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How to Recover Lost Apps After iOS 5 Upgrade

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If you upgraded to iOS 5 and lost all of your apps in the process, don’t panic just yet.

After a day off issues included trouble downloading, the dreaded error 3200 and issues verifying iOS 5 installs, you might have been so excited to see that you had iOS 5 ready to go that skipped the last step, app syncing.

How do I know? I almost did it this morning. After the iOS 5 update completes, and it appears you can remove your iPhone or iPad, you shouldn’t.

Within a minute or so, iTunes should start syncing with your device, bringing over your apps and app data such as game saves.

If you are worried about losing your data, I suggest you listen to Dale Strauss and make a copy of your iPhone or iPad backup to an external location.

Sync with iTunes Again

If your iOS 5 upgrade deleted all of your apps, the first step to plug your iPhone back into your computer and sync. If all goes well, and you had your apps transferred to your computer, this should sync them back up to your iPhone or iPad. This process can take some time, but it will put your apps and your app data on your device easily.

This strategy may not work for everyone. If you need to get your apps back, but you can’t get them to sync over, you can download them from the App Store on your iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, this won’t include your app data and is a painful process.

Download from App Store Manually

To download your apps from the iTunes App Store again, you need to open up the App Store on your device.

Tap on the Purchased Tab at the bottom of the App Store.

On this page, you can manually install all the apps you have purchased and installed in the past. Sadly, you cannot install all of your apps in one go. This is further complicated by the fact that every time you install an app, you will be bounced out to the main home screen. If you have a lot of apps, sit down and get ready for a long process.

iOS 5 lost apps recover

How to Download Lost Apps After iOS 5 Upgrade.

You can search your purchased apps, only view apps on not on your device and narrow the view to iPhone or iPad apps only, but even with these tweaks, it will take a long time.

When you find the app you want, you just need to touch the little cloud icon with a down arrow to download it. You won’t be charged for the app again, and free apps you have installed are included here as well.

Do either of these solutions help you recover your lost apps after upgrading to iOS 5?

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

168 Comments

  1. Dale Strauss

    10/13/2011 at 8:34 am

    JOSH – SERIOUS WARNING!

    There is a real risk of totally losing your date on this update, and an Apple tech just confirmed that others are experiencing permanent data loss. I was told THE ONLY SAFEGUARD is to do a regular backup (sync) first, THEN MAKE A SAFETY COPY OF THE BACKUP DIRECTORY TO AN EXTERNAL DEVICE, then proceed with the iOS 5 update.

    In my case, I did the regular sync, installed iOS 5, and instead of going into restore mode after the reset, it went into backup mode and overwrote my backup with the blank data on the fresh phone. I was able to get it to reload my applications and one playlist manually, but all application data, settings, photos, videos, etc. were lost. The iTunes Device preferences menu only shows two backups made at exactly tne same time as the iOS 5 install, not any prior to that.

    I realize many are successfully updating, but no one should rely solely on the iTunes backup – make a safety copy of the backup directory to an external device FIRST.

    • Phaktim

      10/14/2011 at 8:21 am

      This is crap. My wife is so pissed at me cos of this. I thought I was doin the right thing by backing up iPhone before upgrade but then it just made a whole new backup. All game data is lost! Nearly a whole year is smurf down the drain. This is makin me pissed off a bit at apple!

      • Atom73101

        10/16/2011 at 10:13 am

        I’m on my second day of being ass-kicked by the wife. Same problem. Seems like such a fundamental issue. What good is your phone if it lost of your data. Does Apple realize what they are doing. They better come up with a solution, one that will bring peoples stuff back, assuming it is stored in some dump zone in cyber space.

        • Nicottscole

          11/12/2011 at 4:39 pm

          Same fricking problem here.  This is exactly why I switched to Android, I loathe the automated everything…especially when it doesn’t work.  My wife hasn’t discovered that her apps are gone yet because she isn’t, but I am not looking forward too it.  Down with the Iphone, yay Android!

        • What happen

          11/23/2011 at 3:19 am

          I’m experiencing similar issues. Can’t find the iPod app that is usually lock at the bottom of the iPad screen. I noticed it was gone other day after upgrading to latest, but didn’t worry about it because I really don’t use it and I thought they moved it or implemented something new. Spouse came to me other day looking for it and I was at lost to explain. I’m going to try reconnecting to pc and hopefully it will resync.

      • rohit

        10/17/2011 at 4:55 am

        in angry birds hd, i had went so ahead and everything lost !!!!!!!!! so frustrating

      • Nhsnc

        11/22/2011 at 12:42 am

        piss off a bit? you a fucken pussy sucker son of a bitch

      • Cathy_loveland

        11/26/2011 at 11:44 pm

        Yeah I’m pissed too lost a bunch of important notes. Fuck apple. I got 3 iPods that won’t work too

        • Missmcclore

          12/09/2011 at 10:39 am

          All my apple stuff is screwed up.  iPad  won’t connect with the istore, my macbook pro is running slow and the contacts are all screwed up when I tried to sync after I updated to ios5.  My iPhone I have to sync with the cable cause I’m afraid to upgrade after all the crap on my Ipad2 after upgrading to the new ios.   I NEVER had these kinds of problems with my Blackberry. Never!!!!   I’m so heavily invested now in all the crap that I have to find a way to make it work.     Really pissed now.     

      • obeytheDOODLE

        11/27/2011 at 10:18 am

        My boyfriend is ready to kill me. If you hear of a woman, age 41, from St. Louis, that has gone missing, just check with my boyfriend to recover the body! LOL. Well, not so LOL. This sucks. His data is not game stuff its all work related. We have always be PC people and I just don’t get why Apple is so great. We’ve had more problems with this stupid iPad than all of our PC’s combined!!!

        • obeytheDOODLE

          11/27/2011 at 10:20 am

          I guess you could say we are iFvcked.

