iOS 9 and iphone apps

What you need to know about iOS 9 and the backup of iPhone apps?

Starting with iOS 9 and further, Apple has restricted what iPhone and iPad users can do with their apps. Back in April 2015, we saw the backup of app preferences and game scores being scrapped. Today you are no longer able to back up iPhone and iPad apps to your PC at all.

This means that we had to disable the backup of apps in CopyTrans Apps, CopyTrans Shelbee and CopyTrans. With these changes in mind, the CopyTrans programs continue to lead the crowd providing a sound alternative to iTunes and a ticket out from Apple’s ecosystem. So here’s what’s changed…

App backup with CopyTrans Apps

CopyTrans Apps helps you manage app documents for iOS apps that support file sharing. Until iOS 9, the program also allowed the largely unrestrained backup of iPhone apps. Here’s what you can still do with the program and what you no longer can if you are on iOS 9 or iOS 10:

CopyTrans Apps conserves the ability to add and transfer PDF and Microsoft Office documents as well as high-definition movies to iPhone and iPad apps. Here are a few examples of what you can do even if you are running iOS 9 or iOS 10:

main copytrans apps window showing app documents

App backup in CopyTrans Shelbee

CopyTrans Shelbee remains a user-friendly solution for iPhone backup and restore without iTunes. For iOS 9 users, we had to disable the extra-feature of iPhone app backup.

For devices running iOS 9 and iOS 10, CopyTrans Shelbee:

  • backs up iPhone contacts, messages, calendars, iOS settings, photos and videos in the Camera Roll

  • can no longer back up iPhone apps.

What does a CopyTrans Shelbee backup include

main copytrans shelbee window with backup and restore functions in view

App backup with CopyTrans

Since 2004, CopyTrans continues to help hundreds upon thousands of users to copy iPhone music and playlists to PC. CopyTrans was the first of our programs where we introduced iPhone app backup as an accessory feature due to numerous user requests.

While, CopyTrans remains the tool of choice for copying iPhone and iPod songs, video and playlists to PC, we disabled app backup in CopyTrans for iOS 9 and iOS 10 users. mai copytrans window

Why did Apple scrap app backup as of iOS 9?

We can only guess. This could be a logical step toward increased security and toward ensuring that iPhone users run the latest app versions downloaded from the App Store. On the other hand, the limitation is another step backwards toward decreased flexibility and less freedom for end iPhone users.

Your take

iOS 10 is deemed to be the most advanced iOS version to date. Yet the little control iOS users had over apps installed on their very own devices has dwindled. Share your thoughts with us; what do you think about the new iOS limitations? Tell us in the comments section below.

More articles that you might find useful:

Managing iCloud notes under iOS 9 with CopyTrans Contacts

  • bahlung

    I use to download updates of apps on my iPhone and then backup in my PC and use those downloaded files to update my two iPads (universal apps). Now with this restriction I’ve to spend my bandwidth three times.

  • Scott Covey

    As a writer I travel and I use my phone for a great deal of projects. I lost WiFi use with the Os8 update and have tried the million of fixes to restore with no joy. Now I upgrade to OS9 and it tells me I can’t back up as my computer doesn’t have enough space. Yeah right 243 gigs of SSD is not enough. That is clear space on a 500gig drive. Clearly Apple is forcing people to use the cloud method for backups. Provides a good hook for an upgrade. Easy simple start to finish. It would seem that despite beta testing nine it has some bugs or intentional bugs to lock in a customer base. I have tired all the posted fixes to allow me to back up the phone without joy again. I can’t use the cloud as the last update screwed that up. As a Mac/Apple user since 1981 I am really sad to say my NEXT phone will not be from Mac. It has nothing to do with price point or cool factor. In remote unsupported areas in the world I need to pull out a replacement device upload and get it working as easy as possible and not read Mac Support forums saying unplug the device restart the device then unplug… Really stupid call Mac. But no worries you’ll will still sell a billion phones based on the cool factor. What is one client in that mess of sms’ing madness. Welcome to stupid simple . Next you’ll be ‘fixing’ the best laptops in the world….IBM toughcase here I come!

    • Scott, unfortunately, I have to agree with you.

