps from iTunes backup could get guided to restore app data from iTunes backup on this page.

    By Lora / Last update June 9, 2022

    “How do I restore my iPhone apps from iTunes?”

    Hello! I have just backuped my iPhone with iTunes and I noticed that there is about 5GB data in the backup file. I wonder whether iTunes backs up the apps in my iPhone. If it did so, why just 5GB data? Thanks a lot.

    – Question from Zhengrong Zhao (iMore)

    Like the user in the case, some users want to make it clear whether iTunes back up apps. So many users suffered from apps data loss and are eager to get their apps back after reset or accidental deletion, or want to recover specific apps.

    So, will iTunes backup restore apps? The answer is “NO”. But to restore iPhone apps from iTunes backup is feasible because iTunes won’t back up apps actually, but the app data instead . So the size of the backup will not be too large to occupy your storage space.

    When a user tries to restore from iTunes backup, the user can get almost all contents and settings back, including the Home screen and app organization, but the apps need to be downloaded manually. Now users could follow the tutorial below to restore iPhone apps from iTunes backup.

    How to restore iPhone apps from iTunes backup?

    iTunes can back up nearly the whole device, only excluding stuff like Face ID, Touch ID, Apple Pay info, and data that has already been covered in iCloud. Using iTunes enables users to restore app data from iTunes backup.

    Notes: Since restoring from backups will wipe the device, it is suggested to make a backup of your current data beforehand. It is a better bet to archive your previous backups to avoid overwriting. Start iTunes, go to “Edit” > “Preferences” > “Devices” > right-click on your backup > “Archive”. Using a lightning charging cable is recommended. If you have toggled on “Encrypt Local Backup“, you could use this backup to restore Health data on iPhone.

    Step 1. Run the latest version of iTunes. Connect your iPhone.

    Step 2. Click the “iPhone” icon.

    Step 3. Go to “Summary” > “Restore Backup”. Check if you have chosen the right backup you need.

    Step 4. Then all contents will be restored from iTunes backup, and you will find all apps on your screen grey. Tap on each one to reinstall. It may take some time, please wait patiently.

    Further Reading: how to restore WeChat app data?

    If you are in need of WeChat app data, you don’t have to restore a whole backup from iTunes. To restore WeChat app data and avoid labor-consuming operations, you could utilize AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS, a professional third-party iPhone data recovery tool. It enables users to recover selected data to iPhone: deleted photos, videos, notes, voice memos, contacts, etc., including WeChat app data.

    Notes: When you see “Trust This Computer?”, tap “Trust” on your device. Please keep the connection between your device and computer firm in the process.

    Step 1. Install AOMEI Data Recovery Assistant for iOS on your PC, then connect your iPhone.

    Step 2. Click “Scan Now”.

    Step 3. All the recoverable data will be listed. Go to “WeChat” and select the data you need, then click “Recover”.

    In just 3 steps, you could recover WeChat app data with the help of this tool.

    Related suggestions

    In this article, the method about how to restore iPhone apps from iTunes backup has been given pretty in detail. To prevent a future loss, there are some related suggestions.

    вњЌ Update your apps in time.

    вњЌ Back up data from time to time.

    вњЌ Smartly manage your data storage schemes. Use more than one method to store your data.

    Backups serve users as a data protector. With a backup, users could easily recover deleted data from iPhone. But to create a more flexible backup but not a copy of your whole device, it is recommended to take advantage of AOMEI MBackupper, which enables users to store their data selectively. “Photos Backup” and “Full Backup” could securely save users’ data flexibly.

    Our Products

    Recover deleted or missing partition on hard drive, SSD, SD card, USB drive.

    Recover deleted/lost iPhone data including photos, videos, WeChat, etc. on iOS devices.

    How can I stop syncing photos from my iPhone to my iPad and vice versa SOLVED

    If you don’t want your iPhone to automatically sync with your Mac, you can change the settings on your phone. On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > iTunes Wi-Fi Sync and turn off the Sync over Wi-Fi option.

    To turn off sync on your Mac, open the System Preferences and click on iCloud. In the iCloud preferences, uncheck the boxes for iCloud Drive and Documents & Data.

    If you’re experiencing problems with syncing or if you simply want to stop a sync in progress, you can do so by following these steps:
    1)Open the Settings app.
    2)Tap on “iCloud.”
    3)Tap on “Storage & Backup.”
    4)Under “Manage Storage,” tap on the name of the device that’s currently syncing.
    5)Tap on “Sync Now” to stop the sync.