      • Joe

        11/29/2011 at 4:50 am

        I am in exactly the same boat as you right now. FML

      • Batesinc1

        12/02/2011 at 7:27 am

        I lost everything too. Woke up in the am and my alarm that I set through my iphone never went of. Then I looked at the screen and it said “no service” then tried to go to my iphone to email and look at my notes…everything disapeared!!!!!!! ATT told me I had to back it up w/Itunes. “Apple doesn’t like it when you don’t update! I updated and found that all my nortes that had all my jobs, impotant notes, things to do, my job slips, EVERYTHING WAS GONE!!! Thank you apple! I’m BS too!

    • Hawaiiboyinsf

      10/26/2011 at 10:36 am

      I lost ALL data in ALL my apps – reminders, photos, account info, stocks, etc. Even lost data from iphone features like contacts, messages, calendar, weather, clock, phone. I am soooo pissed! Been trying to find resources to recover the data, but have been unsuccessful.

      • Roxycarter21311

        03/19/2012 at 4:35 pm

        did you ever find a way to get it back i have lost everything on my boyfriends phone very very importaint stuff that he cant get back can you tell me if you ever got them back please thanks

    • gustavo

      10/30/2011 at 8:42 am

      I lost all my app, including those that were purchased. The app Agenda was, to me, a irreparable loss. I’ve followed all the instalation and sync steps. I don’t intend to update my ios 5 – next, i’ll exxhange my Iphone for a Samsung or HTC. 
      Gustavo,
      Brazil.

    • LostAps

      11/06/2011 at 11:24 pm

      I LOVE YOU

    • Rickysartin

      11/12/2011 at 1:39 pm

      How do you get the apps back… I really need to no. It would help me ssooooo much :(

    • Gys

      11/21/2011 at 7:27 pm

      Fucking bullshit all that time wasted and all my apps deteted fuck you apple you peice of shit i want my money back for all the fucking hours i spent to have it all lost fucking assholes

      • Johnsmith

        04/01/2012 at 9:55 am

         If you would have backed-up your phone first ….you wouldn’t have had all this grief.
        It’s the first thing an IT Guy will tell you. Back it up !!!  

        • Appul Jeanyus

          04/20/2012 at 12:03 am

          Doesn’t matter when the automatic syncing overwrites the previously made backup as was stated in the very first post.  I think when you get to the point of having to make a back-up of your back-up of your back-up then the product has a real weakness.  Back-ups should have an aging process that keeps the previous backups for a specified period of time and never delete them regardless.

    • Mpstaples

      11/27/2011 at 6:34 am

      Me too, guys. I lost my data and my programs and iTunes no longer recognizes me as an existing account — won’t recognize my password and can’t reset it because it doesn’t think I am an existing account?!? This is a friggen nightmare.

    • I hate Apple

      12/05/2011 at 1:18 pm

      And if you call Apple to try to get them help they charge you $29.  I will never get another Apple product.

    • Gurji

      01/18/2012 at 11:17 am

      I agree with Dale, all of my data was lost, even the back up, as iOS5 earased all this data.  Apple tech walked me through this process, in the end I had a phone with iOS5, nothing else, all pictures gone.  Black eye for Apple!

    • cijirose

      01/24/2012 at 12:10 am

      Oh my gosh im so scared…i just now upgraded to the ios5 and it restarded my ipod and made me do it all over again like i had to pick the language reconnect to the wifi and all of that. I really hope none of my pictures are gone…I PRAY TO GOD that apple has SOME SOLUTION to getting everyones stuff back…I havent got to go to my home screen yet because its “restoring” right now and im scared sooo bad. If everythings gone, im done. Ill hate apple forever. 

    • Alexis Orgera

      04/05/2012 at 7:28 pm

       I wish I  had known that before I did the update. Mine did the same and made a blank backup.

  2. Don Julio

    10/13/2011 at 9:13 am

    all gottabemobile.com has turned into one big iOS 5 tutorial.

    please! make it stop!

    • Devin Jones

      10/13/2011 at 10:40 am

      So? iOS 5 just released yesterday. What do you expect?

      • Don Julio

        10/13/2011 at 1:24 pm

        @Devin. you’re absolutely right and I was whining.

      • Cqtiger

        10/21/2011 at 3:49 pm

        I expect better than that

      • Anonymous

        10/24/2011 at 8:12 pm

        I paid extra for an Apple computer so bullshit like this wouldn’t happen.  I don’t “do Windows” — I do NOT expect this.

    • Anonymous

      10/13/2011 at 1:12 pm

      We’re still covering Android and other news, but right now there is just way more information coming out about iOS 5. 

      Samsung and Google just confirmed an event, which we have up, but in a few days you should see more balance. 

      If you have Android or other mobiel news tips, shoot us an email. Thanks for putting up with the deluge of iOS 5.

      • Don Julio

        10/13/2011 at 1:34 pm

        @beaver. let me be clear. I’m a Verizon customer sitting on an unused upgrade since April. Every time I see iPhone 4s, I see nothing but disappointment. iOS 5? siri? seriously? if Apple has shown anything, it’s that sheep will follow.

        as far as gottabemobile. my apologies for earlier whines. this site is by far my favorite for mobile news. i do realize the iOS news appeals to the masses. it still

  3. Dan L Kennedy

    10/13/2011 at 11:19 am

    I’m trying to download from the purchased but they simply say “waiting”

    • Andrew

      10/15/2011 at 4:45 am

      Same here. I guess we have to wait for an update. Will try doing them on pc rather Han direct to iPad

      Do they test these upgrades?

      Bad as blackberry

  4. Chimchim8000

    10/13/2011 at 1:47 pm

    I feel like I am stuck with “semi” lost apps. After the restore while upgrading to iOS 5, iTunes did replace the apps (totally out of place but it appeared to put them all back on the phone). However some of the apps appear to be missing until I use the search iPhone feature. It finds them and I can use them but the apps icon is nowhere to be found on any of the screens. Anyone know how to fix this?

    • Dmaita

      10/13/2011 at 4:26 pm

      I have the same problem. They show up in a search but not on the desktop. If you try and download again the app shows that it is installed.