      “Stupid simple” seems to be a big trend and based on that, I’d assume it brings more “easy money” than “intelligent and practical”. And it’s not only Apple or technology but everything when you look around you lately – music, TV, cinema, high-school education. 🙁

      Apple’s migration to iCloud is increasingly pushy as monthly subscription fees for extra storage unsurprisingly bring-in extra cash to the giant.

      Having said this, I’d advise you to use CopyTrans Shelbee to make full-featured offline (= private) backups of your iPhone without having to use iCloud:

  • weezl

    Hi, I would like to backup my sms and imessages FROM my iPhone 4s and then restore them TO my new 6, is this possible? Tons of comments on Shelbee and Contacts for backing up to PC but nothing on restoring to a new iPhone. Is it possible with either of these 2 programs?

  • DP

    Here’s my question…. I have been using CopyTrans for so long to back up and restore to my iPhone and iPads when I get a new one of each generation… could you help me out here and tell me how exactly I can recreate my current app setup on my new device?

    So – in other words – could you point me to a resource that tells me how to “copy” my iPads current configuration / apps / content onto my new iPad?


    • Hi DP, does your old iPad run on iOS 9?

      • DP

        OK then, I have one more question.

        My iPad had been backing up to iCloud. And there was even a recent backup done.

        My question… According to iCloud support, if I restore from the iCloud backup… my apps will automatically download after the restore is done.

        Would it be better to restore from iCloud or Copytrans? If you say Copytrans… can you tell me why?


        • DP, both CopyTrans Shelbee and iCloud backup (as well as iTunes backup) work in the same way, backing up and restoring the same contents. 🙂

  • nooon12a

    Hi Krasimir, I downloaded copytrans but I cant backapp whatsapp bcoz of its ios 9 so is there any other way?

  • Jean Plescha

    Hello, I stumbled to this site (looks like a great App) just looking for information on how to transfer some of my eBooks form my PC to my iPad.

    I have to say I do not understand what all the crase with iPads is all about. I won mine in a draw at work. But so far the I only thing I did with it was play some game and watch Netflix on it. I really see no other enjoyable utility for these iPads because they are so limited, and so proprietary…and to think people spend so much money only to be told what they can and can’t do on their devices. Ridiculous! I would never buy any iProduct period..its all the same scam.

    I want portability, I want flexibility interoperability between my files my data and my devices. And iProducts is not it apparently since everything has to be controlled by iBigBriother.

    Thanks for making this app anyway, maybe I will be able to read some of my books on this ipad after all, as my Sony reader is becoming old and in not even in color.

    • Hi Jaen, thanks for reaching out. Yes, the iPad is a bit of a toy. Let’s see what the new iPad Pro will bring on the table. Why not simply use a Kindle reader?

  • Hi Cameron, since Apple disabled the backup of apps in iOS 9. It would no longer be possible to achieve what you are looking for. 🙁

  • Nope, nothing can turn the tide around I’m afraid, if you know what I mean. 🙁

  • slow_moon

    Hi Krasimir,

    Firstly, thank you for a fantastic suite of products! I used CopyTransApps earlier this year when I was doing a clean install of my iPhone. It’s great to have all the apps with their data stored neatly in.IPA files.

    Secondly, if I understand this correctly:

    iOS < 8.3 = backup of apps(Payload) and data(ContainerDocuments, Library, StoreKit, etc)

    iOS 8.3 – 8.4.1 = backup of apps(Payload) and iTunes Sharing data(ContainerDocuments)

    iOS 9 = no backup of apps at all (I imagine no more access to /var/mobile/Containers?)

    With that in mind, does Apple's sandboxing limitation include jailbroken devices or did you decide not to try backing up data for all apps even on a jailbroken iPhone? I'm running iOS 8.4 on a jailbroken 5s.

    Thank you, and keep up the good work!

    • Slow_moon, thanks for the heads up. All your conclusions are correct. I cannot confirm for JB devices but I’d think the limitation concerns them too. Feel free to give it a try on your jailbroken phone.

  • Scotty 23

    Hi there!
    I am running ios 8.4 on my jailbroken ipod touch 6 and am wanting to restore and update to ios 9, what is the best way to backup my app data, photos, contacts, etc. so i can restore them once restored to ios 9?
    Please help as i dont want to loose my data!