    If you want to stop your iPhone from syncing, you can go to Settings and turn off the Sync button. This will stop your phone from automatically updating its information with your computer.

    If you want to stop syncing between devices, you can go to your settings and disable the feature.

    There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to stop Apple devices from syncing with each other may vary depending on the devices and settings involved. However, some tips on how to stop Apple devices from syncing with each other include disabling iCloud, disabling Bluetooth, and disabling Wi-Fi.

    Sync is a built-in function of many mobile devices that allows them to keep track of data across multiple devices. If you no longer need this function, you can disable it in the settings of your device.

    If you don’t want your iPhone to automatically sync with your computer, you can change the settings in iTunes. In iTunes, go to Preferences and select Devices. Under “Automatic Sync,” uncheck the box next to “Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi.

    To turn off device sharing, go to the Settings app and select iCloud. Under iCloud, tap on the switch next to “iCloud Drive” to turn it off.

    First, open the Settings app on your iPhone.
    Next, tap on “General.”
    Scroll down and tap on “iPhone Storage.”
    Tap on “Manage Storage.”
    Underneath “Documents & Data,” you’ll see which apps are using the most storage.
    To unsync an app, tap on it and then tap on “Delete App.

    When you want to add music to your iOS device, you might find iTunes sync greyed out. Read this passage to know why are the songs unavailable and the sync option is unclickable and easily fix it.

    By Dylan / Last update December 29, 2021

    iTunes sync greyed out on Windows 10

    I have 300+ songs in iTunes library on my Dell computer and wish to transfer them to my iPhone 11. After I plugged my iPhone into computer and got ready to sync music to iPhone, I found that the button Sync is greyed out in Summary. How can I fix this?

    – Question from Apple Community

    Music is a good companion in life. You could purchase and download many albums from iTunes store. Listening to music on computer is not enough, so you want to import them to iPhone by iTunes so you don’t need to take a long time to download them again.

    Sometimes you will find the iTunes Sync button greyed out or part of iTunes music library cannot be checked, or Add to device option greyed out so you can’t transfer music to iPhone. The causes will be explained in the next section, follow this passage to know the issue and easily fix it.

    Part 1. Why is iTunes sync greyed out?

    To import music to iPhone, just connect iPhone to iTunes with USB cable > click the device button of iPhone > select Music section > check Sync Music > select music from iTunes library > check Sync button.

    If you find the Sync button is greyed out and is not clickable. The causes usually come from iTunes itself, system glitches, or wrong configuration. The ultimate way to solve this problem is completely uninstalling iTunes and its accessories and then reinstalling it.

    Some iTunes settings and iPhone settings need to be changed to help you successfully import music to iPhone.

    Part 2. How to fix iTunes sync button greyed out in Windows 11/10/8/7

    Before trying the following methods to fix the issue, you need to make sure the USB connection is OK. If you have a problem that iTunes could not backup iPhone for disconnecting, you need to check USB cable, USB port, and driver. Rebooting iPhone will be also helpful.

    Method 1. Disable iCloud Music Library on iPhone

    iCloud Music Library needs to be turned off on iPhone, or you can’t drag and drop music to iPhone.

    1. Go to Settings app on iPhone.

    2. Locate and select Music

    3. Switch off iCloud Music Library.

    ☛ Note: Turn off iCloud Music Library and you will receive the warning that all the music from iCloud will be deleted. You could enable it in the future and download music again, but this will also erase the music synced from iTunes. To save all your songs, you can use the software in the next section to save them all.

    Method 2. Check Manually manage music and videos

    If you can’t select the songs from computer, iTunes needs to be grant permission to sync songs.

    1. Connect iPhone to iTunes with USB cable and click the device icon to enter Summary.

    2. Scroll down the screen to find and check Manually manage music and videos.

    Method 3. Show list view tickboxes

    If you find the option Sync only checked songs and videos greyed out or some of your songs in iTunes library are greyed out. You could let them be selectable.

    1. Click Edit in iTunes and select Preferences.

    2. In General section, check list view tickboxes.

    ☛ Tips: If your songs could be listened to on computer, but find iTunes songs greyed out on PC when you sync music with iTunes, the possible reason could be intellectual property.

