What you need to know about iOS 8.3 and your iPhone apps

This April, Apple introduced some pretty rigid restrictions to iPhone apps with the release of iOS 8.3. This means that the little control iOS users had over apps installed on their very own devices continues to dwindle.

The limitations restrict access from your computer to app preferences and other content. Therefore, we had to disable a number of features in CopyTrans Apps for devices running iOS 8.3 or higher. If you updated to iOS 8.3 and use CopyTrans Apps, here’s what you can still do with the program and what you no longer can:

green check mark

This feature is available in CopyTrans Apps for all iOS versions

red x

Due to Apple limitations, this feature is disabled for devices running iOS 8.3 or higher

Backup and restore of iPhone apps

green compatibility check The good news is that you can still use CopyTrans Apps to back up and restore iPhone apps. This includes public documents contained in apps that support file sharing. iphone app files in ipa format on pc desktop
red compatibility x While you can still backup and transfer apps and games, as of iOS 8.3, you can no longer backup and transfer app preferences, game scores or chat history (i.e. WhatsApp and Viber messages).


Tip: Don’t let Apple restrictions prevent you from what you are doing. Did you know that you can back up WhatsApp, Viber and SMS messages with CopyTrans Contacts? Learn how by clicking here: Backup WhatsApp messages with CopyTrans Contacts.
main copytrans contacts window to backup whatsapp messages

Browse app files

green compatibility check Access to apps public documents. You can add, remove and modify documents and files freely to iOS apps that support file sharing. For example, learn how easy it is to transfer movies of any format to a dedicated iPad video app with CopyTrans Apps.

red compatibility x Access to apps system files. New iOS 8.3 limitations prevent power users from browsing through app system files and directories. We were, therefore, forced to disable the Advanced file browser in CopyTrans Apps (shown below) for devices running iOS 8.3 and higher. advanced file browser feature in copytrans apps

Clean up iPhone temporary files

red compatibility x Part of the iPhone content that can’t be accessed anymore includes temporary and cached files. As a result, the Device Cleanup feature in CopyTrans Apps is not available for devices running iOS 8.3 or higher. device cleanup feature in copytrans apps

green compatibility checkYou can however, still free up space on your iPhone without losing any data, by following the checklist from this dedicated tutorial in our blog: How to free up iPhone disk space.

Your take

CopyTrans Apps remains a practical utility for backing up and restoring iPhone apps including public app documents. Having said this, we can do little about going around Apple’s strict new limitations. CopyTrans Apps is a free beta program that we love and seek to improve. Have an idea about how to improve CopyTrans Apps? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Mfic

    ACCESS 2 iBOOKS no more !

    Just installed CT apps to transfer epubs , iBooks nowhere to be seen, bar using another reader, is this an apple lockdown? Any other way via CT ?

    Running 802 on iPad air

    • Hi there, worth contacting our support team at copytrans@copytrans.net regarding this. We’ll help you figure it out but we need more details.

      • Mfic

        thanks, have emailed

      • It is a general thing. More than a dozen Iapps are not showing, including Ibooks. Though four are showing (Imovie, kEynote, nUmbers, pAges)

  • Wasupak Charoensin

    Sad things !! My niece always delete Plant vs Zombie game’s save !!
    I used to be delete app and restore my backup.
    Now I can’t !! Must play from start !!

    Hope something change 🙁 Hope you update if can backup like before ….

    • Hi Wasupak, unfortunate it is. We can’t go around Apple’s new limitations for the time being. 🙁

      • Wasupak Charoensin

        Yes, understand for now. Hope will have good news on iOS 8.4 🙂

  • Wasupak Charoensin

    iOS 8.4 still same or have good news ?

    • Apple has not lifted the limitations imposed in iOS 8.4 🙁

      • Wasupak Charoensin

        Sad … Still hope in iOS 9 I will come here again 🙁

  • MonicaBlue_SEF

    I know jailbreaking is not recommended at all, but if I were to jailbreak my iPhone 5S running iOS 8.3, would I then be able to access everything that I couldn’t access previously with CopyTrans?

    • Hi Monica, unfortunately not even a Jailbreak can help in this situation. 🙁

  • Hi, even if you jailbroke your iPhone, you won’t be able to put files manually for iOS apps that don’t feature file sharing (public documents). Apple limitations that came with iOS 8.3 are pretty strict.

  • sajid

    i forgot my icloud password and cannt recovered it?
    please help me

    • Hi Sajid, it would be impossible to restore I am afraid without the password.

  • skies

    I used to LOVE the fact I could backup my ipad/iphone along with my Kindle files, so that my book collection with its extensive categorizing I have done by hand was safe from loss. NOW, it no longer works. If I knew this would happen I would not have upgraded to the new system of 8.3. They say you can download the individual titles from the Amazon server all over again.. and that is a great pain. The loss of GIGS and years of downloaded titles when I lost my ipad recently made me angry. Will I ever be able to simply TRANSFER the entire directory with all my books, documents, etc.. and save them so I can protect them from loss? Or is that over due to their extreme and unwarranted paranoia?

  • يزيد العلي

    is this still real even after copytrans shelbe?

  • nulaqmi

    Hi Krasimir, I have IOS 8.2 and Windows XP. When I try to run Shelbee backup I go to select a backup storage location and it presents the windows “tree”. I choose my location and click OK, and it sits for all eternity and won’t go back to start the backup. I can click Cancel and it does the same.

    In the past this has worked perfectly. Now it doesn’t work at all. I am extremely tech savvy and this is frustrating as hell.

    Do you have any ideas? The app shows my iPhone 6 is connected, and the destination path exists. There is connectivity and plenty of disk space. I’m flummoxed.

    • Hi Bob, I received the log files and forwarded the case to our developers, since it’s complicated and requires more investigating. We are actively working on it now. As soon as we find a solution, I’ll let you know.