The question of how to sync apps between iTunes and your iPhone has come up numerous times before in the comments section of other articles I have written related to iPhone’s or iPod Touches so I figured it was time to write an article to describe how to accomplish this. You need to first transfer the apps downloaded directly to your iPhone to iTunes before syncing. Below I describe the warning message that will have you asking this question followed by how to transfer the apps from the iPhone to iTunes before actually syncing with iTunes.
Are You Sure You Want To Sync Apps Warning:
Entire Warning Message: Are you sure you want to sync apps? All existing apps and their data on the iPhone “iPhone name” will be replaced with apps from this iTunes library.
To accomplish the above without actually losing all of your apps happens to be fairly simple. Open iTunes with your iPhone or iPod Touch connected to the computer via USB. First I would suggest backing up the iPhone and wait for the synchronization with iTunes to complete. Once that is finished click on File in the top navigation menu of iTunes and select “Transfer Purchases From iPhone” from the drop down menu as shown in the below example image.
Transfer Purchases From iPhone:
Once you have selected Transfer Purchases From iPhone the applications you have downloaded directly to your iPhone will begin transferring from the iPhone to the computer via iTunes as shown in the below example image. Notice the top of iTunes where it says “Copying Breeders Cup” which is an application that was on my iPhone but not synchronized with iTunes.
Transferring Purchases From iPhone To Computer Via iTunes:
Once the applications have all been transferred to iTunes click on the iPhone in the left navigation of iTunes followed by clicking on Apps in the navigation bar that will display after clicking on your iPhone. Put a check in the box next to Sync Apps which will again pop up the warning about deleting all existing apps. This time click the Sync Apps button to synchronize the applications with iTunes which will begin syncing all of the apps with iTunes as shown in the example image below.
Sync iPhone Apps With iTunes:
You can now manage the iPhone desktop organization via the iTunes interface.