Restore Accidentally Deleted Apps on iPhone & iPad

Apr 19, 2012 - 45 Comments

Restore a deleted app in iOS Don’t freak out if you or someone you know accidentally deleted an app from an iPhone or iPad, because they can be easily redownloaded and restored at anytime through either of these simple processes.

How to Restore Accidentally Deleted Apps by Name Search

  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 the Deleted Apps Through a Purchased List

  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.

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


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  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”

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