Question about restoring from an iCloud backup and keeping certain apps gone inaccessible intact in their accessible prior versions

iOS and iPadOS

My old iPhone 7, which I used for games when I got my 8 is in the process of going kaput I think. That's a big deal, because I have bitlife, still in it's accessible state version 1.51 I think. When I get my new iPhone, (I have more money than sense, I know, I'm getting an iPhone to use for gaming), will I be able to restore from the backup and keep bitlife intact in it's accessible state? Or will it update when I restore from iCloud?



Submitted by Tyler on Monday, March 28, 2022

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I believe when restoring from an iCloud backup, the latest versions of apps are downloaded from the App Store after your personal data has been restored from the backup.

Submitted by Edward Louie on Monday, March 28, 2022

When you restore an iCloud backup, it restores the version you have on the backup, which does not have the latest version of the app

Submitted by Squirrel on Monday, March 28, 2022

The current version of an app will be downloaded when you restore from an iCloud backup. In the past, it would restore the same version that was installed when you made the backup, but this is no longer the case. Regardless, this would only happen if the older version was still available for download. I believe the only exceptions now are where you have an OS/hardware that doesn't support the latest version of an app. In these cases the last compatible version of an app will be downloaded if the developer has left it available for download.

Previously, restoring from an iTunes backup (made locally to your Mac or PC) would restore directly from the backup file itself, so would be whatever app version it contained. This changed about 3 years ago, and now behaves the same as an iCloud backup.

There are 3rd party applications for Mac and PC which enable you to backup and restore apps, but I have no experience of these.

The following site lists some, but bear in mind that they likely earn affiliate referral commission, so the list may not be complete or impartial. Of course, there's also the matter of just how nicely these applications will play with a screen reader.

Submitted by Edward Louie on Monday, March 28, 2022

It does Restore the original version of the app, previously it restores the new Version in iOS 9.
After ios10, it will restore the old version of the app.
I’ve tried that with various restores last week on ios15.4
Forgot to mention that it is a backup from iCloud

Submitted by Moopie Curran on Monday, March 28, 2022

I have a guinea pig iPhone lying around (albeit a little worse for the wear), so I did a test erase and restore. I restored from the iCloud backup of my gaming phone, and sure enough, bitlife is still in it's wonderfully accessible version, so it did not update to the useless inaccessible version. So here's hoping when I get my gaming phone (not using it as a phone though), Wednesday or Thursday probably, that this will still hold true. I just wanted to come in here and update you guys about the situation.

Submitted by Jeff on Tuesday, March 29, 2022

I just received my new iPhone SE 3rd Gen and transferred my settings, apps and data by setting my old iPhone 8 next to my new iPhone SE and transferring that way. I had the old Money Reader on my iPhone 8, but it didn't transfer. Instead, when I double-tap the app icon, I get a message that the app is no longer available in the App Store. There's only an OK button -- no way to restore it from any backup.

It did transfer all of my data, including the audiobooks I have in Voice Dream Reader and my podcasts in Downcast. I was and am very happy about that! The process of upgrading was amazingly easy and I'm very happy with my new iPhone SE.

Submitted by Edward Louie on Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Phone to phone transfers also download the version of the app that was previously on the old phone, but however, in the case of money reader, the app has been completely removed from the App Store, any app that does not show up on your purchased history will not download even if you restore from iCloud, iTunes or phone to phone transfer.
Apps that have been removed on certain countries or regions, will still download from the App Store and will not download the latest version of the app, you will need to manually update it if you want to.
However, apps that have been completely removed from the App Store, and it’s not available on any country, and it’s not showing up on your purchased history, any type of restore will not download that app.

Submitted by Jeff on Wednesday, March 30, 2022

I didn't expect the money reader app to transfer because I knew it was gone from the app store, but I appreciate the clarification of what will and what will not restore.