      • Dmaita

        10/13/2011 at 4:34 pm

        Oooops, they were hiding 3 screens over. The 5 update removed move of my folders and scattered my apps about!

  5. Pamlw111

    10/13/2011 at 4:33 pm

    thanks for this I’ve got all my stuff back and older stuff I’d forgot i’d even had!! yayyy

    • holland

      10/01/2012 at 3:21 pm

      what did you do to get all your music back?

  6. Nicholas Hardeman

    10/13/2011 at 5:12 pm

    Dude! I was soo pissed off when all my apps were deleted but when I downloaded Angry Birds from the AppStore all the data was still on it! And so I did with with some other apps and all of it was still there!

  7. Wttmage

    10/14/2011 at 2:04 am

    Can download the app in the App Store on my Mac, but cant transfer to my iPhone..What to do??

  8. TKKG

    10/14/2011 at 5:47 am

    sad thing is – if steve was around, this wouldve never happen.. the man is gone for a week and apple already losing the high standard.. shameful.. 

  9. Kimberlydeane

    10/14/2011 at 6:56 am

    Didnt help. My issue is that it says certain apps are intalled, but theynare no where to be found on my ipad. I can reinstall because it thinks its already installed. Arghhhh

    • Kimberlydeane

      10/14/2011 at 7:15 am

      Nevermind. After reading comments, i checked a few screens down and sure enough they were there. Thank diamata!

  10. Cathy

    10/14/2011 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you so much for this article!  I had to do the manual app install and it worked perfectly.  Note that you do have to install each app one at a time but you don’t have to wait for each one to finish installing before going to the next one.

  11. Jaydee773

    10/14/2011 at 9:41 pm

    This is the worst EVER! 

  12. Andrew

    10/15/2011 at 4:43 am

    My ios5 iPad won’t download any apps from app store now. Useless.

    Done a hard off

    Any suggestions?

  13. cheftony

    10/15/2011 at 8:34 am

    This situation is so not “apple like”…if it’s officially released, why have day one issues, it should just work.  This is why Apple products are so amazing, they just work, and make sense.  Now I’m downloading apps one by one, and will have to reorganize everything??  Bigger issues in life to deal, understood…but this is a bit wack.

  14. wildmohican

    10/15/2011 at 1:16 pm

    unfortunately the manual download from the online appstore only seems to apply to apps downloaded in the UK. I’ve purchased apps abroad and unfortunately they do not seem to be present on any of my back up systems, or online. Anyone else had similar problems?

  15. Erin Sheldon

    10/16/2011 at 8:15 am

    I just downloaded iOS 5 to my iPhone. All of my 3rd party apps are there but none of them will open. Now what?

  16. Don

    10/17/2011 at 5:30 am

    this IOS5.0 updgrade is appalling !!!! apple tried to tell me to use icloud to back up.
    Give me an auto app update for all my apps. Apple – You caused this problem You fix it!

  17. Bryon Lape

    10/17/2011 at 4:54 pm

    Apple really needs to make upgrading iOS better. Loosing everything sucks.

  18. Eddy

    10/18/2011 at 9:16 am

    I had exactly the same issue. After upgrade I lost all my 3rd party apps!!! After I restored from a full backup, iTunes can show the total capacity of all the apps consume, that means all the apps and data are restored back to the iPhone, but none of them will be shown up. After I manually downloaded and installed some of those apps, my data are still there in the apps, so that means all data are in the phone, but there is a bug prevent the app and data from showing up and working as before. I tried to press and hold the Home and Power button simultaneously for 10+ seconds to hard reset the phone, and then restore from the backup. I suppose this will revert my phone back to iOS 4.3, but it didn’t. This is so frustrating and I am somewhat dissappointed with Apple now!!! Why this problem happened so soon after Steve Jobs passed away?

  19. Philip Nelson

    10/20/2011 at 7:28 pm

    I lost a TON of paid for apps after the iOS5 update. I went to “Paid Apps” and they aren’t showing up there either.. Anyone else seeing this?

    • Eng

      10/23/2011 at 4:38 pm

      same thing happened to me. i’m so discouraged!!

  20. Applesucksballs

    10/22/2011 at 6:38 pm

    Blah, gotta love apple – i didn’t lose any apps but none of them work after I made the iOS5 update on my iPhone 4 – so now what? I have apps that have my passwords and user data stored within them. None of them launch. As usual apple is providing us with shotty software updates that do not work.

  21. AussiePearlJammer

    10/23/2011 at 9:43 pm

    WOOHOO IVE GOT THE SIMPLEST ANSWER!!!!! NO NEED FOR ITUNES!

    I updated to ios 5 too and my angry birds games were all saying “waiting” so this is what i done to get them working again and kept all my scores and stats still!!

    1. Click the App store icon on your iphone (No need for itunes)
    2. Click Updates (although your waiting games will not appear)
    3. click “Purchased” at the top
    4. Click “All” at the top

    now you will see all your games and apps, so click the grey cloud next to your “waiting” app/game and it should install again and say on your phones main screen “loading” now.

    Hope this helps you too! :)

    • Dane

      10/29/2011 at 4:16 pm

      Aussie, you are the best.  Thanks for this info b/c it really helped I’m sooooo excited that I’m getting my apps back.  It’s taking a while but I’d rather have it take a while than get nothing back.  Thanks for knowing your iPhone.  Wow.

    • Ivy M

      11/26/2011 at 6:00 pm

      I did this, but the data for my apps is still gone. :(

    • Caseofgee

      01/30/2012 at 5:14 pm

      AussiePearlJammer…I’m still freakin alive!!! Thanks — you truly rock.

    • illadella

      09/26/2012 at 12:50 am

      your suggestion worked but is there a way to restore the data (points/credits/levels) to the game apps? please help!!!

  22. Fkoed

    10/25/2011 at 1:12 pm

    AussuePearlJammer is onto something. just follow the instructions above this comment.

