Gary Bacon

How to Backup and Rollback iPhone Apps

I recently had an issue with an iPhone app in which the latest version caused a bug that prohibited the basic function of it.

After contacting customer service, I was told the best thing I could do was wait and they were working on an app update to fix it. The app store approval can take days, sometimes weeks.

I knew the previous version worked. So I would just rollback an old version. Did I have one? Well luckily, in iTunes I did have one. In this post I’ll show you how to find an old version, restore it, and use a tool to create backups for the future.

Finding an App in iTunes

I use iCloud for my primary phone sync. However, if you can, you should sync with your computer in iTunes from time to time. In iTunes you’ll see the following: ( press the image to zoom )

iTunes Backup Preferences

Press, the “Backup Now” button to make an initial backup. Also in Options, it’s good to have “Automatically sync when this iPhone is Connected” checked.

Once you’ve done this, in the top left hand corner of the screen you’ll see a menu. Press “Apps”.

Apps

In iTunes your apps should show up. I don’t constantly update my apps in iTunes, so as you can see “Update” banner appears on app icons. This means its an older version. In this case, perfect, we want an older version.

Right click on the app and choose, “Show in Finder”.

itunes

Now we know where the app is so that we can restore it.

Restoring an older iPhone app

The first thing you need is an app called iMazing. This app really is amazing and works with OSX or Windows. It allows you to manage your iPhones, iPads, & iPods as a file viewer, creates backups, and a ton of other features.

With your phone plugged in and iMazing open, click on “Apps” on the left hand panel.

At the bottom of the app, click on “Copy to Device”.

Browse to the file that we located before in Finder. Or you can drag it from Finder into the file window. Either will work. Then press “Select”.

Choose the file.

Once you press Select, it will install the app to your device and you are set. Now that app that was being buggy has been reverted and you are set!

Below is optional, but helpful for the future.

Hazel, the auto-backup

I’m a big fan of backups and my backups have backups. Never want to lose data on accident. Delete something? Sure. Have it accidentally lost, no thank you.

Hazel is one of my favorite tools. It lets you automate organization of files for your Mac. Go to “System Preferences”, click “Hazel”.

In Hazel, click the plus icon in the bottom left hand side. Navigate to your Mobile Applications folder.

Once you have that set. Click on the plus icon in the “Rules” column on the right hand side of the pane.

HazelWe’ll call this rule, “App Backups”. Make sure that you have all the settings to match what I’ve done above. That will do the following: if any file is added to this folder, copy it to another folder somewhere else called, “App Backups”, if the file already exists then do not copy the file.

Hazel will monitor the folder and keep you up to date!