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App Store: Downloading Older Versions of Apps

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See our news article here: Apple Allows Downloads of Older Versions of Apps. This article will provide instructions and additional information. If the particular app you want to download does not offer an older version, see this utility: Find iOS Apps Compatible with Older Devices.

To be able to download an older "legacy" version of an app, a few conditions must be met (more detailed explanations below):
  • You must have purchased/downloaded the app before (see this workaround for iOS devices if you didn't)
  • The app must have supported your older iOS or OS X version at one time
  • You must be running iOS 4.2 or later, or OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) or later
NOTE: Not all apps offer older versions. It is up to the app developer.

If you are attempting to download the app for the first time, the App Store will not offer the download of an older version. You must already own the app for the older version to be offered (see this workaround for iOS devices if you don't). 

If you do not already own the app, one workaround is to purchase/download the app from the iTunes Store on a Mac or PC using the same Apple ID you are using on your iOS device. The app will then be associated with your account and you should then be offered an older version if you attempt to download the app again on the iOS device. Do not try to install the copy downloaded in iTunes, as it is the newer, incompatible version. That step is only necessary to attain ownership of the app. You will need to access the App Store on your iOS device to be offered a compatible version.

Again, if the above was done correctly and does not work, then that particular app does not offer older versions.

The app must also have supported your iOS version at one time in the past. For example, if the very first version of an app required iOS 6.0, and never had an iOS 5-compatible version, you would not be able to install it on an iOS 5 device.

The ability to download older apps is available on iOS 4.2 and later. The original iPhone (iPhone 2G) and 1st generation iPod touch cannot update beyond iOS 3.1.3, and therefore cannot take advantage of this feature. If you have a newer device that is not yet running iOS 4.2 or higher, see Updating iOS.

It is also worth noting that only the latest version compatible with your iOS version can be downloaded. For example, if a developer releases Version 1.1 of their app, and it contains a lot of bugs, you might want to downgrade the app. However, you cannot do so if the latest version of the app is compatible with your device.

Example dialog on a device running iOS 4.2

If you find an app and are offered an older version, the dialog should look similar to the one above. Just tap on Download, and you will be taken to the home screen where the app will begin downloading.

NOTE: This only applies to iOS devices.
Again, if the latest version of an app is compatible with your device, that is the only version that will be offered. However, if you owned an older version of the app and would prefer to use that instead of the latest one (assuming that the older version is also compatible), it is possible if you use iTunes on a Mac or PC.

First, make sure that you have an older version of the app in iTunes. Under the "LIBRARY" header, click on Apps. Find the app in question. If the app has an "Update" banner, that is usually a good indicator that it is an older version of the app.

Pages iOS app Apple
This is an older version of the Pages app, as indicated by the "Update" banner

Another way to tell is by right clicking (control + click on a Mac) on the app in iTunes and selecting "Get Info." Select the Summary tab, and find "Version." Compare it with the version listed in the App Store.

If you do not have the version you are looking for in your iTunes library, it may have been replaced by a newer version. When iTunes updates apps, the .ipa file for the older app is sent to the trash (or recycle bin on a PC). If you have not emptied the trash recently, it may still be there. If you can locate the .ipa file for the app you want, you can delete the newer version from iTunes, then drag the older version to the "Apps" section in the sidebar in iTunes. NOTE: Do not download .ipa files from anyone other than Apple, as other downloads will be tied to the owner's Apple ID and will not install without their password. 

Confirm that the app you want has been added to the library. Then, you can delete the newer version of the app from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. For instructions, see: Deleting, Rearranging and Grouping Apps.

To install the older version from iTunes onto your iOS device, you can:
  • Conduct a sync
  • Drag the app from the Apps section of your Library to your device in iTunes' sidebar
  • Click on your device in the sidebar in iTunes, select the Apps tab at the top of the screen, select "Install" for the app that you want, and click "Apply" in the lower right
For the third method listed above:

When you are done these steps, click the Apply button in the lower right of the iTunes window. A sync should be initiated, and, when complete, the app(s) in question should be installed on your device.


Article ID: AA1098

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Comments (60):

By sandeep thammishetti on 6/25/14 • Reply
thank you very much admin... the workaround works..