    Method 4. Click Apply to work like clicking Sync

    After you select all the music you want to sync from computer to iPhone, only to find there is no option Sync at the bottom of the screen, you just need to click the button Apply next to the storage information.

    Method 5. Completely uninstall iTunes and reinstall it

    If you have tried restarting iTunes or updating iTunes but still not solve the problem, you need to fully remove iTunes, along with the system glitches from your computer.

    1. Press Windows Key + R and input Control to open Control Panel.

    2. Find and click iTunes to uninstall it.

    3. Uninstall Apple Software Update, Apple Mobile Device Support, Bonjour, Apple Application Support in order

    4. Download and install the latest iTunes again.

    Part 3. The easier way to sync music from PC to iPhone

    Actually, sync music via iTunes has some shortcomings like deleting some previously added music. And it sometimes it will have some error lead to a sync error. So if the aboved methods can’t help you, or want another alternative method, here we would like to introduce-AOMEI MBackupper.

    It is an excellent free iPhone music transfer tool. With this tool, you can easily and successfully transfer music from PC to iPhone, from iPhone to PC, and iPhone/iPad to iPhone/iPad.

    в—Џ Fast transfer speed: AOMEI MBackupper provide a fast speed to transfer data. For instance, 2000 songs are tested to be transferred within 5 minutes.
    в—Џ Simple to Use: With its intuitive interface, you just need to drag and drop music from PC to iPhone with AOMEI MBackupper.
    в—Џ Widely Compatible: It supports all iOS and iPadOS devices including iPhone 13/12/11, iPad 9/8/Air 4.
    в—Џ No data loss: Unlike iTunes, after completing the transferring process, the previous data will not be overwritten.
    в—Џ Transfer all or selective items: AOMEI MBackupper allows you to send fully or partially transfer songs to another place.

    Step 1. Download AOMEI MBackupper and connect iPhone to computer with USB cable.

    Step 2. Select Transfer to iPhone on the home screen.

    Step 3. Drag and drop music to the box or click the plus icon to select and add music from computer.

    Step 4. Click Transfer to sync music to iPhone.


    iTunes is an often-used tool to sync music to iPhone. What to do if you find iTunes sync greyed out and can’t import music or other data to iPhone? The 5 methods in this passage will fix iTunes sync button greyed out issue.

    AOMEI MBackupper is a better tool than iTunes to transfer music. You can try it to transfer files from PC to iPad or iPhone.

    Share this passage and it would help more people.

    The non-expandable storage on your iPhone is a valuable commodity. That’s why iOS is built to offload apps whenever free space gets too low by design. So it’s surprising when the opposite happens — apps downloading by themselves automatically.

    While it’s quite unnerving to have various apps pop up on the Home Screen of your iPhone without you installing them in the first place, there’s a simple reason why it does that. Let’s check out what it is, and then go through what you must do to stop your iPhone from downloading and installing apps by itself.

    Why the iPhone Downloads Apps Automatically

    Your iPhone downloads apps by itself for one reason — automatic app downloads. When you use multiple iOS devices, any new apps that you install on a device will also install onto your other devices provided that the automatic app downloads functionality is enabled.

    Note: Only apps that you install for the first time will download onto your other devices. Reinstalling old apps will not cause the automatic app downloads functionality to kick in.

    And it isn’t limited to just iOS devices either. Say you carry around an iPad running iPadOS — new apps that you install on it will also download onto your iPhone provided that there are iOS-specific versions of the apps available. That also happens vice versa — apps that you install on the iPhone will show up on the iPad.

    Having your apps available across all of your devices can be quite useful. You can just pick up where you left off on any of your devices with zero hassle, provided that the app also syncs your data and actions via the cloud. Apps will install even while devices aren’t in active use, making the whole process extremely seamless.

    But the automatic app downloads functionality has its downsides. For example, your iPhone or iPad is low on storage — having apps downloading automatically will compound the problem. Or perhaps you don’t like the fact that cellular data is used for those downloads. Maybe you do not need the same app to be available across all of your devices.

    Disabling Automatic App Downloads

    Thankfully, it’s very easy to stop your iPhone or iPad from downloading apps automatically. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, and then tap the iTunes & App Store option. Now, just turn off the switch next to Apps (located underneath the Automatic Downloads section). That should get rid of the automatic app downloads functionality.

    However, this setting does not apply to any of your other iOS or iPadOS devices. To stop apps from automatically downloading apps on them as well, you must turn off the functionality manually on each device.