  23. BrianFromEarth

    10/26/2011 at 12:50 pm

    Same – everything restored on my phone except apps. The backup that the upgrade process did was useless, so I could only go into my purchased items in itunes and reload them. Apps restored, but no data. 

    Apple tech thinks this is due to antivirus software doing it’s job, that’s why only apps were affected, in my case anyway, so another thing to do for those who have not started the upgrade yet, disable your antivirus completely before you do the upgrade, also force a backup to happen as these are better than the automatic backups that itunes does on its own.  My data…Gone. 

  24. Pineapple_Punch

    10/28/2011 at 8:38 am

    All my apps have been missing for a few days, a few paid ones but nothing too major. I have downloaded new ones and tried again and now they are in a permanent loop of ‘waiting’ and then working for a while and then ‘waiting’ again. Tried the above commenters advice and actually found all of my old apps sitting in there but clicking install does nothing for the old apps missing or the new apps in ‘waiting’ and they are now just taunting me.

    Continuous problems since updating to this iOS 5, I wish I had never done it. Wasting my time, money and effort.

  25. Peter Hill

    10/30/2011 at 4:37 pm

    I have spent the better part of the day and evening trying to figure out this mess. I can’t restore my apps or sync music. I can’t believe that Apple would release this sort of upgrade without some major “in-your-face” instructions. I am so upset with Apple that I can say that I will never buy another one of their products. I have never liked iTunes and it’s confusing interface, but this just is the icing on the cake. Android here I come.

  26. Thundercub1

    11/02/2011 at 1:24 pm

    Who gives a rat’s behind about losing your “video game progress”!??!? At least you didn’t lose Contacts, Apps, Calendar, Music, and Photos, or, in the case of many others; ending up with a Bricked iPhone? Consider yourself lucky and quit whining!

  27. KTJ

    11/03/2011 at 12:49 am

    Updates two days ago and no apps on phone. Connected back to MacBook last night and went to the apps section of the phone on iTunes and resynced all apps and they all came across straight away and with all saved data :-). Were a couple of screens over so initially thought it hadn’t worked but just had to look harder.

  28. Anonymous

    11/08/2011 at 3:21 am

    I am disgusted. Nothing windows has ever given me so much trouble. apple sux

  29. Davedhaval

    11/11/2011 at 5:48 am

    How can you told that it is solution. Everybody knows that If you lost any app you need to download it again. I need best solution to restore app and if it’s not possible then everybody download it again.

  30. Jessica Munro

    11/12/2011 at 10:18 am

    My apps aren’t on iTunes, what do I do????

    • Keaton

      11/27/2011 at 9:09 pm

      Well go download them again but I got fuked so hard

  31. Rickysartin1995

    11/12/2011 at 1:36 pm

    My main apps got deleted like settings, music, contacts, safari, youtube and the all the other ones that are supposed to be undeletable and i cant get them back searched everywhere and seems like this hasnt happend to anyone…

  32. Remberance

    11/13/2011 at 3:37 am

    Why did my friends apps come up on my iPhone?

  33. Nakitaruffin

    11/13/2011 at 9:05 pm

    I found my apps in the “purchased” section of my app store u just have to reinstall them

  34. Jorgevoncool

    11/16/2011 at 11:37 pm

    Thanks! My wife hadn’t set up her sync properly, little did i l know, when I updated her OS. This is saving me a little face. Cheers.

  35. Jorgevoncool

    11/16/2011 at 11:40 pm

    On another note, based on the comments here, my backup and install kept ALL of my app data without any problems at all.

    I did lose the emails I saved to my phone though. No biggy. :-)

  36. Bfbanda22

    11/20/2011 at 3:08 pm

    I want to know how do I put my songs that were deleted while updating back on to my phone

  37. Jamyinner

    11/21/2011 at 6:45 pm

    Is there any compatible problem to transfer my iPhone files to Mac after upgarde iOS 5? 
    http://www.levesoft.com/how-to-transfer-iPhone-to-mac-after-ios5-upgrade.html

  38. Brandon

    11/22/2011 at 11:47 pm

    I cannot begin to explain how f****** pissed I am with this. I had everything on my iPhone and it is all lost.  All my notes, settings, etc…GONE!  And having to manually reinstall all my apps is ridiculous and the biggest waste of time.  Does Apple developers have their heads up their ass? I thought they were supposed to make this easy.  Whatever!

  39. Lattenews

    11/25/2011 at 10:18 pm

    Same problem… Updated my iPad… Everything lost. No contacts, documents, notes, photos etc. took EXTRA precaution when I finally got the nerve to update my phone. Before syncing, i made a backup thru itunes by right clicking the “tammy’s ipad” (when you plug in your device shows up). Made a backup without syncing. Saved all of my photos to a file on my computer, then deleted them off my phone (to make the backup process faster). Restored my phone to factory settings and then restored my backup. Thru iCloud I was able to sync my contacts to my iPad. The issues I’m having now… My phone is buggy. Sometimes the buttons don’t work (like when I tried to make a call today)… Had to reboot because nothing worked. Went into contacts and everytime I pressed the back button, it went back to the same contact, over and over. Another reboot. My iPad will not download new apps. Perpetual “waiting”… Yesterday they downloaded fine, today not at all. Connected to iTunes, went to each app and downloaded (again) no charge… Clicked the “auto download news apps” and synced my apps. They were on my iPad… But what a pain in the ass. Typing this on my iPhone… Found a new issue. Can’t select this text to save to notes (which I do as a safety precaution in case it doesn’t go thru… So I don’t have to retype) and apparently I can’t use my backspace button. When I do I have to hit “done” and then i can type again. I love the upgrade itself but not the issues I’m having with my iPhone and iPad.