  • Keith Thornton

    really hate apple, they want control over everything, I should be able to just plug a sub pen in and backup all my apps and anything I want to….iTunes is CRAP thank goodness for shelbee…..iTunes has screwed up my iOS updates and locked my iPad on many occasions it’s better using a pc, so dangerous doing it on the iPad, also when I do an iTunes restore it takes all my apps out of my folders and I have to sort out the mess afterwards…..I don’t have an iPhone but am told with every iOS update it removes contact photos and ringtones, my wife has had to put them all back manually after the iOS 9.02 update, what a mess, thanks apple, thanks for being so controlling

  • Scotty, ever since iOS 8.3, Apple blocked the back up of app data such as game scores. Find out more about this limitation here:

    • Scotty 23

      Thats disappinting… Thanks for helping anyways!

  • bilis28

    Hi there! Can I restore selected contacts or photos from backup? I’m afraid to reset my iPhone first and then check it.

  • Good points there. 🙂

  • Khadijah

    Hey Krasmir, I have a iPhone 5c and I am currently locked out of it, would I be able use CopyTrans Shelbee to backup everything on my phone? The phone is a hand-me-down and I don’t know if my brother had already backed it up and I don’t know his iTunes/iCloud and don’t want to take the risk of resetting and losing everything. And I didn’t updated it to a iOS 9 either.

    • Hi Khadijah, you must unlock the iPhone in order for your PC to be able to access it and hence in order for CopyTrans Shelbee to be able to back it up.

  • NJ Marinaro

    How do I get PortfolioLive off my iPhone 4 and onto my iPhone 6? It is no longer in the app store and ATT cluck did not transfer it to the new phone as it was beyond their skillset. Is there any application that will let me move it? Copy Trans is saying they can’t do it because they report into apple. I agree with the comments about apple. iphone 6 was a mistake and my last apple product.

  • JKB

    Hi I recently purchased an Ipad air 2 only to find an app I use for my business, (Logbook) has been removed from ITunes app store. I have updated to 9.1 and find the apps are no longer in my app lists any where and cannot find a way to get the app onto my new Ipad. Is there a way to get the app from one Ipad to the other without using ITunes?

  • Adora

    So, Krasimir, if I reset my iPhone to factory settings and then log in to the apple ID I used to download the app, will I be able to redownload the app again? Because I just realize some of the apps I’m frequently using was first free but now it’s not free anymore.

    By the way, thankyou very much for this CopyTrans app! This is awesome! I had my iTunes file corrupted and can’t reinstall or uninstall it.

    • Hi Adora, well, when you log in to the App Store with your Apple ID, you will be able to download the apps that you previously had. But since some of the apps are now paid, you would need to purchase them before you download and use them, I suspect.

      • Tupring

        Nope, if you purchased them, they are yours. Even if the price was $0.00.

  • Grace Wong

    And Apple wonders why we want to jailbreak…

  • Peter Novy

    The problem I see is with “security VERSUS personal freedom and private property” problem. I agree that apps are private property and to not allow us to store them privately and restore later is infringement of private property rights.

    We do not purchase rights to alter software of hardware, but apps are, as anything digita to be stored and retrieved on owner’s will.l

    • Hi Peter, you have a valid point; however, I can’t help but disagree that backing up your apps and storing them on your PC is an infringement on private property rights. I’d say that going as far as reverse-engineering and cracking the apps is a true infringement; yet not simply backing them up.

      • Tupring

        That and the fact that the files are stored on HARDWARE THAT YOU OWN AND PAYED FOR. In many cases you also payed for said software you want to backup…

  • MuchDogeManyWow

    Is it possible to directly update apps on an iPad? My school won’t let me update Google drive and I can’t connect to either iTunes or the app store.

    • Hi, you can only update apps on the iPad via the App Store, I’m afraid.

  • tpkyteroo

    I think that Apple made these changes to force users of CM Security (which Apple HATED) to NOT be able to use this app. And, I think that Apple did this to force people to not be able to restore apps that Apple in their so-called “wisdom” decided was not good for the phone. On one hand, CM Security seemed to be doing just what it said it does, but OTOH, it took up a lot of space and seemed to arbitrarily take up more space randomly. It also had other issues, why you can no longer get it in the store. I think that this app, and all the “fake” apps that was in the news was why Apple did this. However, I think that WE should have the choice as to what we do and not do on our phones. We are NOT Apples stupid little toddlers with no brains.