    If you want to retain the automatic app downloads functionality but want to stop it from consuming cellular data, turn off the switch next to Automatic Downloads underneath the Cellular Data section instead. Apps will only download by themselves when connected to Wi-Fi once you do that.

    Tip: You can also activate Low Data Mode if you want to keep a lid on unrestricted cellular data usage on your iPhone or iPad.

    Security Tip — Apple ID Compromised

    If you don’t use any other iOS or iPadOS devices, or if you are absolutely certain that you didn’t download new apps on your other devices, your Apple ID might be compromised.

    Someone else could have signed in with your Apple ID credentials to download free or paid apps, thus prompting the automatic app downloads functionality to install them onto your device or devices. Hence, it’s always wise to go through a few precautionary measures.

    Start by looking into the list of devices tied to your Apple ID — tap your Apple ID within the Settings app, and then scroll down the Apple ID screen. If there are unfamiliar devices listed within, remove them from your Apple ID.

    You must change the password of your Apple ID as soon as possible. Within the Apple ID screen of your iPhone, tap Password and Security, and then tap Change Password. Also, set up your device with two-factor authentication to further bolster security.

    You must also check for any unauthorized app purchases made with your Apple ID. To do that, open the App Store, tap your profile portrait, and then tap Purchased. If there are such purchases, you can request Apple for a refund provided that they were made during the last 90 days.

    Once you’ve done all of that, continue to monitor the list of Apple ID devices and purchases regularly for any additional signs of unusual activity.

    Convenience vs. Inconvenience

    Automatically downloading apps on the iPhone can be either useful or irksome. If it’s the latter, then disabling the functionality is quite easy. Turning it off also won’t curtail any other functionalities — such as data syncing between apps — on your iPhone, so you should be good.

    Just remember to do your due diligence if you aren’t sure that it was you who triggered the apps to download to your iPhone from another device. It’s always better to be on the safer side.

    Next up: Control Center access via the Lock Screen of your iPad can be dangerous. Here’s a helpful guide to know how to turn it off.

    Last updated on 03 February, 2022

    The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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    Is your apps pane in iTunes getting increasingly cluttered? If you know where to look, it’s easy to permanently delete iOS apps you no longer use from iTunes.

    Matt Elliott, a technology writer for more than a decade, is a PC tester and Mac user based in New Hampshire.

    Granted, I download more apps as a tech writer than the typical iDevice user, but if you’ve had an iDevice for more than a few months, however, it’s likely you have deleted many needless apps and free trials after trying them out. The problem is that if you delete an app from your iDevice, the app remains listed in iTunes. This is good if you might one day want to redownload it, but it creates a rather lengthy and unmanageable list when you go to sync your phone. In my case, I have more apps in the Sync Apps list in iTunes that are no longer installed (unchecked) than those that are, making it a chore to sort and manage the apps on my iPhone and iPad.

    When you have more apps unchecked than checked, it might be a sign that it’s time for a little pruning. Matt Elliott

    When viewing the apps on your iDevice in iTunes, you can check and uncheck apps from the Sync Apps list to add or remove them from your iDevice when you sync next. If there are apps listed that you know you’ll never return to, you’ll notice that there is no way to delete them from this list.

    From the Apps option under the Library header, you can select an app or apps for eradication. Matt Elliott

    If you click Apps under the Library header in the left panel of iTunes, however, you’ll be able to permanently delete apps, removing them entirely from iTunes. Highlight an app’s icon or a group of icons by holding down Shift and hit the delete key (or select Edit > Delete from the top menu or right-click on an icon and selecting delete).

    A window will pop up, asking you if you are sure you want to delete the selected apps. If you are certain of your intentions, click the Delete Apps button.

    Next, to remove all files associated with the apps you selected for deletion, click Move to Trash on the next window.

    Now, when you return to the apps pane in iTunes to sync your phone, you’ll see that the apps you deleted are no longer listed. And if you deleted an app that is currently installed on your iDevice, it will be removed upon your next sync.

    Learn how to completely uninstall iTunes and its related software components from Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.

    In some rare instances, you might need to remove iTunes and related software components before you reinstall iTunes or install iTunes from the Microsoft Store. If you’re directed to reinstall iTunes by AppleCare, an article, or an alert dialog, you can do so by following the steps below.

