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.
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?