By sandeep thammishetti on 6/25/14 • Reply
can u please tell me how to get whatsapp messenger for iphone 3g as it says "u need ios 4.3 or above to download this app" even with the procedure laid down by you.

in response to sandeep thammishetti
By AppleClubSupport on 6/26/14 • Reply
Hi Sandeep,
Not all apps will offer an old version. If WhatsApp decides not to offer it, you won't be able to download it, sorry.

in response to AppleClubSupport
By sandeep thammishetti on 6/28/14 • Reply
Thank you very much for your valuable information.
by the way Is there any other way to install whatsapp on Iphone 3g running on ios 4.2.1 as there are many ways established over the internet.

in response to AppleClubSupport
By sandeep thammishetti on 6/28/14 • Reply
Hello AppleClub
Is there any app for home button for iOS 4.2.1 similar to iPhone 5 and above

in response to sandeep thammishetti
By AppleClubSupport on 6/28/14 • Reply
You won't be able to get WhatsApp on an iPhone 3G since it's not compatible; hacking solutions are not worth the trouble. If by a home button app, you mean something like AssistiveTouch, I don't know of any.

in response to AppleClubSupport
By Emma on 8/28/15 • Reply

By ZSwagga5 on 7/06/14 • Reply
Is there any way to do this from your iPhone? I'm looking to get an older version of NBA 2k13 the v1.0.7 version but I have a broken computer..

in response to ZSwagga5
By AppleClubSupport on 7/06/14 • Reply
Hi ZSwagga5,
If you don't have access to iTunes on a computer, the only other way to be offered an older version of an app is if you had a 2nd iOS device which is compatible with the latest version of the app.

in response to AppleClubSupport
By ZSwagga5 on 7/06/14 • Reply
Okay thank you. It's just that I hate the version of the game that I have now and would like the older version back. 

By dayummm on 7/17/14 • Reply
I cant believe this actually works, it's simple and works exactly how it says and the work around does work, thanks a lot for this help!!! 

By tmp1356 on 7/19/14 • Reply
Perfect! I was becoming so discouraged with my iPad gen 1 hand-me-down. Not anymore - this workaround works and now my iPad is not just a boat anchor! 😊

By thingumybob on 8/09/14 • Reply
Yes, yes, yes -- WORKS!! One important detail I noticed was that when I used it for my iPod Touch 4th Gen after downloading in iTunes, back on the iPod there was an indication on the homepage that the App was downloading, but it never completed. After pondering a bit I cancelled the download on the iPod (long touch on an App then touch the cross to cancel/uninstall. Then I went back to the App Store on the iPod, re-selected the App, selected install, and hey presto I was asked if I wanted the older version. Once downloaded I was offered an up-date, but of course that was the newest version and NOT compatible with my iOS6, so I ignored it. THANKS!!!

in response to thingumybob
By Mayeih on 12/22/14 • Reply
This really works... Thanks!

By Coolvids892 on 8/15/14 • Reply
I have a problem. I wish to download shadow fight 2 on a Ipod Touch ( do not know gen but is has iOS 5) it can run on the operating system yet it crashes on loading screen. How do I download a older version of the app which will use less processing power? Thanks

in response to Coolvids892
By AppleClubSupport on 8/15/14 • Reply
Hi Coolvids892,
If your iPod is compatible with the latest version of an app, you won't be offered an older one. The only exception would be if you previously owned an older version of the app and it resides in your iTunes library, in which case you could refer to the "Downgrading Apps" section of this article.

By Lil on 8/20/14 • Reply
Thank you SO SO SO MUCH! Life saver!!!! 

By me on 9/08/14 • Reply
quick and easy

By Kurt on 9/10/14 • Reply
Thanks. This article allowed me to download older apps into an original iPad.

By Itaadyaah13 on 10/05/14 • Reply
Can I download gopro apps on ios 6.1.3 ? Please tell me how was that..

By sam3352 on 10/10/14 • Reply
how do i download and install an, older version of an, app (which i should source from? google i hope) without it assuming i want to install the latest version..?

an app i use downloaded an update and i updated but the new version doesnt run very well on my iphone (3gs) and im struggling to now revert back to the older one without it assuming i want to install the latest version. A way to get around this would be brilliant.
new version of a game is to laggy to play and the older version was bearable. it would be cool if i could downgrade to a version originally made for the iphone 3gs which in theory should run perfectly on this old iphone. seems it was made for it. 

By NatashaM on 10/23/14 • Reply
I did everything I could to download the app that I had onto my iPad 1 (original), and it installed okay, but when I tap on the app to open it, it goes black and then crashes. How do I make it work properly please?

By on 10/29/14 • Reply
hey, I tried to process your instruction, but itunes and my ipod touch (4th) say, that I need iOS 7 to install the app. It doesn't offer me the possiblity to download the last compatible version.