  40. Cathy_loveland

    11/26/2011 at 11:40 pm

    No this is no help. I lost all my notes off my iPhone when I installed IOS 5 and can’t find them, they are super important and now I’m screwed

  41. AmyyFairgrievee

    11/27/2011 at 2:30 pm

    basically…updated my phone and its deleted some of the apps that came with the phone? cool. no getting them back :@ hate apple right now

  42. Keaton

    11/27/2011 at 9:11 pm

    All my apps are on iTunes I tryed redownloading them but I get an error and they don’t go on

  43. Agi_dreshaj

    11/28/2011 at 7:16 pm

    fuck apple after upgrade to ios 5 im stuck on baseband 04.11.08 and lost all my files foto video apps cydia installous hate apple

  44. Michelle

    11/28/2011 at 11:41 pm

    What a freaking joke Apple!  Updated my Ipad only to have to spend forever cleaning up your damn mess!!  What a mission having to reinstall all the apps that I allready had before updating to your so called better version!!!  This should cost your pocket!!!

  45. Infojackedbythissite

    11/29/2011 at 1:48 pm

    I upgraded my iPad to iOS 5 and now it wont even turn on … Top of that my iTunes won’t even recognize that it’s plugged in…. And my new iPhone 4 which I payed a whole bunch of hard earned money for… Starts downloading apps … They say waiting and just disappear … So two devices worthless … Why apple?????

  46. Smichaud

    11/29/2011 at 4:25 pm

    I hope they plan on reimbursing me for all the customers that I cannot service because I’ve lost all the info on my calendar regarding service appointments…I am so mad!!

  47. KageSora

    11/29/2011 at 10:11 pm

    I’m considering myself incredibly lucky that my notes were saved, and my pictures, and my bookmarks, and a few other things.  But all my apps, gone.  I’m really pissed off that it overrode the backup I was sure to make (since I had this BS problem in the past).

    I’m really glad that I can just put the apps back on the phone (and even re-sort ‘em before syncing), but I’m really pissed that the data’s gone.  Yeah, they’re just games, but damnit I had a fvckton of data from ‘em I lost.  D<

    I feel way bad for people who lost really important stuff…  D:

  48. Tini369

    12/03/2011 at 10:22 am

    I’m trying to manually download them from my purchased apps and it just sits there and says, “waiting….” and does nothing.

  49. James K.

    12/04/2011 at 4:36 pm

    I updated my Ipad 1 yesterday to os5, now everything is gone! I can’t download anything from the store now either. All app downloads are stuck on loading or waiting, but I can access the store just fine as well as all other internet utilizing apps. I really regret doing this update!!!!! There should be a big WARNING posted to users before updating to os5.

    • Staff

      12/13/2011 at 7:53 am

      Meticulously followed upgrade/backup instructions. Lost all my apps. No more iphones for me. Apple is too greedy, controlling and definitely not customer oriented.
      Instructions must be written to purposely screw customers. This is Jobs’ legacy…exactly how he wanted things done…Apple first, customers last.

      • Jmensan

        01/09/2012 at 11:50 am

        Must be the most hated company of all time. Lost everything when loading iOS 5 and took me all day to recover most of it. Apps I cannot get back are ones it tells me I am not authorised to access even though I have gone through the authorisation procedure three times.
        Tomorrow I am buying an Android phone and selling this rubbish to some poor unsuspecting mug.
        Having worked on Apple 2′s in the eighties as a programmer I m disgusted the route Apple have taken to rip people off.

  50. Jessicascoggins

    12/07/2011 at 4:27 am

    is there anything to do if all your music got earsed through the update and you cannot get it back?

  51. Elena Smith

    12/07/2011 at 12:15 pm

    how to recover the phone?

  52. Screwapple

    12/10/2011 at 8:35 am

    We all got Iphoned By crappy Apple

    • screwapple

      12/10/2011 at 8:36 am

      Iphowned*

  53. Dodged Bullet

    12/10/2011 at 10:27 am

    I had same problem–highlighted device, then under top center of screen there’s a menu with “summary/info/apps” etc.  My apps were all still there and by ticking “sync apps” I was able to restore them.  All folders were gone, but were easier to re-establish than downloading all the apps again…

  54. Johan

    12/16/2011 at 3:57 pm

    Had the same problem and tried all solutions mentioned above without any success.
    The following worked for me:
    -  in Time Machine I went back to date before I’d installed iOS5
    -  in the Music/iTunes/iTunesMusic/Mobile Applications-folder I selected all my missing apps and restored them 
    -  all apps were copied back to the current folder
    -  in the current folder I selected all the missing apps and dragged them to iTunes …. and voila, all the apps were there again

  55. Vj22778

    12/28/2011 at 12:03 pm

    If you lost your apps, go to itunes on your computer and find for purchased section. You will find your all old apps and just click on download all. It worked for me. 

  56. skittles1234

    12/28/2011 at 8:37 pm

    my apps are not loading!!!!! im mad!!!

  57. Carianwalters9

    12/30/2011 at 1:17 pm

    i lost alll my apps!!!i shouldnt of got ios5 its dumb as!

  58. Kannapeeran

    12/30/2011 at 8:56 pm

    very good explanation…tnx got them back

  59. Sheridin

    01/07/2012 at 10:21 am

    i lost all my apps too… after doing everything accordingly. Finally tinkered around itunes and found the “PURCHASED” link, click on that, and all my apps were there. Now downloading them. My only worry is the Pocket Informant, coz I have a lot of data in there. We’ll see…

  60. SS

    01/13/2012 at 3:21 pm

    I  lost all my apps but they were still in the iTunes folder. I copied that folder just in case and tried  syncing again. No Apps, BUT while I was connected and under the device summary I went to the apps tab and checked syn apps. It is putting all 67 apps back as I type.

