There have been many occasions when a developer updates an app with changes that you might not like, or the new update removes support for an older device you own. Having the install file for the older version of the app can be very useful in such cases, since you can restore the older version using iTunes. But how do you keep the older version if iTunes replaces the file with the newer version when you hit update? Read on.
If you update an app using iTunes, you might lose the older version, but if you update on your iOS device, iTunes will still have the older version unless you sync. App installations are internally stored as .ipa files on your PC or Mac’s storage, and you can manually copy that file to some place safe like a Dropbox folder by following these instructions:
Back up phase
Navigate to apps tab
Apps downloaded from iTunes are automatically added to your library, but the ones you install on your iOS device only appear in your library after you sync using iTunes. To see these apps, open the “Apps” tab.
Search for the app you want to backup
In the search bar on the top right corner, type in the app installation you want to back up. Click on the result to see the app in your library.
Show in Finder
Once you get to the app, right click the icon to get a menu, and click “Show in Finder” (in case of Windows, show in Explorer) to see the .ipa file.