Restore Accidentally Deleted Apps on iPhone & iPad

Apr 19, 2012 - 65 Comments

Restore a deleted app in iOS Did one of your favorite apps get deleted from an iPhone or iPad? We’ll show how to restore a deleted app in iOS, whether it was removed accidentally or intentionally. Many users don’t know this, but iOS apps can be restored and re-downloaded easily at any time, which means it’s no big deal if an app or two was accidentally deleted.

We’ll cover two easy ways to restore any deleted app on an iPad or iPhone, either of these work and they’re quite easy, you can search by app name if you know the app, or look through your download list to find the missing app that way. This is a great trick for everyone, but should be particularly helpful for parents and educators, when it’s pretty common for a kid to have deleted an app or two by accident. So, don’t freak out if you or someone you know accidentally deleted an app from an iOS device, because you’ll have those apps restored to the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in no time. Let’s get right to it and get those deleted apps back!

How to Restore Accidentally Deleted Apps in iOS by Name Search

Know the name of the app that was deleted and you want to restore? This is the way to go then:

  1. Open the “App Store” application and use the ‘search’ box to find the name of the app that was deleted (for example, if Angry Birds was deleted, search for ‘Angry Birds”)
  2. Locate the matching result through the results carousel, if there are several matches you can always to get more information about the found app by tapping on it
  3. Choose the little cloud download icon to start the app restore process – tapping on it will start the download again, you may need to confirm the Apple ID login in this process

Here’s an example where restoring the Angry Birds app after it was deleted, note it’s the Star Wars version that was removed and thus you must find the exact name match from the search list – easy enough.

Redownload a deleted app from the App Store in iOS

Many apps also store data in iCloud so restoring them through the App Store like this will also usually restore their accompanying data – unless it was specifically removed when the app was deleted. That can also apply for games and Game Center scores, again, unless it was specifically removed as well when the app was deleted.

How to Restore Deleted Apps in iOS Through a Purchased List

Not sure which app was deleted, or maybe a bunch of apps were deleted? This is how you can see a list of all the apps that were downloaded to the iPhone or iPad, making it simple to restore what’s missing:

  1. Open “App Store” and choose “Updates” followed by going to the “Purchased” section at the bottom of the screen
  2. Restoring deleted apps from the iOS App Store

  3. Tap on the “Not On This iPad” tab at top (or “Not On This iPhone”)
  4. Find the accidentally deleted app in the list and tap the cloud arrow icon to redownload the app, enter Apple ID password when requested

Restoring accidentally deleted apps in iOS

Note: the iPad can go directly to ‘Updates’, whereas the iPhone and iPod touch needs to tap the “Updates” button and then “Purchased” the difference here is due to the screen sizes of the devices. On the iPad, things look a bit different simply because there is more screen real estate available to display buttons.

The process is identical in all versions of iOS, though it looks slightly different (as well as the entire user interface for that matter) from the older versions of iOS to the most modern versions. Here’s what it looks like on a prior release before the major redesign:

Redownload deleted apps

Whichever method you choose, the app will redownload and reinstall itself. You will not be charged for redownloading apps that you already own as long as the Apple ID is the same that was used to buy it in the first place. If you see a price tag rather than the download cloud button, that’s usually a good indicator that you’re not using the same Apple ID, and if you see a price listed on the app name you would be charged.

Worth mentioning is that iOS apps alone are not the only thing that can be recovered and redownloaded easily. This easy restore method will also work with iTunes Store purchases like music, movies, and TV shows, and on the desktop side of things, apps that were acquired through the Mac App Store as well.

Note: you must be using the same Apple ID to redownload the app without getting charged again. Of course, free apps are always free to download, but you won’t find them in your app history which is what this trick relies on.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Pete says:

    The same menu lets you install apps that aren’t on the phone or ipad too.

  2. 911 says:

    How do you do this on iPhone? I don’t have the ‘purchased’ menu in the app store.

  3. Ben says:

    This doesn’t restore data associated with the app though, does it? That still leaves plenty of reason to freak out.

    • Dori says:

      App data is stored in iCloud so you should be fine

      • pbando says:

        Do you mean that if I delete Angry Birds and reinstall then all my stars and scores will be back? I will try this out. Where is my water has a separate option to store your progress in icloud, probably to sync between devices (at least Im using it to sync between ipad and ipod).

        • Michael says:

          There are some apps which let users choose whether the app data is stored in the device itself or into the iCloud, say ‘SoundHound’. In ‘SoundHound’, there’s an option for you to choose to save history and bookmarks by using iCloud. I guess what ‘SoundHound’ does is that they let the user choose to store the app data up in the cloud. Now, let’s say you have an iPhone and an iPad, and both use the same Apple ID and have installed ‘SoundHound’. If you enable to use iCloud to save the tagged songs and bookmarks, no matter which device you use to tag the songs, the tag history and bookmarks will both appear on your iPhone and iPad (as you use the same Apple ID on both devices and the data is stored in the iCloud).