  61. Roudoo

    01/17/2012 at 4:47 pm

    When I go into apps and press purchase it’s dating I have no apps I’ve lost about 50 of my kids games and can not retrieve them, please help all I pressed was update my I phone. Is there any way on resetting my iPhone back to how it was before. Where I new it was working fine. Help help and more help needed also I’m wanting my old email address back pleas iPhone novis needing help. Thanks to all

  62. M Yeara

    01/23/2012 at 7:30 pm

    I upgraded to iOS 5.
    The problem I have is that I selected the purchaded app that I want to reinstall but all what it says is that apps is been installed, but it never finish installing them.
    Could you help me.?
    Thanks

  63. Rosie

    01/30/2012 at 8:41 pm

    Even following the update process to the T made no difference…i backed up my info first, then sync’d, and then updated….all apps were wiped…even the restore from backup installed most but not all of my apps….i think that by now, Apple should look into this. Very frustrating indeed. What happened to the ez sync/ install new ios process??? Either itunes sucks or Apple’s standards are really dropping.

  64. pissed of iphone user

    02/06/2012 at 5:00 am

    ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH THIS IS BULLSHIT! I DONT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT MY APPS, I JUST WANT MY NOTES AND PICTURES BACK CAUSE I KEEP MY WORKOUT JOURNAL ON MY IPHONE! its been stuck at syncing now for about 6 hours, and ive finally come to the conclusion that everything is completely screwed! :(

  65. Keesav

    02/07/2012 at 1:56 pm

    What if your app store is deleted? How do you restore it?

  66. Hanna

    02/09/2012 at 7:13 am

    Hi, please help.
    How can i get back all my email. I have lost them after the installation of iOS5

    Thanks

  67. Aaron

    02/13/2012 at 3:40 am

    the way takes zoo long if you have got loads of apps

  68. Giugygf2jfy

    02/13/2012 at 3:41 am

    too*

  69. Nini 8

    02/14/2012 at 3:23 am

    Okay people!!!!! I was incredibly lucky!!!! after updating my ipad I LOST EVERYTHING- all apps and data… was so upset but the minute i went back to the appstore, and clicked on purchased app, i had to manually re-download all my apps, but they all came back with data when reinstalling them…. so happy! thank goodness!!!! :D :D 

  70. Nickrobward

    02/17/2012 at 12:21 pm

    Does this work with iPods?

  71. Tasouter

    02/24/2012 at 5:42 am

    Seems I have joined the IOS5 hate club. I backed up my iPhone only to be highly disappointed that I lost all my app data. I did have my apps but no data. I have paid money on these games and feel really pissed that this has happened. I just bought an IMAC, not sure if I have done the right thing, trying to simplify my life. What a joke. I know its only games but this is really bullshit. I am not game to upgrade my kids iPhone.

  72. Langeliw

    02/24/2012 at 7:29 pm

    OK, this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever encountered. Isn’t Apple supposed to be the MOST update and with it technology???? I am soooo furious I could spit. I just updated my iphone and LOST a bunch of really important information. Who makes a program that does that?????? What a complete waste.

    • Steven

      05/23/2012 at 2:36 pm

      I share your frustration!!!! Sooo much information gone!!! Important information that I CANNOT get back

  73. VS

    03/04/2012 at 5:40 pm

    So frustrating to lose all of my apps. I paid for them and it is ridiculous that there is nothing I can do to get them back!

  74. Timfraser00

    03/10/2012 at 1:33 pm

    Does this work fort iPod touch 4th gen ?

  75. Iamshiraz

    03/25/2012 at 11:23 am

    his suggestion was quite helpful & i really hats of for such

  76. Texatom

    04/01/2012 at 6:52 am

    FUCK EVERYTHING ABOUT IPAD IOS 5.1 and ITUNES. After following directions and backing up for an hour I can not restore. AGAIN FUCK EVERYTHING ABOUT ITUNES! I will not manually restore and I will not buy anymore useless SHIT!

    • Steven

      05/23/2012 at 2:38 pm

      Exactly!! Fuck this bullshit. I lost EVERYTHING. Pictures of my girlfriend before she passed away included

      • kevin

        06/28/2012 at 2:49 pm

        hahahahahahahahahahahahahha

      • Lijrobert

        06/30/2012 at 12:33 pm

        Why Can’t idiots like you understand, YOU NEED TO BACKUP PICTURES AND MUSIC. DON’T JUST KEEP PICTURES OF YOU FUCKING DEAD GIRL FRIEND ON YOUR FUCKING PHONE.

        • Vince

          07/06/2012 at 5:41 pm

          Let’s start with the one and only point you’re right about: keep backups offline from your phone.

          Everything else you’re saying is more or less a statement of your lack of social capabilities.

          1) You might want to consider not yelling at people
          2) You might want to consider using civilized words
          3) You might want to consider that apple actually uses the “we take care of everything for you” as a trademark, although not officially stated, it is part of their “whatever one might call it”
          4) You might want to try to live into other people and understand their feelings after losing such personal belongings
          5) Apple might have a much better feedback to the user with a small 5-10 points plan how to backup and secure information as a popup before one starts to update. 99,99% of the professional companies I’m using do that. the 0.01% that doesn’t is only 1 company:”apple”

          Although everything in the upgrade worked fine for me, no loss of data, I did notice the lack of support for people who’re technically either not that advanced or simply forget things. For a company as apple, that sells very cheap technical equipment for standard to low qualities for a triple price simply for their “cult image” that they make it “easier” for the customer, they lacked very much about the easiness and help as well as upgrading feedback to their customers.

          I’m sorry for the loss of your Girlfriend

  77. Yeeey

    04/07/2012 at 2:09 pm

    stupid automated fucking itunes, love the iphone as a device but really deeply HATE itunes, fuck that sob programm, feel like murdering.

  78. Carlito4222

    04/29/2012 at 7:48 am

    I just lost everything as well, and now I cant get it back, I did exactly what the site told me to do. I am switching over to the droid ASAP I will never buy an apple product again and I will try to discourage everyone I know from doing business with Apple, shame on you for promoting garbage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Bobby

      06/24/2012 at 6:17 pm

      take it easy bro, probably you have misdone it… It works just fine for me, like a piece of cake.

  79. Scott

    05/09/2012 at 9:33 am

    Sadly I have joined the group. Everything is gone on my iPhone. Trying to use my iPad to restore my info manually.

