New Hope for App Hoarders

My five-year-old iPad Pro has a cracked screen and dying battery. I considered repairing it, but it would have cost nearly as much as a new iPad. So, I ordered a new 8th generation iPad with 128GB of storage ($399).

After 5 years of acquiring nearly every iPad app with a modicum of promise, I had collected almost 500 apps on the old iPad. And to be frank, I don’t remember why I downloaded most of them, much less remember what they do. So, I thought I’d get rid of those before I set-up the new iPad.

No Way to Bulk Delete Apps

And that’s when the fun started. As far as I can tell, there is no way to delete multiple apps quickly and easily. And with thirteen (mostly full) pages of apps, it would have taken all day to delete the roughly 400 apps I didn’t want on the new iPad if I had to remove them one at a time.

I considered setting up the new iPad as a new device, without restoring from the old iPad, and then adding apps as I needed them. But that would have taken days, too. And what about the settings and preferences for those apps?

As far as I can tell there is no easy or fast way to migrate the settings and preferences of a subset of apps without third-party software. You can restore all of your apps or none of them, but you can’t specify a subset.

It’s iMazing!

Fortunately, I use iMazing to manage my iPad’s content and backups, and it easily migrated all the settings along with the 100 (out of 400) apps I wanted on the new iPad. While the process took a few hours, it required no intervention or supervision. In the end, I had exactly what I wanted—all my settings and preferences plus the 100 selected apps—on the new iPad.

iMazing made it easy to migrate only the apps and settings I wanted.
iMazing made it easy to migrate only the apps and settings I wanted.

Well, it was almost exactly what I wanted. Because the old iPad had 13 home screens with apps, iMazing restored each app to its original location. Under most circumstances, that would be appropriate and welcome behavior. But, in this case, it wasn’t. Still, cleaning up a handful of apps on 12 home screens didn’t take very long and encouraged me to organize those apps into folders. Now, all 100 apps appear on the first (and only) home screen, just as I wished.

But Wait, There’s More!

Selective restore is just one of iMazing’s numerous valuable features. Download the free trial and see why I use iMazing instead of the Finder/iTunes/Music/Photos/etc. to manage the content and backups on all my iDevices.

iMazing. From $44.99. DigiDNA.

There is one more thing: Since March 31 is (was) World Backup Day, I urge you to take the World Backup Day pledge if you haven’t already:

“I solemnly swear to backup my important documents and precious memories on March 31. I will also tell my friends and family about World Backup Day—friends don’t let friends go without a backup.”

6 thoughts on “New Hope for App Hoarders

  • One thing I wish iMazing would add is the ability to sync app layouts between my iDevices. I want my apps in the same place, same folders on both my iPhone and iPad. And I want the same apps on both, where possible.

    1. It doesn’t do that already? When I restored the subset of apps it sprayed them across 13 home screens, which leads me to believe it was trying to duplicate the app pages and layout from the old iPad.

  • Reading the first few paragraphs, I was thinking “iMazing can so that!”. And, sure enough, iMazing is the suggested solution. As a bonus, if you use iMazing to make backups of apps every so often, you can restore apps that have disappeared from the App Store over the years for whatever reason to your new iDevice. (Well, provided they’re 64-bit apps, anyway.)

    1. Thanks for mentioning that here in the comments… I probably should have mentioned it in the column–it’s yet another useful iMazing feature that’s not (currently) available from Apple

    1. Thanks for the reminder. Even though I have a Backblaze backup, it’s been a month or two since I backed up to the disks I store offsite. On Monday I’ll update them and then return them to their place (safe deposit box at local bank).

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