    Media that you buy from the iTunes Store or songs that you import from CDs are saved in your My Music folder by default. They won’t be deleted when you remove iTunes. Although it’s highly unlikely that you’ll lose any of your iTunes Library when following the steps below, it’s always good practice to make regular backups of your iTunes library.

    If you need help downloading or updating iTunes from the Microsoft Store, contact Microsoft for help. If you can’t update or install iTunes for Windows and you downloaded it from Apple’s website, learn what to do.

    Remove iTunes and its related components

    If you need help uninstalling these components, follow these steps:

    Uninstall iTunes and related software components in the following order:

    1. iTunes
    2. Apple Software Update
    3. Apple Mobile Device Support
    4. Bonjour
    5. Apple Application Support 32-bit
    6. Apple Application Support 64-bit

    On some systems, you might see two versions of Apple Application Support or iTunes. This is expected. If you see two versions, be sure to uninstall both.

    Don’t uninstall these components in a different order, or only uninstall some of them. Doing so might have unintended effects. After you uninstall a component, you might be prompted to restart your computer. Wait to restart your computer until you’re finished removing all of the components.

    Make sure that iTunes and its related components are completely uninstalled

    In most cases, removing iTunes and its related components from the Control Panel will remove all supporting files belonging to those programs. In some rare cases, files might be left behind. After you remove iTunes and its related components, follow the steps below to locate and remove any additional supporting files.

    1. Press the Windows and R key on your keyboard to open the run command.
    2. In the Run window, enter:
    3. Click OK to open the Program Files folder.
    4. Delete the following folders, if they exist:

    If you see a message that reads “Cannot delete iPodService.exe: It is being used by another person or program,” follow the additional steps at the bottom of this article before proceeding with the rest of the steps below.

  • Open the Common Files folder, then the Apple folder.
  • Delete the following folders, if they exist:
    Mobile Device Support
    Apple Application Support
  • Open Local Disk (C:) located in Computer, or whichever hard disk your programs are installed on.

    If you’re running a 32-bit version of Windows, skip to step 13.
    If you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows, continue with step 8.

  • Open the Program Files (x86) folder.
  • Find the following folders and delete them, if they exist:
  • Open the Common Files folder and then the Apple folder.
  • Locate the following folders and delete them, if they exist:
    Mobile Device Support
    Apple Application Support
  • Open Local Disk (C:) in Computer, or whichever hard disk your operating system is installed on.
  • Right-click the Recycle Bin, and select Empty Recycle Bin.
  • Reinstall iTunes and related components

    After you make sure that iTunes is completely uninstalled, restart your computer (if you haven’t already). Then get the latest version of iTunes for your PC:

    If the issue persists, get help:

    • If you got iTunes from the Microsoft Store, contact Microsoft Support.
    • If you downloaded iTunes from Apple’s website, contact Apple Support.

    If you see an “iPodService.exe” alert message

    Follow these steps if the message “Cannot delete iPodService.exe: It is being used by another person or program” appears when you try to delete the iPod folder.

    1. Make sure that iTunes and the iPod Updater utility aren’t open.
    2. Press and hold the Control, Alt, and Delete keys on your keyboard.
    3. Select Start Task Manager.
    4. Click the Processes tab.
    5. Locate the iPodService.exe in the list.
    6. Click iPodService.exe, and choose End Process.
    7. Quit Task Manager.

    Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

    Q: My computer crashed. I want to be able to sync my iPod touch with my PC again. However, I am afraid of losing all my levels on Tiny Towers and other games when I start syncing. Is there a way to back up my apps and sync my old game progresses without losing any of the data?

    A: When you connect your iPod touch a new computer or a new iTunes library it will ask you whether or not you want to replace the content that is already on your device with the content in your library.

    You can simply click “Cancel” here to prevent this from happening and your iPod touch will remain connected to your computer without actually synchronizing any information with your library. Alternatively, if your computer has already been authorized for the same iTunes Store account that was used to purchase the apps and media content on your iPod touch, you will also see a “Transfer Purchases” option that can be used to copy this information from your iPod touch back to your iTunes library. This copies the raw applications and any purchased media content such as music and videos, but does not copy any application data; your application data is instead included in any backups made by iTunes or iCloud.

    If your new computer is not already authorized for your iTunes Store account you can do this by selecting Authorize Computer from the Store menu in iTunes. You can also initiate the transfer of purchases by selecting the appropriate option from the iTunes File menu while your iPod touch is connected.