I want to download the Soundcloud app. I guess, I tried to download the app 6 mouth ago and it offered me the last compatible version at that time.

Is it possible that there was a change with the introduction of iOS 8?

in response to
By AppleClubSupport on 10/30/14 • Reply

No, you should still be able to download older versions of apps, there was no change with iOS 8. However, not all developers will let you download older versions of their apps. I would check with the developer of Soundcloud and see if they offer this.

By IGU on 10/30/14 • Reply
works like a charm.
great job. keep it up!

By dsg950 on 11/02/14 • Reply
Thank you for this article! NetFlix lives again on my resurrected 3G running (albeit slowly) iOS4.2.1.

By PsychoticAir on 11/12/14 • Reply
THIS WORKED! Yes.. Thank you. I got a compatible version of Skype for my iPod 4th gen!!! THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By Sopharith on 11/17/14 • Reply
Thank you so much! It's really work for me, the workaround.
It's so helpful😊

By BigJake on 11/24/14 • Reply
I am trying to download the ESPN Fantasy Football App to my 4th gen Ipod currently updated to the iOS.6.1.6 software. The App requires iOS 7 so it won't let me download it from the App store.
I tried getting the app on my computer then installing it on my synced device to get an older version but the message asking me if I want to install the older version never comes up. It only says that I need iOS for the app to download.
I had the previous version of the app on my ipod up until 10 min ago before I deleted it to download the new one (before I knew that I needed iOS 7 for the app), but I don't know if I have ever backed up my ipod before to try to downgrade the current app.
Any suggestions? Thanks a bunch.

in response to BigJake
By AppleClubSupport on 11/28/14 • Reply
Hi BigJake,

Note that not all apps offer older versions. If you don't have the app in your iTunes library on your computer, then the older version is lost, sorry.

By McJen on 11/24/14 • Reply
Dear Apple Club,
I have the older version of an app on my 1st gen I pad. What I am trying to do is to get this particular app onto my new I pad air.(2014 model) I am at a loss as to how to do this. I have DL'd the app from I tunes when I synced my devices, but the version that showed up on my Air, did not have any of my data on it from the older version although I logged in. Frustrating! Could you advise me step by step as to how to resolve this problem? I asked the app developers, but I think they are from a foreign country and are not getting back with me. If I didn't really love this app I wouldn't mess with it.
Thanks bunches!

in response to McJen
By AppleClubSupport on 11/28/14 • Reply
Hi McJen,
There are different ways that apps store data, and we probably wouldn't have knowledge of a particular app, so you'll probably have to wait for a reply from their support.

By Brittany Havens on 12/25/14 • Reply
I have an app, Music Tube, that I have updated twice since the version I like, and last night I was able to go back to the most previous version using a video on Youtube, which I think showed the same way. Is it possible to go back to the version before it? (If I can't do it on my own computer, I told my cousin about it. Maybe she hasn't updated it since then, but she might of.)

By Al on 12/27/14 • Reply
Hi! i have tried this but it wont work! I accidently deleted Facebook Chat on my Ipod 3rd gen and now it wont let me download it back as I do not have IOS7. ( the Ipod is 4.2.1) it doesn't give me the choice to download an older version..

By practicalmagic on 1/05/15 • Reply
Hey guys HUGE THANK YOU for this. Enjoying Spotify right now, not as fancy as the latest version I can see in my android mobile but oh I don't mind. It's the Music that matters. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

By Paradym3 on 1/13/15 • Reply
When Yahoo Weather added ads I tried this method of local installation to get around it. It worked! I also discovered that because I use CrashPlan for backup I could go WAY back for some apps if I ever needed.

By KiwiPop on 1/17/15 • Reply
Fantastic! This works brilliantly!

By Nicole on 2/08/15 • Reply
Hi, I downloaded Workaround to get the older version of Facebook, but it did not work (IOS 6.1.6., system required IOS 7) can you please help?

By Unimaginative on 2/12/15 • Reply
These instructions are a lot better than Apple's as they assume you already own the app!

By Bruh_How_? on 3/07/15 • Reply
Ok, so yeah but I have an older IPod, and I can't download anything that's IOS7 or higher. But on the App store, and I look for IOS6 or lower, I cant find it, and so that's makes it to were I can't download anything...... Which really *****!