    Other issues may be that Apple was having too much difficulty with getting the programming right and this move was simply to save it some headaches. Personally, I would have gotten better programmers. I wonder if an old classmate of mind, has been considered redundant yet? Word has it he was flown into work for Apple right out of high school. Yes, he WAS a geeknerd prodigy in programming. I wonder what ever happened to him? Can we blame him yet? ROFL No, seriously, we can’t. It all goes back to the CEO and how bad he is. I think they should have came up with better solutions then denying us OUR rights to back up what WE buy on the phone!

  • Marat Gorivodsky

    I have JBcken ipad with ios 8.4. I made a full backup of my iPad in 08.2015 using CopyTrans (Shelbee). iTunes was unable to recognize the ipad after JB. Now I have used CopyTrans to introduce the Latest Changes. However, I was able to update my backup only with contacts, messages, photos but not with a new apps (the Applications Icon was ineffective). Is that because I have updated to the new version of CopyTrans. I do have ios 8.4. Thus, I don’t think the ios 9 restrictions should be applied. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  • Jim Julian

    Ever since I purchased an iPhone 5s, I’ve been unable to use iTunes to backup the phone. I used to be able to back up my iPhone 4, but now, that too will not backup. Everytime I open iTunes, any phone attached is treated as a new phone with the options to restore, if there is a backup on the laptop, or treat as a “New” phone. In both cases, the sync and backup options remain grayed out
    Thanks for Copytrans Shelbee and Copytrans Apps. I can back up to iCloud…but I would like some options,

    • Hi Jim!
      Cool to hear that CopyTrans Shelbee and CopyTrans Apps helped you to fix these frustrating backup issues!
      It seems like a part of your comment has not been delivered, so what are the options that you would like to see in CopyTrans?

      • Jim Julian

        I let myself be misunderstood. Apple should provide more options. One possible option for Copytrans Shelby would be the choice of :
        multiple backups
        one backup overwritten
        the existing partial backup

        • Thank you Jim for explanations. We appreciate it a lot!

    • @disqus_UkoBO8GLo1

      Same problem here, cannot create a backup file of iPhone 4s to my iTunes due to ios9 on the iphone.

      • sgmax

        You need to create a new iTunes library for the iPhone 4s, then press SHIFT key (on a PC – or the Option Key on a Mac) when you open iTunes. iTunes will ask which Library you want to open when you open iTunes with the SHIFT key depressed. See

  • @disqus_UkoBO8GLo1

    I’ve used Apple products for decades and I’m now moving away … iPhone is a joke, and yes “garish” is the best word to describe the disgusting neon 2D look since iOS 7. I’ve already gone to Android purchasing a Samsung Galaxy Note, and I’m here trying to find a way to move my SMS to Android with no solution in sight. I upgraded the iphone to ios 9 unfortunately, making it impossible for me to even back up using iTunes because my MBP is too old.

    • Tony Green

      If you have any Macbook Pro, apart from the very earliest Core Duos, you have no excuse at all. Every Macbook Pro , apart from those, is capable of running ANY OS up to El Capitan, so your bleating about not being able to back it up to iTunes is just plain wrong.
      And if you really do have a 2006 MBP why are you moaning that it’s not capable of being updated? It’s 10 years old!!!

  • Alla CopyTrans

    Hi Bernard,
    If both your iPhones run on iOS lower than 9, then you can transfer your app using CopyTrans Apps as explained here:
    However, if any of your devices runs on iOS 9 then I’m afraid it is not possible. Althoug, if by any chance you saved your app in iTunes library, then you can still use it, even if it is no longer available in appstore.

  • Tony Green

    You are talking complete rubbish! The vast majority of my music has come from CDs and I have NEVER downloaded anything from the iTunes store! No problems putting it on phones, iPads or media players out of iTunes.
    Whining incompetence won’t win you any prizes.