    Unless you already have all of your applications in your iTunes library, you should take advantage of the “Transfer Purchases” option to copy this information over from your iPod touch. Performing a device backup to iTunes as part of this process is also highly recommended, as this will include your application data which can be restored from this backup just in case something goes wrong. See Backing up apps from an iPod touch for more information.

    The key point is that as long as the applications themselves exist in your iTunes library, you can re-enable the “Sync Apps” feature without losing any of your application data as long as you ensure that the same apps are still selected for synchronization to your device.

    When you first enable “Sync Apps” iTunes actually presents you with a somewhat scary warning dialog implying that iTunes is going to erase and reinstall all of your applications:

    In reality what happens here, however, is that iTunes does a simple reconciliation to compare what’s already on your device with what’s selected for synchronization from your iTunes library. Anything that is already in both places is simply left alone and marked as “synced” while apps that are de-selected (or don’t exist in iTunes at all) will be removed, and any new apps that are selected will be added.

    The catch here, of course, is that the apps must still be selected for synchronization to your device. If you enable the “Sync Apps” option with no apps selected, iTunes will go ahead and remove all of the apps on your device in order to match what you’ve selected (e.g. nothing).

    You can go ahead and choose “Sync Apps” from the dialog box—nothing actually happens here until you click “Apply” so you can then go through the list and make sure that all of the apps that are actually ON your device are still selected in iTunes. When you click the “Apply” button, iTunes will simply go through a sync process matching up what’s already there and leaving it alone, after which the “Sync Apps” option will remain enabled.

    The final result is that the apps on your device will match whatever is selected in iTunes, however no data is removed from your device in the process as long as the apps remain selected for synchronization.

    If you update iOS on your iPhone using iTunes, you’ll find it insists on updating your iTunes backup before it does so. In doing this, it’ll overwrite your latest unarchived iOS backup unless you can cancel it rapidly enough. Whilst we regularly stress the importance of updating your backup, in some cases this isn’t helpful: particularly if you’re running this process because your phone is in a partially broken state.

    Apple’s over-the-air (“OTA”) update mechanism avoids the need to update your backup when installing. If you’re reinstalling a particular version of iOS or restoring your phone, that might not be helpful to you.

    There’s a simple approach to avoid being forced to backup when updating your iPhone.

    Updating iOS without an iTunes backup on Windows

    Ensure that iTunes is completely closed.

    Open a Command window. Press ⊞ Win + R and the Run window should appear. Enter cmd and press ⏎ Enter .

    Type the following command into the black Command window that will have opened:

    Using an older version of iTunes?

    If you’re running a version of iTunes older than 10.2, you’ll need to change the first part of this command to %CommonProgramFiles%\Apple\Mobile Device Support\bin\defaults.exe .

    From this point on, if you open iTunes it will allow you to update your iPhone’s version of iOS without automatically starting the backup process. If you’d like to undo this, follow the same steps 1 – 3, but run this command, instead:

    Updating iOS without triggering an iTunes backup on macOS

    Ensure iTunes is completely closed. (Use “Quit” in your dock.)

    Launch the macOS Terminal application. This can be found using Finder, under Applications / Utilities / Terminal . Alternatively, it can be launched using Spotlight by pressing ⌘ Cmd + and typing Terminal before pressing ⏎ Enter .

    Instruct the Terminal to change disable automatic iTunes backups, by entering the following command before pressing ⏎ Enter :

    From this point on, if you open iTunes it will allow you to update your iPhone’s version of iOS without automatically starting the backup process. If you’d like to undo this, follow the same steps 1 – 3, but run this command, instead:

    Aidan Fitzpatrick

    How can we help?

    Our support team are here to help!

    Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM GMT. The time is currently 12:55 AM GMT.

    We aim to reply to all messages within one working day.

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    Comments (3)

    September 19 th , 2020

    After following this guided process, I’m receiving an error right after the update software is extracted and itunes says “preparing iphone for update.” Itunes indicates it was unable to update the phone, due to unknown error (4000). I’m running windows 10 with all updates installed, Itunes version is current, iphone os 13.7 (i’m trying to update to 14), and there’s over 80gb available space on phone. Only reason I’m trying to update through iTunes, is that iOS 14 is not appearing for me in the update settings of my phone. I’ve contacted Apple support, who instructed me to utilize iTunes for update. My laptop operates on a flash drive, and does not have enough space to hold a backup for my phone – plus, my phone automatically backs up to the cloud each night. This is why I’m trying to circumvent the annoying forced backup in iTunes’ update process.

