I’ve been using an old first generation iPad (maxed out at iOS 5.1.1) for years. It crashes a lot, but it worked well enough for watching Netflix, playing some old games, email, facebook, etc.. It had some syncing issues and once in awhile, I’d have to restart it because Candy Crush would crash, but for the most part, it still works.
Well, for Christmas, I was given a new iPad Mini and I handed the old iPad down the line, but before I did, I tried installing some games and came to discover that 2 of my favorite games were no longer in the App Store. I even hooked up to iTunes and discovered that Apple had even removed the ability to transfer discontinued apps directly:
I googled around a bit and…
there were lots of forum threads about slightly different app transfer difficulties, but they either required that the app show up in iTunes or that you have to update the older device to iOS 9. Since the apps I wanted to reclaim (Tower Raiders 2 and Tower Raiders 3) were not listed in iTunes (despite being shown in the iPad simulated screen) and my first gen. iPad could go no higher than iOS 5.1.1, I continued searching deep into the google results to find an article that referenced an app called AnyTrans.
I was skeptical at first because the documentation, while thorough, was written in somewhat poor english, but I play these games almost daily, so I gave it a go… and it worked! It was really slow, the app eventually crashed, and I had to install a system update to get iTunes 12 (I’m still running OS X 10.9.5), but when all was said and done, the working apps were transferred to my new iPad Mini! Just to let you know some of the quirks of the process, I will go through it in details:
- You need iTunes 12, which for me, running OS X 10.9.5, was available in a system update in the app store.
- Connect your old device to your computer and sync it using iTunes so that you have a backup in case anything goes wrong.
- Download AnyTrans and copy it to your Applications folder.
- When you first run AnyTrans, it will start up iTunes and for me at least, it took 5-10 minutes for it to properly detect the device. Until then, it shows a spinning wheel in the device’s tab, seen here as “Dad’s iPad”:
- Once the status wheel goes away, click the device tab and then click on the Apps icon:
- Select the app(s) you want to transfer and then click the button at the top right that looks like an arrow over an iPhone:
- Note, AnyTrans never asked me what device I wanted to transfer the apps to. For the 2 apps I transferred, it took perhaps 4 or 5 minutes:
- When AnyTrans finishes, you will see this window:
- Shortly after displaying this window, the app crashed on me: but when I checked my new iPad, both apps were there and working!
I did lose all the progress in my games, but I’d been having issues syncing game progress between the old iPad and my iPhone anyway, so I can’t say that that’s AnyTrans’s fault. I was just happy to recover the games.