Pin Me

How to Transfer iPhone Apps Between Computers

written by: luis84•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 10/29/2010

If you happen to own multiple computers and an iPhone, learning how to transfer iPhone applications between computers can be invaluable. Transferring apps from one computer to another is not nearly as complicated as it sounds and can be done in just a few minutes.

  • slide 1 of 3

    Transferring iPhone Applications

    Many of us iPhone owners also own multiple computers, which can be a real hassle when managing iPhone apps. Syncing the iPhoneiTunes Logo  with multiple computers can be a hassle if the second computer does not have some of the applications that the first computer has, thus causing your iPhone applications to be erased during the sync.

    Fortunately, the process to transfer iPhone applications between computers is very simple and works just as it should. Once you transfer iPhone applications between computers you can sync the iPhone with both computers and not have to worry about having your applications erased during a sync.

    For this to work, you will need access to both computers and have both iTunes authorized with the same account, from which the applications were purchased.

  • slide 2 of 3

    The Process

    Following the simple instructions below, you should be able to quickly learn to transfer iPhone applications between computers. Follow these steps carefully for best results. Remember you must prepare both computers for the transfer. This will work on both Windows computers and Mac computers alike. For best results, it is recommended that you use the latest version of iTunes on both of the computers. If you do not have the latest version, you can simply upgrade within iTunes.

    1. Locate the apps. In order to copy the apps, you will first need the .ipa files. These DRM protected .ipa files can be found through iTunes. Launch iTunes and click "Applications" on the left navigational bar. Right click on one of the applications and click "Show in explorer" (or the Mac equivalent).
    2. Copy the apps. Copy the apps to a flash drive, CD or directly across the network to the other computer. Copy all of the .ipa files that you wish to utilize on the other computer.
    3. Import the apps. Launch iTunes on the second computer and click on the "Applications" tab on the left navigational bar. Drag and drop the .ipa which you obtained from the first computer into iTunes. The apps will automatically appear in the list on iTunes on the second computer.
    4. Sync your iPhone. Sync your iPhone with the second computer. It will sync with the second computer just as it did with the first computer. You will not have your apps erased when you sync and you will not lose any apps. It is really that simple. This process must be repeated if you add new apps back to the other computer. Remember to transfer the apps from both computers to each other.

  • slide 3 of 3

    Special Notes

    You do not need to do anything to prepare the apps for the transfer. These .ipa are protected by DRM and will only work on another iTunes which has been authorized with your account. You must authorize iTunes with the same account you used to purchase or download the apps.

    To authorize a computer:

    1. Launch iTunes. Launch the iTunes application by clicking on the iTunes icon.
    2. Sign-in. Sign into your iTunes account by clicking the "Store" menu in iTunes. Click "Sign In" and enter your account information.
    3. Authorize. Return to the "Store" menu in iTunes. Click "Authorize Computer" and wait patiently until iTunes tells you that the computer has been authorized.

    If you run into trouble syncing your iPhone read the following article: iPhone Won't Sync: Tips for Troubleshooting. You may also want to check out: Get iPhone Apps Without a Computer.