App updates and new apps not transferring to iTunes

macOS & Mac Apps


I'm having an issue where when I sync my phone to iTunes on my Mac, any new app updates or new apps I'd downloaded would transfer over to my iTunes library, but for some reason they're not doing now. I've had a look under my phone in iTunes and on the apps screen, there isn't a sync apps toggle, but it shows all the apps that are installed on my phone, but in the apps section of my Mac iTunes library, the new apps aren't there and there are tuns of updates to do, which I've already done on my phone.
Sync doesn't transfer them over, and neither does transfer purchases.

It's not a big deal now, but it'd just mean if I restored my phone I'd have to install all my new apps again, and all the app updates. It's not been transferring them for a while but I've only just noticed it now.
This is on an iPhone 6 running iOS 9.1 and a Macbook Air 2012 running the latest version of iTunes.

Anyone know what's going on?




Submitted by themusicman08 on Thursday, October 22, 2015


This may not be related but, I am running ITunes on a Windows pc laptop and I have transfered everything over to ICloud. But, on ITunes, it tells me that there are apps on my IPod that haven't been transfered over. I do the transfer and I have had reps from the accessibility line look at them transfering. It's when I back up everything. I am running Ios 9.1 and the last version of ITunes for xp. Not sure what's going on.

Submitted by MarkSARCH on Thursday, October 22, 2015

I seen this issue but it's not new for me.
I use both systems Mac and windows and only this issue happens when is activated iCloud backup.
Probably if you turn off iCloud backup while Sync the iOS device to your Mac could fix the issue.

Submitted by Callum on Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thanks for the suggestion, but my iCloud backup is already set to off. It backs up to my Mac fine, just doesn't transfer.

Submitted by Matt on Friday, October 23, 2015


I was also having the same issue on Windows. After doing a little searching, it appears as if Apple has disabled this feature in iTunes. Prior to iOS 9, a device would download the entire version of an app when updating. In iOS 9, Apple introduced app thinning which now allows for a device to just download the version of the app that it needs. For example, the iPhone will download just the iPhone version of an app from the app store instead of both the iPhone and iPad version. So, it seems as if Apple disabled the app transfer feature in iTunes because the given device no longer has the complete version of the app. The only solution to the issue is for you to use iTunes to update the apps, and to download purchases to your library. You can see more information in this thread…

Submitted by Callum on Friday, December 23, 2016


Just going back to this topic, the apps stored in my iTunes library and the apps that are actually on my phone are well out of date now, but when I upgraded from an iPhone 6 to a 7, it synced everything back to exactly how I had it, including the most up-to-date version of apps, which I wasn't expecting it to do. Because of this, I'm assuming information about apps is now stored in the backup file, so does this mean I can delete all the apps from iTunes on my Mac?

I didn't want to risk this in case they still need to be there, because the last thing I need if I have to restore my phone is to go through and download all my apps again, so just thought I'd check here first.