    Any idea what may be causing the error? I also have restarted both my laptop and phone, which made no difference.

    reply by: Reincubate Support

    September 19 th , 2020

    Hi Mishell, that doesn’t sound good. We’d strongly recommend taking a backup before an upgrade like this. However, if neither the phone itself nor iTunes can upgrade the phone, kit sounds like something’s going wrong.

    The likely solution is to back up the phone, erase and restore it, and then upgrade it. You mentioned you don’t have enough space to create a backup. One solution to that would be to plug in a USB stick, and move your backup location there temporarily.

    Can You Transfer Music to iPhone Without Syncing

    If you see a window saying “Are you sure you want to remove existing music, movies, TV shows, books, and tones from this iPhone and sync with this iTunes library?” after you click the “Sync” option in iTunes to transfer music from iTunes to your iPhone, that’s because you have enabled automatic sync in iTunes.

    Thus, if you want to avoid data syncing while adding music to your iPhone, you can change iTunes setting and then transfer music from iTunes to your iPhone or use another tool to add music to your iPhone without syncing.

    How to Transfer Music from iTunes to iPhone Without Syncing

    To transfer music from iTunes to iPhone without syncing, you just need to enable the “Manually manage music and videos” option and then drag and drop songs you like to the iOS device.

    To add music to iPhone without syncing:

    Step 1. Connect your iPhone to the computer and wait for iTunes to launch automatically.

    Step 2. Unlock the iPhone and trust the computer.

    Step 3. In iTunes, click the device icon and choose “Summary.”

    Step 4. Disable automatic sync and check “Manually manage music and videos”. Then click “Apply” to save the setting.

    Step 5. Click “Devices” > “Music” and then drag and drop the songs from the iTunes library or a folder on your computer to “Music.”

    If you don’t see the device icon, learn how to fix the issue ‘iPhone is not recognized by computer’ from the official guide from Apple.

    How to Add Music to iPhone Without Syncing

    Another way to transfer music to iPhone without syncing is to copy music to iPhone from a computer using iPhone transfer software, like EaseUS MobiMover. Unlike iTunes, such a tool transfers songs to your iPhone without removing the existing files on your device. Therefore, if you want to put music on iPhone without syncing, just use EaseUS MobiMover to add songs to your iPhone, without installing or using iTunes.

    What’s more, since this tool is an iOS data transfer tool as well as a video downloader, you can do more with it installed on your PC or Mac. For example:

    • Transfer files from PC to iPhone/iPad
    • Transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone
    • Download Twitch clips to your iPhone
    • Transfer files between iPhone and Mac

    Other than music, you can also transfer photos, videos, ringtones, contacts, books, and more.

    To add music to iPhone without syncing:

    Step 1. Connect your iPhone to your computer and run EaseUS MobiMover. Afterward, go to “PC to Phone” > “Select Files”.

    Step 2. Select the music files you want to transfer to iPhone and click “Open” to continue.

    Step 3. The selected music files will be classified in Audios, check the box and click “Transfer” to start transfering music from PC to iPhone. When it has done, open the Music app on your iPhone to check these songs.

    The Bottom Line

    Adding music to iPhone without syncing could be easily achieved via proper iTunes settings or with the help of a reliable iPhone data transfer tool. If you just need to transfer music from iTunes to iPhone, using iTunes is recommended. While if you need to transfer music, photos, videos, contacts, books, and more between your iPhone and a computer (PC or Mac) or between two iDevices often, getting a tool like EaseUS MobiMover could help a lot.

    4.5 out of 5 stars, based on 10 votes

    What’s also important is that our own analyses, as well as numerous customer reviews of EaseUS MobiMover, show that this software is reliable, user-friendly, and an efficient option for managing your data between devices.

    EaseUs MobiMover solves this problem as it allows you to transfer data from an iPhone to a Mac, Mac to an iPhone, or from one iPhone to another iPhone fast.

    EaseUS MobiMover is a program that allows you to share files between your iOS device and your PC in an easy manner. This is very useful, since both operative systems are not compatible.

    EaseUS MobiMover for Mac and PC is a powerful tool for transferring data from your Apple mobile device to your computer, managing the variety of files that you create, and moving those huge videos quickly.

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