  • Tony Green

    That is the most longwinded pile of crap in a single sentence I’ve ever bothered to read! If you are so retarded that you can’t get photos off an iPhone then you shouldn’t be allowed out without supervision.
    You can easily place the cursor in the middle of a word… the problem is YOU, not Apple.

  • JasonEnzoD

    Horrendous. I now have to find and install the 60 or so relevant apps out of the several hundred I have bought over the years, all manually. I’ve taken some screenshots of each iPhone page so I can remember. Also, cut down on the number of apps.

    My current iPhone 6 plus will be the LAST iPhone In will buy. After this, it’s Android. I’m tired of this company that thinks it can jerk its customers around with impunity.

    • Hi Jason, Apple developed great software of very high quality which Android OS lacks. Of course not everything is perfect, I agree. However, selecting OS is the matter of personal preferences and priorities, I suppose.

  • Joongi baek

    Im switching to android.

  • Mike Modern

    oh ok, so when you do a full phone backup,shelbee can no longer save all the app data for all apps, with the shelbee compete phone backup for 9.3.2?.

  • Mike Smith

    I will switch to Android next time my contract with telephone company is over …

  • DizzyBoyDizzy


    • We did not remove the support for the backup of apps. Apple did. Send your hate to Tim Cook and try to get him to change his mind as it also annoys us. And as a side note, the documents are saved. When you download the apps again to your device everything will work just fine.

  • bmudx

    So even with iOS 8.1.2 I can’t backup?

    • Hello, smart guy you are 🙂 It’s almost impossible to meet users running iOS 8. With iOS 8.1.2 you can backup and restore all your apps using CopyTrans Apps.

  • Ann Passmore

    Get Photo Transfer app to transfer them to your PC. The best transfer app. Will be worth the money to protect all your photos!

    • Thank you Ann! That’s awesome to hear we were able to help 🙂

  • Alo Pexoma

    As a long time jailbroken aPple mObile dEvice user… sorry… is it still called an Iphone… iPhone? Did I capitalize it correctly? I can’t tell… Anyway, as a long time jailbreak user, I’ve enjoyed a great degree of customizability with my device. The major pain for me has always been the update process. aPple refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the jailbreak community, despite it’s excellent track record of patching known security issues faster than aPple does, and adding functionality that aPple removes from “approved” apps, and then adds back years later. Because of this, updating a jailbroken device has always meant losing vast amounts of personal data, configuration, and settings, despite having used Itunes to backup and restore my device before and after the upgrade. In addition to that, the failure of aPple to provide basic I/O functionality for me to access the files on my device has provided further frustration, in that currently it’s almost impossible for me to pull my own back up of files I’ve created and used on my phone.

    All this being as it is, I just ordered my first ever Android device yesterday, and I will not be revisting aPple’s draconian controlled environment. I’m tired of putting up with their crap, but most of all, I’m tired of Itunes.

  • M. Wilson

    Now I am in a pickle. My PC died and I had to put iTunes on the new laptop. How do I get my apps onto the new PC…I can’t. I did back them up on a drive but have saved thousands over the years…how do I only transfer the ones I have currently on the iPhone back to iTunes if I cannot tell by the .IPA file name? Maybe…just maybe…you have a process that lists at least what .ipa’s are on my iPhone. Then I can redownload from the app store or from my external hard drive.

    • Hello Matthew, I am sorry you’ve been through all this frustration. Unfortunately, it’s no longer possible to back up apps. This limitation was introduced by Apple with iOS 9 and is effective for iOS 10.

  • Irina CopyTrans

    Hi, we only tested it on iOS 8.1, but I think you should still be able to do the app transfer on iOS 8.2 with the latest version of the program.

  • Irina CopyTrans

    You’re welcome! Yes, if everything works, it’s better not to tinker with it. But if you accidentally update the program, you can always downgrade to the previous version:

  • Vikas Gill

    can we use “copytrans apps” with ios 10.2

    • Marika CopyTrans

      It’s all explained in the article above, Vikas. When Apple introduced iOS 9 it made some significant changes in the way apps are backed up and restored on your device. With 10.2 you can add documents to the apps like Pages or Microsoft Word, but nothing else, the main purpose has been restricted by Apple.