  80. Brad

    05/10/2012 at 4:54 am

    Updated mine last night and lost all APS. Will never buy another iPhone. THis is 2nd time this has happened.

  81. Jennifer

    05/11/2012 at 6:56 pm

    I thought I lost all my apps but I tried the Apps store purchased apps method and it works! Even all my messages on Wat’s App are still there! Thanks so much! :)

  82. Zippy

    05/15/2012 at 3:42 pm

    HELP. I jailbroke my iPod touch and then I upgraded. I’m having trouble getting back that jailbreak…? Please, if there is no way to get jailbreak on an upgraded iPod touch, how do I go back to the original?

    • Zippy

      05/15/2012 at 3:45 pm

      Please help me. I’m freaking out!!!!

  83. Janet

    05/15/2012 at 3:47 pm

    So when you restore your apps, is all of the information still there?!

  84. Lisa

    05/21/2012 at 8:57 am

    This sucks – updated my son’s ipad (which is synced to my husband’s computer … he’s gone for months) – lost all of his apps and all his recordings of chinese lessons (over a year’s worth) … when updating it never said I would loose data nor did I said yes to sync with anything else. iTunes is truly the most asinine programs – lacking in online help & customer service! I never liked the iPad – so little which cost so much … always problems – f*****ed-up.

  85. Kansan

    05/30/2012 at 7:55 pm

    This did not work for me. When I clicked on the cloud icon the install button was grayed out since the device thinks that they app is already installed when it is not.

    What to try next?

  86. ay

    05/31/2012 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for your fix! I backed up, synced before updating and still lost everything. Other sites promised reconnecting and resyncing would reload missing apps. Not. This at least works though it takes a long time. Ug! Apple over charges for their products, then pulls this crap!? Really makes me want to buy another product from them.

  87. Brittany

    06/02/2012 at 7:25 pm

    Apple is full of complete shit all that time spent into my apps is now gone and i didnt even know before this fucking shit happened. I’m so pissed!!! NEVER buying a Apple product again!!

  88. Snapple

    06/10/2012 at 12:31 am

    Lol than you guys should have learnt your lesson, never upgrade the iOS version without backing up your iPhone. Seriously, Apple needs to change this. This would really discourage people to continue using the iPhone!

  89. Maddie

    06/12/2012 at 5:10 pm

    Besides loosing the apps does the update have anything good to offer. I was planning on updating it but I wasn’t sure that if I lost my apps if it would also delete the ones it came with like youtube? Should I update it or just stay with the same software?

    • Maddie

      06/12/2012 at 5:13 pm

      From the looks of it probably shouldn’t but im use to Apple being pain in the ass due to loosing every single song on my Ipod Nano and I never got them back…so stupid!

  90. Mike Brouwer

    06/19/2012 at 12:55 pm

    iTunes is a total crock of shit. I also love the device, but have never seen a version of iTuneCrap that did anything but cause a major loss of time and data. Best example of pervasive shit software I know of. Strong message ot follow …

  91. MTerry

    06/30/2012 at 9:36 am

    With the latest version of iTunes, there is a button on the bottom of the apps list that says DOWNLOAD ALL. You can download all your apps at once this way.

  92. Adam

    07/01/2012 at 7:46 pm

    whne charging my apply3 phone it sunced and I have lost all my apps and the phone went blanked how do I recover all of what I have lost pls
    A.M.Adam

  93. Tim

    07/02/2012 at 3:03 pm

    Agreed. iTunes is a P.O.S. period. I did a backup, sync, etc. upgraded to 5. and all apps gone, just freaking gone.

  94. Andrew Magee

    07/05/2012 at 6:10 am

    Itunes is total fucking shit. What a joke. I backed up but have lost my email program and other apps which it won’t let me download as it thinks I already have them Total fucking shite. iTunes the worst piece of software ever.

  95. D

    07/08/2012 at 7:32 pm

    Well I just had my phone get bricked. Don’t know why exactly, but after repeated attempts at using the restore from itunes, which I agree is not very good, I was able to return most functionality to my device. In the App Store iPhone app you’ll see the Updates button at the bottom. If you tap that then you’ll see a Purchased horizontal menu choice. Tap that. You then are able to see all the apps you have ever purchased. You do have to select them one at a time, but they will download to your device. With the phone bricking I did lose a week’s worth of photos/videos which I’m not happy about, but not much can be done. I tend to back up the photos/videos outside of iTunes and just copy the folder over to my hard drive through an explorer window. Don’t use iTunes for music, etc. Hope this helps someone. Thanks.

    • Zaraz

      02/23/2013 at 3:31 am

      Thanks a ton friend. I upgraded my iOS last night and found all apps and data missing. I simply could not sleep last night. Today morning, I found this post of you and now almost everything is in place..and my mind in peace. Thanks a lot !

  96. Ardie4554

    07/11/2012 at 8:27 pm

    I upgraded my iPhone4 from IOS 4.2.1 to 5.1.1 last night (11July2012). But after the upgrade, I lost all my 142 apps but my phonebook, yahoo email, photos, messages and notes were successfully restored after the upgrade.

    I was so disappointed that all my purchased and free apps were all gone, so I tried to use the “restore option” but I find out that this will only restore my iPhone4 to it’s factory default setting and kept the new IOS 5.1.1 but all my iPhone personal configurations, information, data and etc… will be cleanup after the restoration process.

    I learned from Apple website that after the IOS 5.1.1 upgrade it will only restore all previous configuration from the iTune backup from your PC but all your personal apps will not be restored.

    Check this Apple link: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4859

    I googled “How to restore apps to iPhone4 after the IOS upgrade” since last night but I could not found with better direction to restore all my apps back to my iPhone4.

    I was playing with the iTune in my Win7 laptop today when I notice that when I select “Apps” under the “Devices,Ardie’s iPhone”. It shows all my 142 apps but you can’t click on them until you place check on “Sync Apps”. When you select “Sync Apps” it will say something about restoring the apps but I’m sorry I forgot the exact message. Then I can select or unselect all the apps that I want to restore back in my iPhone. Then run “Sync” in iTune to start the apps restoration process.

