Save Apps from iPhone to iTunes (How to)

Posted on 3 Dec 2010


I don’t want iTunes on my computer, but Apple pretty much demands it if you have an iPhone and want to back it up, upgrade your firmware, etc.

So, here’s what I do. Set up my system without iTunes. Make a disk image with Clonezilla (free), then install iTunes to do a back up once a month. When I want to get rid of iTunes (which adds 740 MB to my system after I back up my iPhone)  I just restore the image of my computer without the iTunes junk back to my system.

Anyway, backing up a bit, after I install iTunes for the first time,  when I plug in my iPhone, the sync does not include my apps. If I try to sync, a prompt tells my I’m about to wipe out all my data in my apps.

Here’s how to do it right:

– Open iTunes.
– On the menu bar, across the top left, click on Edit.
– Go to the bottom of the list and click on Preferences.
– In the pop-up box, click on the Devices tab.
– Check the box beside the words: Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.
– Connect the iPhone to the computer.
– Once the iPhone appears on the left panel of iTunes, right click.
– Click on Transfer Purchases.
Anything on the iPhone that was downloaded from iTunes should be transferring to your computer.
– Now to sync your iPhone, bring it up in iTunes and click sync at the bottom right of the screen, or go back into Preferences and turn back on automatic syncing.


PS. In case you don’t realize how cool Clonezilla (free) is, you can spend weeks getting your system set up just the way you want, all the software, all the settings, all the plug-ins, fonts, anti-virus, firewall, then get rid of excess Windows files and other junk (be careful), and then … make an image of your perfectly tuned system.

To make the image, you have to get the Clonezilla ISO file, burn it to a CD, boot your system to the CD, follow the prompts, plug in your USB drive, answer some more prompts and then save the image of your computer HD to your USB drive. It takes about 10 minutes for me.

Now you can try experimental software. If you get a virus or suspect spyware,  you can get your entire system back fresh with a Clonezilla restore in a few minutes … usually half the time it takes you to make the image. You can even do this starting from a completely blank hard drive if your drive dies. This is a 100 times faster than re-installing Windows and setting everything up again just right.

If you just want a good uninstaller for Windows that is free and removes all traces of software you install from your system, try Revo Uninstaller (free).

I got my entire speedy little Windows XP set up down to one 3.3 GB image – That’s all of my music, pdf book library, software, etc… and it all fits on a Kingston USB DataTraveler G3 drive ($6.95). Another tip: On that one image, you can also have encrypted files with your financial information using a program like TrueCrypt.

Perhaps no one can win the privacy battle, but you can at least go down  fighting.

Posted in: Technology