  • Abdulrahman Ahmed

    Hi, i updated my iPhone to iOS 10.1.1, and when i tried to restore my backup, it stays for two hours since i have almost 50 gb of backup, and when it reaches 99% , i get the message from iTunes the iphone has been disconnected, and another message on the iPhone” there was a problem during restore please restart your iphone ”
    I don’t care about all the backup, i only car about the Whatsapp data, so if i bought this app, will i be able to restore the whatsapp data after i download whatsapp in the iPhone?

    • Marika CopyTrans

      Hello Abdulrahman, terribly sorry for my late reply. As far as I understand you were trying to restore the backup on your device using iTunes. Have you tried CopyTrans Shelbee to do the restore? It’s the same process with iTunes but smoother and with less restrictions:
      When the restore will be completed, you just have to re-download WhatsApp from the AppStore and voila – all your conversations will appear just as you remember it.

      By “buying this app” I assume you meant CopyTrans Contacts which can not restore your WhatsApp conversations, only back them up.

      • Abdulrahman Ahmed

        Hi Marika, thanks for your reply

        What if my backup in Mac, and if i copy the backup to windows
        Will copytrans shelbee be able to restore? If not do you have or know any app for mac ? Thank you

        • Marika CopyTrans

          Abdulrahman unfortunately we do not support MacOS yet. If you try to backup and restore using CopyTrans Shelbee on Windows it will work flawlessly 🙂 it’s all about the right format.

        • Marika CopyTrans

          Abdulrahman unfortunately we do not support MacOS yet. If you try to backup and restore using CopyTrans Shelbee on Windows it will work flawlessly 🙂 it’s all about the right format.

  • Brian Barrows

    I have an iPhone 6s that frequently freezes and runs slowly. I have exchanged hardware at the Apple store, and done a fresh IOS install. The current thinking is that the backup that we are restoring from has some minor corruption that is being carried forward into every install that we do. If I backup with Copy Trans Shelby, can I rebuild my iPhone from scratch, re-install all my Apps from the App store, and then just restore the elements that I would be missing (basically, messages – including attachments, voicemails, photos and videos). I’m fine re-entering my settings, mail, etc. and losing any app history data.

    • Irina CopyTrans

      Hi Brian, CopyTrans Shelbee doesn’t restore your apps, but you can easily redownload them back from the App Store: log in with your Apple ID, App Store — Updates — Purchased. It will show you all the apps you’ve ever downloaded. As for the messages, voicemails, photos and videos – yes, CopyTrans Shelbee will restore them back on your iPhone. Note that photos and videos outside Camera Roll and your music will not be restored. Here’s more on what CopyTrans Shelbee backup includes:

  • gmeades

    This puts me in quite a pickle, as there was one application I managed to transfer out of my iPhone 3GS (IOS 6.3.4) a couple of years ago into an iPhone 4S I bought, but it wasn’t easy. It took days to get the app off the 3GS as every method I tried, including CopyTrans Apps, ended up missing files. I used a number of utilities, renamed the .ipa file to .zip, extracted the contents of all of the various save attempts, made a master folder with all the folders and files, rezipped it, and renamed it .ipa and finally got an install that produced a working app.

    The screen on that 4S died a couple of weeks ago, and because of the hard drive that contained that one complete .ipa file dying on me, and being unable to transfer apps out of the old 4S, there is no way to install that app back on the new 4S. This is an app I use every single day, too. The version of the app I use is no longer available in the iTunes store, and versions after this had the functionality I use removed. I contacted the developer, but he never kept a archive of the previous versions, and no longer supports the app.

    Over the past couple of years, I’ve also totally misplaced the old iPhone 3GS, so not even extracting the app from that phone again is a possibility. So, Apple removing the ability to extract apps directly from IOS 9 or higher has totally left me stranded here.

    • Irina CopyTrans

      I feel your pain, gmeades! I too have an app that’s no longer supported by a developer and is not in the App Store 🙁 I managed to find a decent alternative, though. Hope you find something similar! Just out of curiosity, which app was it?

  • iSmokeCrack

    well hey imazing does app backups
    but they back in an their “imazing” file type
    with that bein said you can make each app and IDEVICE BACKUP writable’
    and then back restore to backup after rewriting