How to Enjoy Earlier Versions of iOS Apps Again: 4 Practical Tips
The fact that you’ve become interested in the topic and still keep reading means that the thought of possible downgrading some of the applications on your iOS mobile device has definitely crossed your mind. Maybe, not even once. This situation isn’t a rare one, actually, because the latest versions of our favorite apps often crash, drain more battery life, or aren’t so stable as before. As far as the older versions aren’t available at the official app market, we have to wait for updates with bug fixing. Or, we may search for a solution.
In this article, we've compiled four methods of downgrading the iOS apps, which may be useful for anyone trying to make everything “the way it's been before”. We can’t assure you that they will definitely work out on any device, but at least, you’ll have a chance.
Method 1. Restoring From Backup
This method will be helpful only in pair with the Time Machine backup feature on a Mac. It will allow bringing back the version you’re good with. After launching Time Machine, go to Music - iTunes - Mobile Apps and restore the app. Move it to iTunes - My Apps and replace its latest version.
Method #2: Restoring from iTunes On Your Computer
If you were going to update iTunes on your PC but haven’t done it yet, wait a little as it can help you bring back your favorite application in its perfect status. In fact, you’ll use the old app copy from its archive. To cope with this, remove the app from the iPhone and then connect it to the PC. Choose your device in iTunes but without synchronizing. Tap on “Apps” - find the app - Install - synchronize devices.
Method #3: Checking Your Trash
You’ll to resort to the help of your Mac again as iTunes transfers the data it doesn’t need any more to the Trash after installation of newer versions. You will have to remove the app from the folder, delete it from My Apps, insert the retrieved app and tap “Install”. Sync the device for changes applying.
Method #4: Using Third-Party Apps
If nothing helps, you can also spend some time for downloading one of the debugging proxies - Charles or Fiddler. The process takes time and attention, but it’s worth this.
Here’s a compressed presentation of Charles management:
- Install Charles and fill in an admin password in “Grant Privileges”.
- Download the app you’re fighting within iTunes. Click “buy” with the right mouse button, then “Enable SSL Proxying”, and cancel downloading.
- Find the app and repeat the actions with download stopping.
- Follow the way “buy” - “buyProduct” - Response - right-click “buyProduct” - Export - “Desktop” for Location - “XML” for Format - Save.
- Use text editor for opening the XML file and find a lot of lines that look like “<integer>2846451</integer>”. This list contains the app versions, which have ever existed.
- Make a copy of the right number, taking into account that the oldest version is on the top.
- Return to Charles - tap “buyProduct” with the right button - Edit - Text.
- Here find the line “<key>appExtVrsId<key>”, under which there will be a number in tags. This number should be replaced by the copied one. Then click “Execute”.
- Right-click “buyProduct” again and “Breakpoints”.
- Go to iTunes, find the app and start downloading.
- There should pop up the Charles window. Follow the way Edit Request - XML Text - fill in the number - Execute (twice).
- Right-clicking on the downloaded app in My Apps allows to make sure of the results of your actions.
- Then move the app to the iPhone.
You should proceed with all the aforementioned recommendations solely on your own risk. We do not bear any responsibility for anything that might happen to your device if you decide to perform the actions described above. If you're not 100% sure, you should contact the manufacturer or ask a professional to help you.
Do not forget to back your device up, because something may always go wrong. Remember that some of the mobile apps create their own libraries for data storage, and downgrading may cause the deleting of personal photos or other important files. That’s why it’s better to put them in a safe place so you don't lose them forever.