    Now I’m smiling again as all the apps that I need are now restored back to my iPhone.

    I hope this helps.

  97. Lilian

    07/15/2012 at 5:09 pm

    Agreed, apples are just fucking thins up more and more. From easy things as sorting after album artists, to just synchronizing devices without ASKING the user. Deleting EVERYTHING from pictures, to music and recordings. Don’t tell anyone of us that we didn’t “back-up”. The problem doesn’t get solved when everything gets deleted BEFORE you are able to take that back-up, smart-asses.

    I think apple-producers really need to reconsider the inconvenience of synchronizing units so it will be exactly alike the computer it’s connected to. I have more than one computer, so this is just as ridiculous as Spotify deleting every song and replace it with the SPOTIFY LIBRARY (which isn’t much since most don’t have lots of their own songs on SPOTIFY). Geez,

    this is really unpractical.

  98. Stef

    08/12/2012 at 6:19 am

    Same story here! All my PAID apps gone and I must buy them again…That is insane! I can’t believe they dare to do something like that. Last time I buy any apple product. Anyway Android is slow.y eating apple and surface is coming up.

    Bye bye Apple you made your time and I hope people will stop paying indecent prices for devices that do not deserve it.

  99. rachna

    09/22/2012 at 4:41 am

    can any one help me how can i get back the youtube app back??? it was a default app it was there when i bought the ipad

  100. holland

    10/01/2012 at 3:23 pm

    I spent so much money on apps and music they are all gone…. I’m so upset beyond words…. Hate I cloud where is it????

  101. holland

    10/01/2012 at 3:25 pm

    Steve Jobbs is rolling around in his grave, about how you all screwed us over!

  102. Aziz

    11/04/2012 at 3:13 am

    I was playing the game “Get Out” puzzle. It had 4200 levels. It took me 2 1/2 years to complete the 3000 levels with 5 stars. I lost the app as well as the game data.
    Cannot forgive this.

  103. renae

    01/21/2013 at 8:54 am

    you button suckers!!!

  104. renae phillips

    01/21/2013 at 8:55 am

    you all suck!!!!!!

  105. Erin Wilson

    01/29/2013 at 9:57 am

    Check out the CLIPCLOCK mobile app. The new social hub to discover and share the best video moments with your favorites!!! Here’s the link: http://www.clipclock.com/download/5798

  106. Loredana

    02/15/2013 at 9:34 pm

    Its still happening. My daughter will kill me cause her ipod has lost all app data. Apple really does blow. Its just a big glorified Java platform and thats why all the headache.Hello windows 8.

  107. Tim

    02/16/2013 at 1:23 pm

    Has no one tried doing a restore from backup?
    If you right click the phone icon in iTunes when connected, you can restore from backup.
    iTunes will give you a list of backups, which have been created every time a sync is performed in iTunes!
    Hope this helps those that have thought they lost everything.

  108. Lita indah

    04/25/2013 at 11:03 am

    I agree with you,some application I bought with real money,n I spent lots of money for the data plan for download free music&movies,because the technical problem I couldn’t backup the phone,so I thought I could get all the the purchased apps from my iTunes Store ID,then I made the phone back like the first time I bought(I lost every application which I downloaded),apple sucks!

  109. Donatas Thomas

    08/06/2013 at 1:13 am

    Accidentally deleted important photos and contacts from your iPhone 5? Erased all data by restoring iPhone 5 to factory settings? Don’t worry. With Dr.Fone (iPhone 5), you can easily get back your lost files.

    Watch Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUKwY2eGDLk

    Dr.Fone for iPhone 5 is designed to recover contacts, messages, notes, safari bookmarks and more from your iPhone 5 directly even without backup. Besides, if you have backed up iPhone 5 with iTunes before data loss, it will also help you extract the lost from iTunes backup file of your iPhone 5.

  110. Kelvin

    08/19/2013 at 10:40 am

    FML. Candy crush is all gone

  111. Caryn

    09/20/2013 at 1:39 am

    I STUPIDLY upgraded to iOS 7 when I even posted here that I would wait.. I got suckered in by a family member ASSURING me all would be well. Well it isn’t! I lost ALL my apps, some of which I paid for, and I tried to restore from the back-up I made PRIOR to installing this new bullshit iOS, It FAILED. I tried restoring from iCloud.. FAILED. I tried then to re-install everything from iTunes.. Failed. iTunes stupidly thinks my iphone has all that I lost…well I don’t. I’m miserable. I read, and re-read every article on the net available to try and solve this problem…all FAILED. I re-set my iphone settings…NOPE, FAILED. I turned off my iphone and restarted.. OMG.. it showed all my missing apps, then POOF, like in a cloud of smoke.. ALL disappeared again in the blink of an eye! WTF???!!! I’m PISSED. I had an app that scanned documents.. I had NEEDED docs on it that I needed for a lawsuit I’m in the middle of… GONE. I backed that up as well. GONE. Great!! Thanks Apple! You ASSHOLE.

  112. Edward Melody (@melody_edward)

    10/29/2013 at 2:29 am

    You can get your contacts back by opening iTunes on your laptop or PC. Second, plug in your
    iPhone into the computer or laptop. Third, look on the left hand side of the iTunes application window and locate iPhone in the devices section. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t4VLPz2Xug has more instructions.

  113. Tony

    11/27/2013 at 11:40 am

    I would recommend that Apple provide a quick tip sheet or a URL at the time of purchase or when you open the box to help limit some of these issues. I upgraded to the 5S and lost my apps as well. I did find a way get them from the back up via the iPhone iPhone store and click on Updates. All the apps that I have saved were in the section at the top called Not on This iPhone. I was able to quickly re-install the apps to the phone. This was better than using the Apple store front on the web which I find confusing. I like the phone and glad I made the upgrade. Just wish it didn’t make the app xfer as difficult.

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