          So I guess ‘Where’s My Water?’ is doing the same thing.

  4. pbando says:

    What about the in-app-purchases? I tried it 2-3 times and I did not pay for the repurchase of the in-app options.

  5. Emma says:

    Does this work for apps that are no longer available in the App Store? It did not when I tried it last year.

  6. Amy says:

    What about an app that has downloaded files in it? Our download manager has disappeared, along with all the downloaded movies. Can we get this back?

  7. […] This is what you’d do if you want to reinstall an app you deleted to quickly free up some space on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod that has run out of storage capacity. Likewise, this is the same procedure to restore an app that was accidentally deleted. […]

  8. Nathalie says:

    THANK you so much.
    Worked a treat.

    : D

  9. Caroline Salmon says:

    I synced my iPad with my computer and several apps disappeared but are on cloud. When I re-installed my password manager (1password Pro), all the data has disappeared. Can I retrieve it ?

  10. Hazlan says:


    Before this i already purchase garmin for my iphone 4s from app store.
    Suddenly i accidentaly deleleted this garmin apps..

    I never back up all this to my pc..

    My question.. If i re-install again from apps store.. Are they charges me again

  11. Pidit says:

    i accidentally deleted my old fb app on my iPhone 3g. Now i cant download new fb app as it requires ios 4.3. How can i get old app that will work on my old phone. Any suggestions???

  12. Leanne says:

    I have accidently deleted my calendar and not sure how to add it back – any suggestions?

  13. Jennifer Crewe says:

    I deleted an app then realised I did need it. It was a purchased one. When I follow the instructions above the app does not show in the not on this iPad button. When I find it in the purchased section the button is greed out and says installed. No cloud button for re-install. I can’t even buy it again as it is showing as installed.

  14. A arrows says:

    Deleted 4od but cannot reinstall as button greyed out. Help!!

  15. Nan says:

    I’ve accidentally the star maker app, and after re-installing, every songs I purchased is gone….. What should I do??

  16. Sarah says:

    Hi there. I accidentally deleted some apps on my iPhone 3G but when I go into the app store and into updates there is no button marked purchases to be able to follow the above advise. Can anyone help me find this please? Many thanks

  17. Deborah says:

    What if u deleted App Store on accident

  18. Zain says:

    hi there i am using iphone 3g, i was using viber on it since July 2012, somehow i accidentally deleted viber :( now am unable to re-install it .. its now saying to update ios 4.3 don’t why cause i used viber without updating to ios 4.3
    please help me

  19. Bernie says:

    Thanks so much for this ……….they don’t make it obvious on i tunes and my Wife’s I pad just got wiped after a software update

    Now all I have to do is recover all her books

  20. Hal says:

    Hi I had the crush saga downloaded to my iPhone 5 & was addicted to it. I got to level 30 & it all of a sudden stopped loading, so I couldn’t play anymore. I delegate the app in an attempt to reinstall it. I went through the App Store where it didn’t have the free logo anymore but install instead. So I did. Again & again & again. The app installed each time but when I wanted to play the game it wouldn’t load. I went into not purchased on this phone & pressed the cloud & reinstalled it & it still appears as an app icon but opens says loading for a few seconds then flicks off back to just showing the icon. It is so frustrating, please can you help & tell me what I need to do. Thanks

  21. Almond says:

    My daughter fiddled around with my pass code for iPhone. Afterwards it automatically reset and I lost all my apps and email settings which is done thru my corporate account. Is there any way I can restore my iPhone to the old settings including my contacts and all other apps? Pls help.

  22. JohnA says:

    After I reinstall a deleted app, I can run it from the search window, but it didn’t reinstall the icon. How do I get the icon back?

  23. Barry Glading says:

    Thank you! Saved my life :-)

  24. Edward says:

    I am attempting to restore a deleted app and in the app store when I click update I do not have a purchased option. All that it shows is that all apps are up to date? I need help

  25. Kizzy says:

    How do I get the short cut back on my screen or do I have to go into the purchased but every time I want to play the deleted game ??? Xx

  26. Brittany says:

    Thank you SO much!! My daughter deleted my favorite app which is no longer available in the same version and I don’t like the new version. I was thrilled to know how to get my app back!

  27. Ziaur says:

    Dear Sir
    I have accidentally deleted my contacts icon(Folder) from i phone 4s .How can Back on screen.Please suggestions me ?

  28. Tori says:

    I was able to recover the app however it was the newer version and my data wasn’t there. Is there anyway I can recover the data.

  29. nicole says:

    my ipod broke and I need to get a new one. does anyone know if I will be able to get my videos in videostar back

  30. Jill says:

    What if you deleted an app but don’t know which one it was because you know where it was on your screen but don’t remember what it was?