By Jonika.r on 4/05/15 • Reply
Instagram used to let download the last compatible version with my ios6 4th gen iPod and now it won't let me redownload. Instead of the message being:the newest version requires ios7 but the latest compatible version can be downloaded, and then it giving me the option to download the other version it just tells me: this application requires ios7 to be opened and used and the only option below is ok... Please Help

in response to Jonika.r
By AppleClubSupport on 4/05/15 • Reply
Hi Jonika.r,
I just now downloaded Instagram on iOS 6 without issue - the older version was still offered. Do you have an existing copy of the app that you are trying to update? Are you using a different Apple ID than when you downloaded it before? Both of these could be the cause of not being offered an older version. When was the last time you downloaded it successfully?

in response to AppleClubSupport
By firefighter1211 on 4/12/15 • Reply
hey guys,
I have the exact same problem as jonika r. I had Instagram on my iPod 4th gen and I deleted it like usual but this one time it didnt pop up the option to download the last compatible version. I am still using the same exact apple ID as before but same problem it only tells me that the app requires ios7 or later still no option to download the last compatible version. Please help guys I need Instagram back bad!!!

By Hayyl on 5/07/15 • Reply
Hi can someone please help me... I have iphone 6 with the iOS 8 my phone kept playing up shutting down apps freezing and comig up and white screen resulting in me having to turn it on and off again constantly to work however my whatsapp was the only app that never used to close down but yesterday it kept coming up for me to type my number in on whatsapp as if I had just downloaded it once I was doing that it wouldn't do anything further but close it down numerous times so I thought if I reinstalled it would work again once I done that I discovered it had downloaded the newest version of whatsapp and had deleted all my chats, status etc I have been trying to solve the issue with apple and whatsapp but been no help I didn't back my phone up on iCloud as my phone is relatively new and hadn't got the chance to connect to wifi to do a backup, is there anyway I can redownload my older version of whatsapp as I hate the new version also is there anyway to get my data back?! Please help any info would be appreciated. Thank you

in response to Hayyl
By AppleClubSupport on 5/07/15 • Reply
Hi Hayyl,
Unless you saved a copy of the older version of WhatsApp, you won't be able to re-install it, sorry. If you synced your iPhone with iTunes on your computer, there's a chance the old version may still be there.

By happieestpersonintheworld on 5/27/15 • Reply
cant believe it. it work!!
Thanks a lot!!

By john.doe on 5/31/15 • Reply
Very helpful. Apple makes it confusing to do this, but it's explained very well here.

By Bunny on 6/07/15 • Reply
It's been frustrating not being able to download apps for my iPod Touch 4th gen but your workaround did the trick nicely. Thank you!

By Meghalomaniac on 6/26/15 • Reply
This article has helped me! I will forever be indebted. And mind you technology tips never work for me and my gadgets.


By Mr.Anonymous on 7/09/15 • Reply
It doesn't work. I tried doing it with my iBooks app for my iPod touch (which uses IOS 4.2.1) since I had the original books app before iBooks was even created. However, every time I try to sync it I just get the following message: "The app 'iBooks' was not installed . . . because it requires a newer version of iPod software."

in response to Mr.Anonymous
By AppleClubSupport on 7/09/15 • Reply
Hi Mr. Anonymous,
From what you describe, it sounds like you are trying to install the latest version of the iBooks app using iTunes, and that is not what this article is suggesting. The purpose of downloading the app in iTunes is just so you have ownership of the app. Once you do, then the app needs to be downloaded from the App Store on your iPod touch. It should now ask you if you want to install an older version.

in response to AppleClubSupport
By Kannan on 7/27/15 • Reply
Yes, I was trying it in the wrong way, and i don't know how to do it. Please guide me with more details step by step... Please help me out. Thank you.

By Beccaaaa on 8/07/15 • Reply
This doesn't work for me, I'm trying to get Snapchat back, I deleted it the other week too, experienced the same problem but then I got it back I'm not sure how but now I can't install it again? Please help! I really need and want it back, please! I have iPod touch 4th gen.
Thank you so, so much!

By mustkm on 8/14/15 • Reply
This workaround WORKS and is hugely helpful!!!

By florencia19 on 9/05/15 • Reply
This was reaaally helpful! I thought there was no way to use some apps having other than the latest version of iOS and the latest devices

By Nasser on 9/12/15 • Reply

By sandeeprjrocky on 9/17/15 • Reply
can i update my ipod touch 4g 32gb to version 7 ios

in response to sandeeprjrocky
By AppleClubSupport on 9/18/15 • Reply
No, iOS 7 requires a 5th generation or later iPod touch.

By Parker on 9/30/15 • Reply
Does this work for free apps, rather than assuming it doesn't I am asking here =D

in response to Parker
By AppleClubSupport on 10/03/15 • Reply
Yes, it does work for free apps; price has no bearing on older version availability.