  31. Damian muldarry says:

    Often I accidentally police apps on my phone is in my pocket.

  32. Damian muldarry says:

    Often I accidentally delete apps and iPhone is in the pocket. Is there anyway to find out what I deleted?

  33. BEATE EURICH says:


  34. HD Sutnga says:

    Restoration of app will highly be appreciated and thankful

  35. Laurie says:

    I had to delete an app (Hot Schedukes) as it stopped syncing with my calendar. ‘Help’ mentioned to delete and reinstall, after other “fixes” failed. This is the second time in the past year I’ve had to delete the app. And again, just like last time, the app is charging for the reinstall. I paid again last time. But not again. Yes, I’m using the same Apple ID. I have had only one Apple ID ever so… What gives??

  36. Laurie says:

    That previous message was suppose to read “Hot Schedules”

  37. Marisa says:

    My son deleted itube by accident on his iPod touch. It isn’t in the purchased app section… I searched the App Store but it is a different version of the app. How do I get the old one back?

  38. Emily says:

    I have this app called I keyboard and on accident I deleted the app and now when I am looking for it and it’s just not there anymore and I am agitated

  39. nena says:

    Hi All,

    A few apple apps disappeared from my phone (5C) like the camera button, weatherzone and others including the apple store and that is the reason I cannot recover them. I believe my nephew accidentally deleted them. Has this happened to anyone? How do I recover any app if I don’t even have the apple store????

    Any tips would be great.


  40. Erich says:

    I accidentally deleted an mileage app on my iPhone, I got the app back but how do I get the plots data back?

  41. moviegourmet says:

    Thank you! I deleted an app to get rid of the documents and increase storage space and intended to reinstall it from the app store, but it wasn’t there. It says no longer available in US. I was able to transfer it from a backup on my laptop.

  42. Frank Robards says:

    Thanks for info.

  43. Ashley says:

    minecraft got deleted!! I WORKED SO HARD ON IT AND WhAT??????? IT BETTER BE THERE.. (sad face)

    • Wooopsie Daisy says:

      Why did you delete minecraft if you didn’t want to delete minecraft? Re-download Minecraft to restore it, it’s that simple. And who uses ALL CAPS to talk? With a million question marks? Get it together, Ashley, no wonder your parents deleted minecraft from your iPad.

  44. Tanya says:

    How do I restore deleted apps that come with the iPhone eg health, camera, colander etc? PLEASE HELP ME!!!

  45. Victor says:

    These instructions do not work for me. My wife uses the NY Times app on her iPhone5. Due to problems with her iTunes account (since resolved), the Apple phone operator told her to eliminate all non-Apple apps, including the NYT, which she did. Now that the iTunes issue is resolved, we tried to reinstall her NYT app from the Apple store. Of course, we found the NYT app easy enough, but there is no cloud or buy option displayed. I clicked on that space anyway, but all we get is an unclosed circle that continuously turns (not the updating wheel). We are having the same problem on all the non-Apple apps.

  46. Lonna says:

    I had an app that was deleted on my iPhone that was $2.00 I can’t get it back it’s telling me to buy it

  47. Rob says:

    How do I retrieve the ap store icon on my iphone

  48. Sumaiya says:

    Please re connect my whatsup

  49. Sumaiya says:

    Often I accidentally delete apps and iPhone is in the pocket. Is there anyway to find out what

  50. gie says:

    i accidentally deleted all my iphone iphone is still locked from a network phone send from canada and im frm do i retrieve my apps without using sim from canada?

  51. AGBinsgrief says:

    I’m actually having a problem with apps that were seemingly deleted when I let my daughter use my phone (I cannot find them on the phone anywhere), including the APPS app. When I do a “search” of them, I can open them from the search function, but am still unable to locate them from an “app” button

    When I go the APPS app to download them again (again, opening from the search function) it shows them already downloaded???

    Can anyone help with this?

  52. Cory says:

    My nephew delete an app from my phone and I want to know how to get it back without going to the App Store because I own money money on the card and by the way it’s a iPhone 6

  53. Jordan says:

    It worked great, thank you

  54. Kathy says:

    I had a couple of apps that were not working properly, so I deleted them. Now they won’t reload. I find the little cloud with the down arrow, and tap it; the download circle appears briefly, then the cloud returns, and nothing downloads.

    I’ve signed out of my app store account and signed back in. Doesn’t change anything.

    I’ve reset my iPhone; that didn’t change anything, either. These are apps I depend on, and I really need them back on my phone. What do I do now?



    • ntn says:

      Make sure you have sufficient storage space on the iPhone to hold the apps, if there is not enough room they will not download.

      Also be sure the iPhone is on a good wi-fi connection.

      Rebooting can help sometimes. Hold power button and home button until you see the Apple logo.

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